What I've Been Eating Snapshot:
The second pic is of a slice of herb-y pork roast on romaine with a little onion, bbq and pickles. I was a cheater pants and used regular bbq. I did eat another slice of plain meat and had thrown out my coleslaw as it had gotten too spicy from sitting in the fridge for two days.
What I've Seen This Week:
Below is a photo of my lemon drop evening primrose that bloomed this past week, started maybe a week and a half ago. Peonies also bloomed nearly two weeks ago and no longer appear as beautiful as the second pic below. Mostly they are just small heaps of delicate petals upon the ground surrounding the bushes.
The photo below and left is of the honeyberry (or haskap berries) bushes that Dad planted at least several years ago - there are for sure two varieties, possibly a third, planted in there. The photo to the right is a zoomed in pic so you can see the berries. They are pretty tart, though once in a while I'm surprised with a sweeter one. I'd say they are very comparable to blueberries, when considering the size and texture. I made a batch of mixed berry low-sugar jam using them. It actually came out sweeter tasting than I'd like, so I will give it another go and reduce the sweetener/sugar even more. My recipe includes sugar as it was a compromise so that other family members can enjoy it as well. I intend for the next batch to be sugarless.
Mixed Berry Jam
(reduced sugar, my own recipe, made 2 & 1/2pints)
1.5c chopped strawberries
1.5c wild blueberries (I used frozen)
1/2c blueberries (mine were frozen)
4tsp lemon juice
2 & 1/2T powdered pectin
While you can make according to the directions on your pectin packaging, I merely placed all but the lemon juice and pectin into a heavy bottomed saucepan and heated so the sweeteners would dissolve. As it heated I buzzed a stick blender through it to help break down the fruits. Then I let it come to a gentle boil and added the lemon juice, stirred, added the pectin slowly, and stirred. I let it boil for about a minute, maybe two.
I then removed the pan from the heat and ladled into my prepared canning jars and processed in a hot water bath for approximately 15mns. Your canner instructions should tell you how long to process. Mine actually stated 10mns. My canner is huge, though, and just wouldn't come to a nice boil. Hence the longer processing time and the fact that I am storing mine in the fridge - just to be on the safe side. Please do follow your canner and canning book directions to ensure a proper seal if you intend to store without refrigeration.
Frugal Front This Past & Current Week Snapshot:
>trying to do some deeper cleaning as this occupies time slots that may have me "window shopping", which inevitably leads to real shopping
>digging down deep into the freezers to find things to make meals with to cut back on grocery shopping and less wasting
>purchased a prepaid gas card for the work Jeep so that we can pay at the pump and avoid going into the gas station where we may be tempted to buy junk food and drinks
>continuing to work on homemade Christmas gifts, finishing two (photo below)
>had a paperbackswap credit to use (still have one more, I think) and received that book yesterday
>browsed our library's book sale for free entertainment, as well as checked out a Johnny Carson dvd
>picked up a printout of our auto and home insurance declaration pages so I can do a little comparison shopping
>called our dentist to see if we can get a discount if we pay cash and in full on a nearly $500 dental bill for the kids, they will take off 10%
>entered codes on Driscoll's berries site to receive printable coupons which allowed me to pick up a couple more containers of strawberries for just over a dollar a pound
>had picked up and spread grounds for gardeners from Starbucks
>corralled D and A's various face washes that have been hanging around in the bathroom and started to use them myself as they apparently get bored with using the same product over and over - ha ha
>worked on getting health insurance straightened out more and found a dentist that will take D and A as the previous dentist no longer accepts the insurance we have, hence the $500 we owe because they were wishy-washy about whether or not they took our insurance - grrr...
>found some Sevin insect dust that I'd purchased a couple years ago and used on the cabbages as I've noticed something's been nibbling on them