Tuesday, March 01, 2011

as good a time as ever...

I think that right at this very moment it's a great time for me to enter back into the blogging world.

I'm inspired as of late. And, I think it's time to share some of the inspiration with you.

Brandon gave me a great book "Made From Scratch" by Jenna Woginrich. It has renewed my love of all things handmade (especially those handmade things by me!) and has reminded me of the things I truly love to do.

I decided a few months back that I wanted to start a garden in the backyard this summer. Nothing too fancy, I just want to have our own vegetables. Don't even get me started on how much I want chickens...

I've been making bread on a pretty regular basis. (On the menu this week: brioche!)

We've been eating out less and less.

I've even endeavored to make some more of my own clothing! My next project is a Pascha dress. I've got a great idea of what I want to make, and I think I've found a perfect pattern!

Believe it or not, I love simplicity. A whole lot.

Since I'll be gardening this summer, I decided to dip my toe into the world of canning. I want to be able to do some simple canned tomatoes, and jams. (Pepper jelly anyone!?) I figured that learning to can during the months when I'm not inundated with produce might be a good idea. So, I went to the store and bought a few pounds of oranges. Blood oranges, to be exact.

I have grown to love marmalade. (Especially when it's on fresh bread with some butter. Mmmmm!) I planned on making a plain and simple orange marmalade, but the beautiful blood oranges called my name!

Here are a few photos of the process.
Sterilize, sterilize, sterilize! (Please note, the supplies I used are the ones I grew up watching my mom use.)

The mixture was so beautiful and burgundy pink. Love!

My mom let me borrow her canning supplies, Thanks mom! I didn't want to invest before I knew I could do it. She gave me loads of advice and a few you-can-do-its, along with some books. Then, I went and bought a couple of jars!

I made some of the most amazing marmalade I've ever encountered. Yep, I just said that about my own food. It's sweet, and tangy, and has the right amount of bitterness. (I've grown to love that slightly bitter bite. It's not overwhelming, but it's wonderful!)

It does something to you to see your own food, in jars. Something so wholesome and wonderful about it.

Seriously, look at those beautiful jars!

Try making it. You'll agree.
PS- Here's a little recipe for you to use when you make your marmalade.


Tatiana said...

I want chickens too!!!!
Don't get ME started...
Yea for the blog update!

brandon said...

I like "I made some of the most amazing marmalade I've ever encountered" a lot more than your usual response of "this doesn't suck"

Your Mohundro cousin said...

Re: Pepper Jelly
My first experience with pepper jelly was circa 1960 while I was still in high school and Mama made some, because she had a bumper crop of peppers in her garden. I thought "Pepper Jelly? That is crazy!" I was definitely hooked, though, the first time she fed it to me over cream cheese and a plain old saltine.

Anonymous said...

Your grandmother Manning, "Mudder" would be so happy to see you learning to can. As you know, she loved to grow fruits and vegetables and preserve them...to her it was just a way of life. Only about two years ago she did a little teaching seminar for the ladies of our Sunday School class....all "city" girls on canning! They loved it. Although she is no longer with us, her legacy of canning and freezing lives on! She taught your mom the satisfaction that comes from raising and canning your own foods. I've eaten many complete meals at mudders that were grown, canned and prepared right there on that property...including chickens, cows and pigs! There's just something about growing and preparing your own food that is good for the soul. Love you, Dad