April 30, 2010

SPRING SPEARS ... May's Challenge

I'm excited about May's Can Jam Challenge! Sarah from Toronto Tasting Notes... is offering us a choice! For this month's challenge we get to choose between two "spring spears"! The choice will not be easy... and most likely, I will be driven to make and can more then one recipe! The hard part will be choosing only one to post!

Here it is, the "spring spear" choice is between ASPARAGUS or RHUBARB! Yippee... it's gonna be fun! I've already started my recipe search... but I'm not gonna tell you 'till I'm all finished and it is posted!!

Look for the outcome to be posted between Sunday, May 16 and Friday, May 21!!

(No doubt my new 'Texas' apron will be a wonderful help this month....  THANKS AGAIN KRISTY!)

April 27, 2010

2nd Attempt.... "Rosemary Mint Wine Jelly"

Ok, here's my second attempt at the 'herb' thing for April! I found this recipe at purely by accident and I was very excited to find that I had already bought the rosemary & mint for other recipes that I had opted NOT to try!
Rosemary Mint Wine Jelly                        
(yield: four 1/2 pints)

2 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
2 cups dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (plus additional if needed)
3 1/2 cups sugar
3 ounce pouch liquid pectin.        
In a food processor or blender blend together the mint, rosemary and 1 cup of wine until the herbs are chopped fine and transfer the mixture to a bowl. In a small saucepan bring the remaining 1 cup wine to a boil, add it to the herb mixture. Let it stand, covered, for 45 minutes. (I put all the wine in a small saucepan and used a knife to cut up the herbs. I was looking for a mild flavor so I didnt' wait the 45 minutes.) Over a large measuring cup strain through a sieve lined with several layers of rinsed & squeezed cheesecloth. Press the solids to get all the liquid and add 1/4 cup lemon juice. (I used a reusable coffee filter with wonderful resuts.) There should be exactly 2 cups of liquids... if there is less, add additional lemon juice to measure 2 cups.

 Transfer the liquid to a kettle, stir in the sugar, stirrring until the mixture is combined well. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the pectin quickly, bring the mixture again to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat, skim off any foam with a large spoon and ladle the mixture immediately into 4 sterilized 1/2 pint Mason-type jars. Fill to within 1/8 inch from top. Wipe the rims and seal the jars with lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Store jars in a cool, dark place.  ENJOY!

Not being a wine drinker, I had NO idea how this would work out. I had everyone taste this, and we all agree, it has a wonderful flavor! Again, thanks Tigress for the reminder to post even though I missed the deadline!

April 24, 2010

Better Late Then Never.... "Dandelion Herbal Jelly"

After much thought and a little research I opted NOT to go with my brainstorm idea or my tried & true recipe and to go back to my original first choice!! DANDELION HERBAL JELLY! I had tabled this recipe because it was way too early for dandelions around here and I wasn't sure how dandelions were classified....  weeds, flowers, herbs?! Friday afternoon my husband came in and told me that the lower yard area had a bunch of them growing! Yippee!! I thought now, maybe I can try my hand at making this jelly! BUT then immediately I wondered again if they were considered 'herbs'. (Wow, not only a procrastinator, but a waffler too! I have been waffling between this recipe and my tried & true one, still concerned about classification.)  I finally took the bull by the horns (so to speak) and checked online at  and I discovered they are listed as an herb! TA DA! Happy dance! Now for my recipe:

Dandelion Herbal Jelly         (
1) Pick at least 10 cups of dandelion blossoms. Remove the milky stems to avoid a bitter taste.
2) Snip of the base of each dandelion flower until you have just the yellow petals.
3) Pour boiling water over petals. Steep until room temperature or overnight if possible.
4) Strain through a coffee filter to remove spent petals.
5) Add additional water until tea measures 3 cups. 
6) Combine tea, lemon juice, box of pectin, sugar in a larger saucepan.
7) Boil until jelly sheets on the back of a spoon.
8) Pour into hot jelly jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
9) Secure lid & ring to seal.
10) Water bath 5 minutes.

1) you can keep petals in freezer to store until you have proper amount.
2) Some recipes add food coloring, if desired add 2 drops annatto coloring. (A natural coloring found in cheese making supply stores.
3) If your jelly does not set up properly open & reboil to thicken. REMINDER: You MUST use new lids to reseal & process.
4) ONLY pick flowers from a fresh, UN SPRAYED area!

* 4 cups dandelion petals
* 4 1/2 cups sugar
* 2 TBsp. lemon juice
* water
* Large saucepan or soup pot
* Long spoon for stirring
* jars, lids & rings
* saucepan or water bath pan

Dandelions are so pretty in the fields! Around these parts, it is usually the first flower that children pick for you! :) Here's a walk down memory lane... 22 years ago, May 1988, "Dandelion Sunday"! (All we need is to add Louis Armstrong singing "It's A Wonderful World" for background music!) Ok, I know there REALLY isn't such a day, but my mother-in-law created that day when her kids were young! It's the peak day for dandelions blossoming in the fields! GOTTA LOVE IT!

NOTE: Thank you Tigress for the reminder to post anyways!! I'd really hate to have forfeited the rest of the year of jamcans! I am also in process of making a "Herbal Wine Jelly" hopefully it will be posted by tomorrow at the latest, just in case there is a question on the dandelions...


Herbal procrastination caused me to miss my April Can-Jam deadline. I just double checked to make sure the deadline was tonight (Saturday). Well, I should have remembered the announcement day is FRIDAY and the deadline day is also FRIDAY! RRRRGGGHhh... rats!

Well, I'll tell you the truth, I have struggled with what to do this month... the topic; HERBS! I have tossed the 'what to do' question in my mind for a long time... I thought, I know I'll make my own jelly using champagne, lemon and dill....  to be used as a side for fish or chicken. Then, I scratched that idea for a tried & true jelly that I could add mint to. Well, for whatever reasons, that didn't happen either! 

I HATE missing deadlines....  SORRY EVERYONE!  I will still get my jelly made and post it, late, but none the less... posted!! :)  Looking forward to the next challenge topic! I will NOT let another date fly past me!

April 11, 2010

Introducting Maxine...  
 "Maxie" is the doe we kept from Max's only litter!
Here she is checking out her new nesting box.
She is due to kindle on Tuesday!

April 2, 2010

Happy Easter

Discover the Meaning of Easter

May the Lord truly touch your heart and remind you of the
incredible sacrifice He made on your behalf.

Happy Easter!
With love from our family to yours....

PS. Be sure that your speakers are on.