Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Marmalade Making

Once upon a time, we moved in the middle of winter and the boxes of canned goods froze on the moving truck, thawed upon arrival, and then mostly tossed because the contents separated into gross, watery textures.  Sigh.

This summer has been filled with the usual canning of garden produce and berries from the area and we have been blessed with eating lots of those goodies now.  When the 4H groups were going around selling fruit this fall, I planned for some new canning experiences.  After Christmas, I hopped online to find a good recipe for citrus and came upon a mastery challenge at Food in Jars!  January is marmalade month and I like a good quilt along, so a preserving challenge?  Sounds good to me! :)

I tried my hand at the Three Citrus Marmalade:

New techniques for me included zesting entire fruits and then processing all of that fruit down to remove the pith and membranes inside.  But overall, not too bad of a process.  The hardest part was watching the thermometer creeping up, waiting for the magical mark of 220F.

Finished product!  The left jars are the first batch and you can see I got the peels to suspend in the syrup a little better (it is also a little more set), but I am really happy with the result.  We enjoyed orange chicken to celebrate and it is also amazing in oatmeal.  Also canned that day, the box of pears that I ordered along with the citrus. Cinnamon Pear Jam and Pear Cranberry Jam, both from Food in Jars as well, are old favorites that all four of us enjoy.

Monday, January 23, 2017


~ Family of Four ~

I stopped blogging when discovering that my newest pregnancy was in major jeopardy.  I just didn't want to journal about another devastating ending.  Thankfully, it didn't end like the doctors were predicting and we were blessed instead with another little boy, Benjamin!


Joy is the only word to describe these two.
Maybe loud, too. ;)

~ Church Family in Minnesota ~

Yet another reason to not journal...we moved soon after Ben was born and it has been kind of crazy.
Fun, but crazy.
We have been here almost a year and it feels like home.
We were blessed in South Dakota and now continue to be in Minnesota.

~ Parsonage in the Country ~

We now live 11 miles out of town.
While it makes grocery lists even more important so I don't forget anything, we love our new home.
There was a broken water pipe that caused major damage right before we moved in.
So, we had a delayed move, but we were involved in the process of picking out a new kitchen, lights, paint, and flooring.
It was a lot of fun and we are so happy with how it turned out!

~ Neighbors Across the Way ~

I really enjoy going to get the mail at the end of the drive.
At least I did when I took this picture.
We now have snow underfoot and it requires bundling up.

~ Garden 2.0 ~

Had a pretty good summer considering we had so much going on.  We have HUGE plans for this space this summer so look out!  We also have plans on adding an orchard to the upper right of this picture (that bush back there is raspberries) and a few feathery breakfast-laying friends will be moving in this spring.  

~ Yard with Space ~ 

Timothy runs for days.  
Jared mows grass with a riding mower.  
We roast marshmallows in the fire pit.  
All is good.

~ New Experiences ~

Summer brought trips to our local lakes and beaches, as well as family in South Dakota and Michigan, with lots of adventures on the way.  

Fall brought kindergarten and bus riding for Timothy.  
Jared has taken on another church while they call another pastor.  
I am teaching again, just part time at the Lutheran school Timothy attends.  
Benjamin is everywhere, all the time.  
More updates coming!