Sunday, September 1, 2019

A Little of This, A Little of That, Apples and Jelly

 The Ridge
I crept out of Bill’s arms at 6 am on Sunday, Sept. 1st and out of the bedroom without waking him. He had a late night watching movies (that’s what afternoon snoozes do to him or ‘for’ him). It felt cool this morning and indeed it was. Only 58F inside and 48F outside. I wore long pants for the first time since June to go and clean. It also seemed dark out still and that reminded me that it would soon be fall even though it was a very distinctive cloud cover.

This morning's sky
Driving on Baptist Church Road where I’ve encountered deer, I’m anxious so decrease my speed to about 60 kmph. I’m sure I am over-worrying but I visualize how nasty it would be to hit one. Once out of the trees and bush area, I relax and find myself turning onto Hwy #4 without mishap. The little town was waking up already for a Sunday, cars and trucks out and about. It was closer to 6:45 by the time I arrived at the Mat.

A customer came in right around 7 and another soon after with her little 1 yr. old. Parker was adorable and very smiley. He was intrigued with my mopping the floor and followed me around each corner. He didn’t bother me and brightened up the day with his wily little looks. His barefeet left footprints on my newly washed floor but so did Mom’s flip flops. No worries, it happens and I know it is clean now and won’t remain that way long.

Today it was apples first
washing, cutting, coring, slicing
Before I came home, I drove to Foodland and picked up some more Zero Coke for Bill. It is good to stay stocked up while the sale is on. Soon enough, now that the children will be back in school, those prices are more likely to disappear. I made my tea at home and sat with Bill for a while. We get into some pretty good discussions, he and I, as I’m sure you do with your spouse. September seems to bring winter travels to the forefront and we toss ideas back and forth.

I wanted to get my jelly made today but realized that I didn’t have any more Pectin. Instead of jelly, I dumped the apples into the sink and began cutting and slicing them up for freezing. I remembered that Donna, who was at the Acreage and just a few kilometers away, was going into town to see Mom this morning so I asked if she would pick me up some Pectin. I’ll pick it up later. She has some berries growing on their property that she’d like to know what they are.

and all this turned into 6 nice size freezer bags of dessert
sometime over the winter
(and more apples to pick!)
It took me probably an hour and a half of steady chopping apples so it was a good thing we had breakfast first. Otherwise, Bill would be gnawing on his arm. Or mine! He went down to the Hangar and made ‘patterns’, for lack of a better word, for the wings for his other planes. We had enough quilting material to make it work so he pieced it together with my opinion thrown in every so often. He pinned some sections and I guess tomorrow we’ll get the machine out again.

I drove over to see Donna and get my stuff around 2:30. When she showed me the berries, we were both disappointed that they weren’t choke cherries. She was all keen to make jelly! When I left their place half hour later, I drove slowly, checking out all the bushes along the concession. I was excited to find many choke cherries growing along there so texted her to check it out. They were busy chopping wood from three downed trees their son-in-law had chopped so it wouldn’t be today that she’d be picking cherries.

The bunky is all put back into a 'sitting' she-shed again
Back home, I packaged 6 bags of apples for the freezer and then set about sterilizing 3 jars for more jelly. The cherries simmered and then came the fun part of squishing them into the colander to make the juice. Bill came up and dozed in the chair after a cheese and cracker snack. I made my tea and caught up on the blog while the juice oozed through the small holes. It takes time and I use the colander ‘plunger’ as well as my big scoop. Jelly bags are the ideal thing, apparently, but not in my cupboard.

Apples in the freezer
I had to set it all aside while I began making supper. Following a recipe for Hamburger Stew but really making it up as I go along, I got out Madame IP. Of course! That is the way I’ll try anything once and since it is a cloudy day, why not cook inside. I browned the ground beef with onions in olive oil first. Then I added mushrooms, beef broth, spices, mixed veggies and finally small potatoes. I set the timer for 10 minutes and go from there. Bill, my guinea pig again for supper.

The slow process of smushing
He was sitting in his chair reading his Stuart Woods novel and I’m sure he couldn’t wait to see what I’ve come up with tonight. Ha ha, I’m doubting that very much but it sounds good. After supper, I will finish the jelly and fill 2 or 3 more jars for the fridge. Moving on, within 20 minutes of starting the stew, I was dishing it up. I toasted our dark rye toast and with butter, this was an absolutely wonderful meal! Even if I do say so myself. Madame IP does it again!

This was yummy and I'll make it again
We cleaned up dishes and I finished my jelly. Bill couldn’t believe that after 6 ½ cups of cherries, I only got 2 sealer jars of the preserve. I wasn’t expecting any more but was just pleased to have more of the tasty treat. These jars are bigger than the first ones so hopefully it will last us through much of the winter. Doing the final stage of boiling the filled jars makes me the most anxious. It will determine if I did everything right and whether the jelly will set.

Looks like I've got a dahlia ready to pop
(and beside it in the pot, an oak tree ready to croak)
When it was finished processing, I removed the jars to sit and cool for 24 hours. Tomorrow, we’ll find out! The rest of the evening was just relaxing together with our books and the tv. My book isn’t turning out quite the way I expected, not like the movie in so many ways so a bit of a disappointment. Sometimes that works the other way around, with the book being better but when the movie is a favourite – good luck with the book living up to those standards.

And I thought I'd share a picture of Clemson a few years ago at
one of Bill's flying events
This was a busy but good day. I hope yours was too. Thank you for your visit today!


  1. I wish we had some of your weather. It has been so hot this past week that you just have almost stay in...and I hate that. But is Sept 1st so we have hope.

    1. It is cooling off quickly here, after tomorrow we are looking at low 60's and that is too cool, too soon.

  2. It has been cooling down but still some decent weather yet, we have the itch too with only 45 days left with only 45 days to. Enjoy your jelly's.

    1. Yes, lovely days but cooler nights. Cool weather is coming this week and we don't want that yet! LOL

  3. I used to make jelly by the case. My favorite was apricot jam. Those cone strainers are the best. I actually have my grandmothers, along with the wooden masher. Unfortunately, jam is off my menu for the time being. I bet yours tastes wonderful!!! Love the picture of Clemson.

    1. I know, with jam you need bread. Just can't win! I found the cone at a second hand store a few years back. Donna has Mom's strainer like that. I think jelly bags are the way to go so I get more out of the cherries.
      Clemson deserved to squeeze in this post. :)

  4. Clemson seems to be saying, "come on and sit Mom, the show is about to start!" Cute photo.

    What sort of berries does your sister have? Mom made jelly and jam out of just about every berry, pincherry, chokecherry, Saskatoon berries, raspberry and so on. Unless they aren't fit for human consumption, she may be able to make another kind. :)

    1. they seem to be called Buckthorn and the writeup said they weren't recommended for eating. We were both going to Google it again because they were plentiful. :)