pretty jelly and other fall stuff

cnetter(z5 Co)September 28, 2007

I got a new camera a month ago and am loving it! The colours are much better.

I've just done up a forth batch of apple jelly and the stuff from the apples in the front of the house is this gorgeous red. So I had to take a pic. The small jar is from the tree with bigger apples in the back yard. The bigger jar is from the tree in the front, which has smaller apples (crabs?) that have alot of red flesh inside:

Still bringing in the fall stuff.

These toms are in the dehydrator right now:

The plants still look good:

The last of the sugar babies, picked right before this last cold spell:

The hardy hibiscus are almost done:

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Hey, my Sugar Babies gave up weeks ago!! (I could post another picture of the Honey Girls, tho' ;o)

Are those your Amish Paste, Cnetter? You know what? I've never, ever grown a paste that I can remember. I've only recently learned that folks use them for some things other than sauce making. And, not being a canner . . .


    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 8:56PM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

My sugar baby vines were dying, so I might as well bring the melons in.

There's a variety of tomatoes in the bowl. The Amish Paste are the long pointy ones.

My tomato plants still look really good, but the toms are much slower to ripen in this cool weather. It looks like I might finally get a freeze this weekend. I can't believe how late it is this year! I don't think I'm going to bother covering them and will just pick all the green toms. Though I don't need any more green tomato mincemeat.

Though I might make a few jars of rose hip jelly, I'm sick of canning jelly and am about to invite a bunch of people over to pick apples and rose hips.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 9:44AM
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Cnetter, I only had one little hill of watermelon (not thinking I'd have any luck with 'em). After they'd given up their 3 melons, they quit.

I've grown Lunch Box tomatoes for years. Or, that is, they sneak into the greenhouse and I set them out. It is one of those determinates that I keep insisting that I'm swearing off of. Lunch Box is a "saladette" tomato, which probably means very little as a definition. It looks just like a paste but is not one . . .

One year, I neglected to order seed or something and picked up a package of Viva Italia which was new and supposed to be a salad tomato. Maybe that one was a paste but it was like, "THAT'S not sweet!" Could be that if I'd ever get in to sauce making . . .

Any tomato can be used for spaghetti sauce, fortunately for me.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 11:27AM
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singcharlene(Zone 5)

Beautiful jars of jelly :)

I got one sugar baby off the vine today. I planted it too close to the pumpkins which kind of choked it out despite my efforts to separate them.

I hope to make some beautiful jars myself in the next few days ;)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 11:37PM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

The sugar babies I planted near the gourds got inhaled by the gourds, but now that a few frosts have killed off the gourd leaves, I found a few more watermelons. So, maybe you'll find more once your pumpkin leaves die off.

Oooh, post pics of your jars. They look like jewels to me.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 12:43PM
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stevation(z5a Utah)


Tell us what kind of camera you got! I love getting new photo equipment, but I haven't gotten any in five years. I'm almost due for a new camera. I'd like an SLR, and there's a cool Nikon available for around $500. My brother in law got one and it has great features as well as eliminating that annoying digital shutter lag! I heard a news story the other day that someone has created a camera that detects faces, and when you put it in a certain mode, it will wait till the moment it detects a smile and then immediately snap the photo. Cool idea, especially with little kids!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 5:11PM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

I got my new camera as a gift. I wouldn't have it bought myself - too much money.
Canon Rebel XTI. It does not have that annoying digital shutter lag that drove me nuts with my old cheap cameras.

It's an SLR that has even more functions than my old non-digital Canon Rebel X. And it even takes my old Canon's lens!

The colours, especially the reds are much better.
A pic taken with my old Olympus:
Fireball (looking too pink)

Fireball with the Canon:

And it did great with the blues here:

The lack of camera lag helped with taking this picture, although I didn't have the shutter speed correct:

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 5:56PM
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A real cute picture of the Fighting Tigers . . .

New young kitties?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 7:37PM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

5 and 3 years old. The one on the bottom is twenty pounds. They were doing that on the bed this morning, with me in it.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 9:04PM
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Beautiful apple jelly pics! I've been experimenting with apple cider jelly. I pressed a few gallons of cider. I'd like to make some jelly without so much sugar. I boiled down 2 quarts of cider and ended up with a half of jar of jelly. I have some pectin, but all the recipes have 4 cups or more sugar. Anyone have a better way? Dale

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 1:41PM
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david52 Zone 6

We now use Pomona Pectin, which is made from citrus rind and the jell reaction is done with calcium. Basically, you can use any amount of sugar you want and it will still jell.

I get mine from health food shoppes, and someone mentioned they found some at Whole Foods.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 2:39PM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

I *just* saw Ball no sugar pectin in the stores. Of course I see it now that I'm just about done making jelly.

Has anyone tried it? Is it more like low sugar Sure Jell or Pomoma?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 2:51PM
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singcharlene(Zone 5)

Cnetter, I used the Ball no sugar pectin for one batch of Concord Grape Jam. I got it at Walmart.

I've never used the Pomona but it sounds like it is more like it because with the Sure Jell low sugar you have to use the exact amount of sugar for it to set. With the Ball no sugar you can actually use it with no sugar at all. They have various recipes using no sugar, fruit juice sweetened, sugar (as much or little as you want), honey, or sugar substitute. It seemed to be a very firm set and I prefer a little softer set so I may experiment and use only half a box for one batch next time. I added 1 1/2 cups sugar but am going to try another batch using the Ball pectin with White Grape jam sweetened with apple juice as the grapes are already very sweet. I froze the the grape pulp and will do in a few weeks.

I'm a newbie at all this canning business and I'm tired! Next year I'll do it increments instead of all at once!

I've canned up close to 100? something jars of Concord Grape jam, White Grape jam, Plum jam, Oriental Plum sauce, Salsa, pickled jalapenos. I made oven-dried tomatoes in my new oven which has a dehydrator setting and goes as low as 100 degrees. Frozen oodles of peppers, tomatoes, tomato broth/puree. My husband's been calling me Laura Ingalls (my favorite show as a kid-I wanted to be "half-pint" :)

I'll take a pic and post as I want it on record but it's fall break and we're getting ready to go the Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park in the RV. I was up until 2am putting up the last of the harvest so it wouldn't go bad. I had to let a huge bag of grapes go bad; I hate that and wish I could've given it someone before they were too ripe to do anything with :(

David, can I just tell you how much I appreciate you recommending that food mill. That has been so useful and I can't imagine doing all of this without it!

p.s. the plum sauce recipe I got off of the harvest forum is so good! We put it on pork chops last night. I used plums from a friend and onions and jalapenos from the garden in it as well. It has a lot of sugar but I didn't drown the chop in it.

here's the recipe if you want it.....( I used more jalapenos and a little more vinegar and ran it all through the food mill to make a thick smooth sauce instead of chunky):

This is from Katie, who used to post here. Have not seen her here for some time. I used the recipe from the Ball Blue Book. It is good. My daughter and grandson love it for chicken strips. I have not looked to compare the recipes yet.
Asian Plum Sauce
Recipe By :Katie
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
8 cups pitted and chopped plums
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar*
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 medium jalapeno pepper -- finely chopped*
4 teaspoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons salt
6 cloves garlic -- minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger -- or 1 tbsp. powdered ginger*

Bring all ingredients except plums to a boil in a non-aluminum pan. Stir in plums. Simmer until thick, stirring often. Mash with a potato masher or blend if you want a smoother sauce.

To can: Fill hot, clean jars with hot sauce, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims, adjust lids and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes at 0-1000 ft., 25 minutes, 1001-6000 ft., or 30 minutes, above 6000 ft. Makes about 6 half pints.

This sauce is great for dipping, as a grilling sauce, or brushed on baked pork chops or chicken.

"my own recipe, adapted from the Ball Blue Book"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTES : *Katies notes: This is the mild version...We like it spicy, so I use more jalapeno and don't remove the seeds and ribs. I also use 1/4-1/2 cup minced ginger. The amount of sugar added depends on your plums.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 1:31AM
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david52 Zone 6

Just a side note, but the best beef jerky I've ever made is done with this plum sauce - coat the meat strips lightly and dry.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 10:27AM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

If my plum tree blossoms don't keep getting caught by a freeze, maybe I'll be able to make that plum sauce.

Next year, if I make grape jelly instead of wine, I'll use either the Ball or Pomoma pectin since these grapes are way too sweet for even the low sugar Sure Jell.
Low sugar Sure Jell works fine for my crab apples since they are quite tart!

20 years ago I would can in huge batches (especially tomatoes) and make a horrible mess of the kitchen. Now I do lots of little batches. Either way, it helps alot to have my spouse help me. We do a tag team method of tomato skin slipping that works well.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 2:26PM
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