Crabapple Jelly

We have a row of miniature apples (about the size of cherries) that grow on our block, and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them for years. A week ago or so Zack turned me on to the “Saving the Season” canning book/memoir by Kevin West (here’s his blog), and I’ve got a pretty serious canning crush on this guy. So I followed his instructions to make crabapple jelly without store-bought pectin, instead making a pectin stock from the fruit, and it was pretty fun. I’ve had all kinds of jam trouble lately but this jelly set up really nicely (maybe too nicely, it’s pretty darn firm in the fridge.) I love adding herbs to jelly, and he recommended thyme, though in hindsight I wish I would have went with rosemary.





Oh, you guys are back to laying eggs?

14 eggs in the coop today. Guess I haven't checked in awhile. I think that's called a Lazy Farmer's Dozen.

14 eggs in the coop today. Guess I haven’t checked in awhile. I think that’s called a Lazy Farmer’s Dozen.

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Night clamming deserves a quiet night

We were on Whidbey Island for the weekend, and my first move when I’m that close to clamming beaches is to check the tide tables. The good news was that low tide wasn’t 2 am, the bad news was that it would be dark, 6 pm. Hannah and Robbie were game for some night clamming, so we packed up our boots, digging implements, buckets and head lamps and hit the beach. We came out with a modest bucket full… about 20 clams or so. More of a fun experience than an efficient way to find shellfish, but I guess you make do with what you have.

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Cider time is nigh, foraging time is now

I went out last night with a ladder strapped to the top of my car and my apple picking bag that I’m pretty embarrassed about (but what are you going to do when people hassle you to add things to your Amazon Wish List every Christmas?) and hit up my two favorite apple foraging spots in my neighborhood. Last year the apples were pretty much non-existent, but this year, I got enough to have my cider pressing party in an hour and a half.

5 boxes full — the basement smells delicious

Wishing my photos were as good as Zack’s


Bug Catching Season is Here

Hannah has always loved bugs, and though I’ve noticed she isn’t quite as fearless as she used to be, she will still capture a bug, make it a bed out of paper, and fill it with grass and dirt to make sure it’s comfortable. And seal it in some tupperware to make sure it never escapes. Ever.

Yesterday she had a bug in her hands, and she said, “I’m going to keep it forever!” I said, “Good idea, make sure you are holding it in your hands on your wedding day. That way you can just trade bugs not rings.” She gave me a really irritated look, which I probably deserved. But she really liked zooming in on the camera to see this bug’s face, so I think she let it go. I’ll try to simulate it for you here.

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