Bread and Jam

Monday, August 7 2023

We arose this morning to the sound of rain on the roof. We have had intermittent rain this summer, enough to keep the garden going, with extensive watering on our part. This is the first day where the sky is overcast and the rain continues to fall for hours. I am amazed at how enthusastically the plants respond to rain, so much more so than to stored rain water, or municipal water. The world outside my window is lush and green and multicoloured with blooms.

This is a long weekend for many, but not for us, Attila works today. We forgot it was a holiday here, and got ready to trundle off in search of canning jars, only to remember once we were in the car, that all the stores would be closed.

I have planned a busy day today. The low-sodium bread is rising as I write, it is 8:41 a.m. The peaches purchased on Saturday, on sale for $3.44 for three litres, have ripened enough to eat. Last night they provided a lovely bedtime snack, eaten raw, washed and unpeeled. This morning they were part of a bowl of oatmeal, peeled and diced. The plan is that later today they will be peeled, diced, and made into low-sugar jam using Pomona pectin. I am also making a big batch of Potato Corn Chowder, which ends up being the soup of many vegetables. This soup will provide me with lunches for over a week, and ensure that I am eating a lot of vegetables.

Reducing sodium and sugar intake has health benefits, at least for me this has been true. I also watch my cholesterol intake, and avoid products sweetened with glucose/fructose. Lately I’ve been baking my muffins with home milled whole wheat flour, ground flax seed, canola oil, molasses, nuts, dried fruit, and fresh or frozen produce, which lately has been shredded garden zucchini. My muffins have no salt added, although the two teaspoons of baking powder do add sodium, and only 1/4 cup of sweetener is used, currently molasses.

There are caveats to choosing canola oil for baking, but for my particular health issues butter/lard/coconut and other high cholesterol fats are off the table. I don’t like the taste of olive oil in baked goods, so canola oil it is. Coconut oil may be acceptable for people with my health issues, science doesn’t know yet, but studies are underway and I am waiting for the evidence.

There are a lot of of self-declared nutrition experts online, many of them “influencers”. They provide “evidence” of very dubious quality, most of what they present sounds logical, but is not science based… just because you think it does not make it true, just because you read it on the internet does not make it true. They may be right about coconut oil being a good choice, and they may not be right about coconut oil, or canola oil for that matter. There are also numerous claims that lard is good for you if you render it from your own butchered pigs, but there is no science at all regarding this claim. Sometimes these kinds of assertions by self-proclaimed experts pan out to have some foundation in truth, other times not.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

The sun shone this morning, briefly, then the clouds moved in. The day has been hot and muggy, not a good day for sitting out on the porch. Cooler weather is on the way, and it will be wet according the weather people, lots of rain. The garden will like that.

It was a good day to spend in the kitchen. Last night Attila decided to make croutons using the loaf of bread I had baked that day, so I baked another loaf this morning. There were no muffins left, so another batch of Zucchini Chocolate Chip muffins were baked.

My last project of the day was making another batch of peach jam, and canning it. The peaches peeled easily after being immersed in boiling water for 30 seconds, and they were freestone, so it was easy to remove the pit and dice them for the jam pot. Using the Pomona pectin again, it is setting every time, which is a relief. Traditional pectins from the grocery store have been hit and miss over the past years, some jams jelled, some didn’t. The jams and jellies that do not set make a wonderful topping for ice cream!

Last week the weather was lovely, and the windows were open. The house got a little bit warm during canning or baking projects, so a fan made things more comfortable… for me. However, Ginger had no appreciation for the lovely breezes provided by the fan. His verbal protests met with no satisfactory response, so he abandoned the living area to sleep on the floor in the hall, where air currents were relatively undisturbed. Today the fans are silent and still, he returned to the living area, he is sleeping now on the back of the sofa.

The last of the hamburger buns were consumed at dinner, with homemade sausage patties. More buns need to be baked, a project for tomorrow. There are three litres of peaches left, enough for a third batch of peach jam, perhaps a project for tomorrow.

I am tired after being on my feet almost all day. It is a good sort of tired, as it is accompanied by a sense of accomplishment, and the knowledge that there is good food to eat at our house. If we don’t cook from scratch, we don’t eat.



Updated on Tue, Aug 8 at 6:15 PM
Wind 18 NW km/h
Humidity 78 %
Visibility 23 km
Sunrise 6:02 AM
Wind gust 27 km/h
Pressure 100.3 kPa
Ceiling 800 m
Sunset 8:23 PM


“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
Douglas Adams
1952 – 2001

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Joan Lansberry

It is a good feeling to know one has a house filled with good food! (We went grocery shopping yesterday, nice to have the fresh leafy greens again instead of just frozen or canned veggies.)


Your stores are closed on the civic holiday? We haven’t had that for several years. We went shopping at the big box grocery store that day and the Walmart next door was busy too.