Thursday, August 16, 2012

In a Jam

It's hard to see in the picture below but that is a Cicada.  I HATE cicadas.  I didn't always hate them.  Their sounds always remind me of summer nights, but over the course of the last few days I've come to believe they're out to get me.

Or maybe I'm subconsciously out to get them.

I've gone on 3 walks over the last three days.  Each time I've been happily walking along when suddenly, out of nowhere, I hear a scary, crazy-loud, buzzing sound.  It turns out I have stepped on the wing/leg/whatever of a cicada THREE times now.  It freaks them out (understandably) which in turn freaks me out.  That fella' above is NOT one I've stepped on.  No, those took off in a fit.  That was a fourth one that I saw (and I'm pretty certain it's dead...Some probably stepped on it).  

I suppose I AM out on a walk, getting some exercise, so an elevated heart rate isn't necessarily a bad thing, but seriously...These guys need to start napping in the grass and NOT on the sidewalk. :)

OK, on to my foodie adventure yesterday....

Since the Hub's has some time off this week we decided to go run some errands around town.  While out and about we passed the Old Farmer's Market Express and since I can bat-my-eyes-real-pretty the Hubs agreed to stop.  There were 2 boxes of over-ripened fruit that I was trying to decide between when the Hubs said, "They're only $3.  Let's just get both."  Plus some Blueberries for $1.

Once home I looked at the massive amount of fruit and tried to decide what to do with it.

Step one was to puree the lemons and pour them into ice cube trays for future use.  If you don't like pulp you can strain it after blending.  I don't mind it and it's less clean up so I leave the pulp in. :)

Yeah, my freezer is a mess.  That's one of my future "projects".

After I had the lemons pureed and the limes separated into a different pile, I cleaned all the fruit in a water/vinegar bath.   I do this ESPECIALLY with old want to be sure there's no creepy mold or anything on it!

Then I got to work on making a BLUEBERRY PEACH jam. :)

I started trying to measure it out but there were still 4 peaches to be cut when I took this pic:

Into a pot when all the peaches, blueberries and a drizzle of Maple Syrup.  

I brought the fruit to a low boil....

and then simmered until the fruit was really soft and considerably juicy.

My immersion blender smoothed out all the fruit & then I added about 5T of Chia Seeds.  

Then I put it on low and let it simmer a while longer (ok - it took WAY longer than I expected.  Probably 60 minutes) until it thickened.  I had to continually stir it too....  Otherwise the thicker almost-jam would "pop" and make a mess...  Not that I let that happen. :)

Side Note:  Has anyone seen/used those spider leg looking gadgets that you can put in a pan and they stir for you?  After yesterday I'm on the look out for one.  I wonder if it actually works?

Once it thickened I took it off the heat and let it cool a bit, then poured it into some jars.  Two went into the freezer and one into the fridge. 


White the Blueberry Peach was simmering I got impatient and decided cooking jam wasn't going to happen again that day.  So into my Ninja blender went the 2 mangoes & some apple then I blended until smooth.  I added some Chia Seeds and called it a day!


And since that one took me all of five minutes I made another one... Plum & Nectarine:

I think we should be set now for at least a few weeks! lol!!

Although I do still have a pile of Kiwi's and some more Nectarines... a Kiwi Nectarine jam doesn't sound good to me though.  I'm thinking they may just get purred and frozen into cubes for future smoothies. :)

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