Friday, January 29, 2010

Citrus is in!

At the end of December I stumbled across this fantastic blog challenge. We are to hot water-bath can something new every month this year. The goal: get canning (and using, as much as possible, fresh and local produce). January's assignment: Citrus - YUMMY! I was excited, even if late getting started (no Internet service until 25 January due to our recent move on the first.) I figured better late than never and thought I'd better get a move on before the baby arrives and tried my hand at citrus!

I decided to use a variety of citrus. I chose blood oranges, sweet navel oranges, and pink grapefruit. I opted for no marmalade! I've tried marmalade all of one time - that was enough for me - yuck! Of course, it came from the store... I should try it homemade at least once before I swear it off. So, I was scared of marmalade, so I tried just simply canning the fruit - think canned mandarin oranges only better.

Peeling citrus without a handy-dandy "orange peeler" by Tupperware is not a fun task. I used to have a hundred of these little gadgets around my house. Do you think I could find just one? Nope! Peeling oranges by hand hurts! Your fingernail begins to separate from the skin at the tip of your finger allowing the citrus juice to do it's magic... not fun at all.

It sure looked nice when I was done though!!! :O)

I love the way the colors look together.

After playing around a bit with fitting the wedges into the pint jars I was using I decided I liked the rainbow look and wanted to keep it as my finished result. So, I'm calling this Rainbow Breakfast.

I peeled enough of each of the three citruses to have eight wedges of each per jar. That would make two rainbow oranges in each jar with three different colored wedges per quarter orange (12 sections per rainbow orange). It took some time to stuff those jars!

Then I filled the jars with boiling very light syrup (6 1/2 cups water with 3/4 cup sugar dissolved in it). I used part white sugar, part sucanat, which gave a beautiful honey color to the syrup. I processed the filled jars for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath (this took into consideration my altitude of 4,500-ish feet above sea level).

I got six pint jars of beautiful rainbow oranges!

Mmm, mmm, mmm.

My Intorduction to Blogging - Forgive Me As I Learn!

Okay all, I'm am venturing into completely new territory here! I have never "done" a blog before. I've just barely learned how to follow other people's blogs! So, if you are a friend or family member and have one and I haven't been following it, please send me your blog URL so I can start stalking you! ;O)

This blog is not going to be very organized, I fear. It's going to be too multi-purposed for that! As I contemplated just what I'd like to blog about, I realized I have too many specific (and passionate) interests (see interests in my profile for an example!) to try to keep it themed. So, this will be random, whatever I feel at the moment. The topics may get very monotonous and will, no doubt, run themes and cycles, depending on my current obsession! (Lately, it's been natural childbirth - for very good reason, though last weeks' library trip found me several books about raising chickens, in preparation for this spring.) I've been pretty obsessed lately with obtaining and learning to use our Year's Supply of food storage, so, I'm positive that will play into things also. Luke will also be adding his two cents as he feels the need. I've told him to be sure he "signs" his posts so you'll be certain to notice the difference between our, uh, "voices". Sometimes we'll simply talk about the changes, joys, and challenges of family life. Speaking of changes, I'm hoping to have a birth story to blog about this weekend (there will be a blue moon on Saturday, 30 January) - wish me luck with that one! :O)

This week, Lukey lost his first tooth! I am so unprepared for this! I know how to be a mom to babies and preschoolers; I've been around them my whole life. It's when they start to grow and get older that I lose my footing. I don't know what to do or say, or how to behave with older, more rationally-thinking human beings. I feel lost. We are venturing into foreign territory now that my oldest "baby" has just left the baby phase for good. He's a Kindergartener who just lost his first tooth. (It's his bottom right, FYI, and we left a note to the Tooth Fairy telling her that his first tooth was going into the baby book so she couldn't collect it. He got a shiny George Washington gold dollar coin for it anyway!) The first physical change of permanent adulthood and, dare I say it, puberty in a way... YIKES!

We're going to have to schedule a dental visit, I fear. We discovered that his adult tooth was already in - just well behind his other teeth. We are hoping that it will move on it's own into the vacant space and not cause crowding or any other dental problems later on. So his toothless smile isn't totally toothless; you can see the new tooth coming in behind the hole.

Anyone have some good resources for me to reference as we venture into this new phase of child-rearing? I'm scared!

(I'm so proud of myself! I've even figured out how to put in a couple of pictures AND how to put them where the text relates! Click and drag didn't work - it took some effort to figure out. I sure hope it's not always this hard. ;o)