So I finally have a nice, big paying job and I've been procrastinating for the entire weekend. I worked on some other piddly stuff due to another company that never pays me on time. "Alaska!" you wonder, "why on earth would you procrastinate now that you have work?" Good question. It might have something to do with the guidelines:
I put the quarter on there for scale. That's a 3" binder bursting at the seams and I have to read the whole flippin' thing before I write a word. Soooo . . . .
I cleaned. I cleaned some more. I made grape jelly using 7.5 lbs of concord grapes that I got last week at the grocery auction for $2.50 (they're $4 a lb at the grocery store). You never really know what you're bidding on at the grocery auction. He's always WAY up there and you're in the back and he tends to be vague and sometimes grossly inaccurate (he had a basket of apples he was calling a "bushel" -- shyah. MAYBE a third of a bushel. The Amish ladies in the back were having a good snort over that.) Anyway, I bid and won and these were nearly perfect. As soon as I got them home I hopped online and found a different source for pectin. I'd been using the Ball canning pectin and getting, erm, syrupy results. Poor gelling to no gelling. I did have one batch of strawberry jam turn out nicely. This is because done right, strawberries have enough natural pectin in them to jam all by themselves. I'm tired of spending half the day making little jam jars just to end up with more syrup. So I googled up Pomona Pectin and ordered two boxes. They arrived Saturday, so Sunday I started on the syrup.
Now, I've never actually uncanned any of my runny jams, but one batch came out SO poorly that I decided to test the first box of Pectin on it. It came out perfectly so in the end I had a batch of new and vastly improved pineapple orange jelly, LOTS of grape jelly, and some blackberry/raspberry jelly. Now I'm out of pectin again, but I *finally* have giftable jelly.
That reminds me, I have to hit up Sarah for a link to her recipes for her Christmas goodies from last year. I think between the cookies and the jam I could be done with most of the folks on our list.
Chris brought me back some ice cream from the store. He says he's duct taping me to my chair 'till I get through the first lesson (it gets MUCH easier after the first one).