28 July 2008

More About Jam and Butterfly Gardening

It is 100-degrees every day now so all the time in the yard is before lunch. After lunch, time in the kitchen keeps me having great fun.
Every day several small apples fall out of the tree and I pick them up. I wondered what to do with them and found an answer. A book about preserving suggested that you can make pectin from them.

This beautiful volume is called A Passion for Preserves by Frederica Langeland. The photographer, Bill Milne, is skilled at tempting readers to recreate the products he illustrated. This link will take you to the Amazon site where copies of the book are 78-cents and up. At Amazon, the customer complaints are true - the ingredient list does not always match the recipe, the recipes are in pounds of fruit and they are not the quick and easy type.

It's not too difficult, though, to make your own pectin if cooking is your hobby. After cooking the apples in water, the juice is drained off overnight.
Next, the resulting liquid is cooked with sugar to become a sort of a candy-like substance that is used to make jam.

Another interesting recipe from the same book that I tried, is to use the skins and pits from canning peaches to make peach vinegar. Practically cost free and worth a try. As you are peeling the peaches you put the peels and pits into a jar and then cover them with cider vinegar.

RAISING BUTTERFLIES The bed we planted with fennel for the butterflies to raise their babies is beginning to show activity. This swallowtail is inside the center stems of the plant laying eggs.

Some caterpillars are growing large and the birds are finding them to eat. So today, I put a little netting over the fennel plants that had several caterpillars on them.
A big thrill today was finding a Swallowtail chrysalis for the first time. Of all the adults and larva, this is the first time we have had a chance to see the stage in between.

What's happening in your kitchen and garden?

1 comment:

Bobbi said...

I've been making small batches of apple sauce with the apples that have been falling from the trees. Tedious to peel, but well worth the effort.

I love butterflies and I always grow fennel, parsley and milkweed as host plants. Nice photos!