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HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

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HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • I had the most profoundly memorable experience today. The cookbook club at Haywood County Library (the county adjacent to mine) hosted me, and by hosted, I mean 12 ladies selected recipes from my book
  • What better way to clear out a case of the Mondays than a giveaway?! See that lovely locally-made wooden bag dryer there on my wall? Want to win one of your own (you do, trust me)? Pop on over to small measure to enter. Link is in my profile.
  • This guy right here? While he might be growing bigger every day, the truth is that becoming a mother has helped me to grow. To be more present. To be more patient. To be more empathic. As I tell all my soon-to-be-mama friends, parenthood is the toughest work you'll ever do, with by far the biggest payoff. The lovin', and the learning, are so, so good. Happy Monday, friends.
  • Today was a good day. This view, from the top of our road, certainly helped make it so.
  • I think the 48-hour flu I've been fighting has finally succumbed to my assault of grapefruit seed extract, osha root, propolis, elderberry syrup, Oscillococinum, apple cider vinegar, rose hips, hibiscus, ginger/lemon/honey/cayenne tea, and neti pot with goldenseal tincture. I don't take getting sick sitting down. And now, a winter storm, possibly. Bring it, I say. Happy weekending, friends!!!
  • This guy.
  • I've been waiting, for a book like this, to come into my life. Whoa. Picked this up a few weeks ago at @screendoorasheville as a New Year's gift to @glennbenglish. Just started reading it myself and it couldn't possibly be more of what I need to see, right now. Completely on point, wholly attuned to what I'm presently sensing and curious about and inspired by, and infinitely humbling.
  • Warm enough today to play soccer down in our lower field, do a bit of weeding in the garden, and push a nearly-too-big 4 year-old in his
  • New year, new moons, new calendars. Right on, right on.
  • @shelterprotectsyou has been posting images of the wedding she and @sheltercollective had here in September all week. They built this altar for the ceremony, and it's still here, just past the house, on the way to the chicken coop. We pass it every day. Some days, I casually note its beauty and the way it feels like an outdoor church here in our forested cove. Other days I barely register it as I scurry about, doing this and that around the property. Today, though, in the stark, grey, drizzly setting, it was quietly regal. Happy to have had her visuals prompt me to stop, look, and listen to this physical testament to love.
  • The chickens told me they much prefer the rain this week to last week's frigid weather, thank you very much. I couldn't agree more.
  • These potatoes @tableasheville changed my culinary life. They called them hash browns, but they were unlike any I'd had before. Par-baked perhaps, smashed into halves I'm guessing, and then roasted and maybe finished with a quick fry in the skillet and scattered with large sea salt granules? Whatever the method, the result was a creamy, yellow center and a crispy, salty exterior. Quite possibly the best hash browns I've ever had.
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Blueberry-Raspberry Jam with Allspice & Rum

Here I am, on a hot, sticky Friday night, the gentle rumble of a mountain thunderstorm calling outside, stirring jam and lifting jars in and out of a boiling cauldron. Down to the wire (all entries are due by midnight tonight!), I was determined to get my entry in this month for the June edition of Tigress’s Can Jam.

As the item called for in the challenge was “berries”, I took the liberty of mixing two options, blueberry and raspberry. Doesn’t get much more summertime than berries! And with a hint of allspice and a kiss of dark rum, these beauties will be a timely, and undoubtedly well-received, gift come the holidays!

Blueberry-Raspberry Jam with Allspice & Rum
Yield: Eighteen 4-ounce jars, or 4-5 pint jars.

You will need:
-2 pints (4 c.) blueberries, fresh or frozen
-1 pint (2 c.) raspberries, fresh or frozen
-6 c. granulated sugar
-1/4 c. dark rum
-2 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
-1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
-2 packets liquid pectin

To prepare:
1. Sterilize mason jars, lids, and screw rings in size of your choice. Fill a canner or large stockpot with water and set over medium-high heat. Bring just to the boiling point. Place the lids in a small saucepan, fill with water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and set the pan aside.
2. Rinse berries gently with cold water. Using either a potato masher or quick pulses in a food processor, mash the berries coarsely (be sure to leave chunky bits; your objective is to mash, not to blend to uniformity).
3. Place mashed berries, sugar, rum, lemon juice, and allspice in a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring continually.
4. Once mixture achieves a full, rolling boil, add liquid pectin. Stir constantly for one minute. Remove from heat and, using a skimmer or slotted metal spoon, skim off any foam.
4. Remove the hot jars from the canner and place them on top of a kitchen cloth on the counter. With the help of a canning funnel, ladle the jam into the jars, reserving 1/4-inch headspace. Use a nonmetallic spatula to remove any trapped air bubbles and wipe the rims clean with a damp cloth. Place on the lids and screw bands, tightening only until fingertip-tight.
5. Using a jar lifter, place the filled jars into the canner. Process for 10 minutes, beginning processing time only once water is at a full, rolling boil. Remember to adjust for altitude.

*Hot jars ‘a cooling. Please pardon the poor light and dreaded flash witnessed in the photo above. Like I said, I’m down to the wire and, come nighttime, my customarily darkened house gets positively tomb-like.

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