Chocolate Cherry Jelly… not exactly!

Have you ever had someone knock on your door and run away?

Apparently the Conservative party of Canada considers this technique a great way to make friends and influence people. When the candidate knocked on my door, I was in the kitchen. I walked ten feet from the kitchen to the front door, 4 seconds tops, opened it, and there was his back, as he headed off at speed, half way to the road. Obviously our little house was not someplace he wanted to make actual eye contact.

But I caught him, and he smiled, and he suffered through the routine question, “do you have any questions?” Of course I did, and he answered every one of them with a pat statement that didn’t address my question. I let him do that, because really, I knew, and he knew, that he didn’t give one %$#^ what I thought about anything. He ended by asking me who I was going to vote for. Undecided, I said. Then he asked me who Attila would vote for. Undecided, I said. He typed that into his cell phone. If we are lucky, that will mean that there will be no more knocks on my front door from the Conservative party representatives. What a total waste of everyone’s time. If we are not lucky, it could mean that we will be treated with even less consideration if this party comes into power.

Today I had 4 pounds of zucchini from the garden to preserve. They were collected over the last four days, so just as fresh as anything I could purchase from a retail establishment. I decided to make another batch of Organic Low-Sodium Zucchini Relish. I had canned this recipe twice already, but only half batches, because both times I only had 2 pounds of zucchini.

This time I could can a full recipe of the Relish. I made a mistake that cost me some time. When making a half batch, 2 pounds of the zucchini were chopped to perfection in the food processor. I knew better, but took the lazy route and attempted to process 4 pounds of zucchini in the food processor. I should have chopped it in two batches. The result was that some of the zucchini was chopped to mush, and some of the zucchini was almost whole slices. I had to fish the large pieces of zucchini out of the cooking pot, and chop them up by hand. The other change I made to my recipe was to add two tablespoons of Clearjel, which should make the relish less runny. I made 5 1/2 500-ml jars of Relish. I processed them in the Steam Canner, all the jars sealed.
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There is a little story to tell before I describe my second canning project for the day. Attila and I took a little jaunt to a bulk food supply company, to purchase our wheat berries at a more reasonable price (half price for the same product). While we were there we found other interesting things to buy. We purchased dried beans, popping corn, spices, dried fruit, and a 1-litre bottle of Black Creek Cherry Juice. It was a great little outing for us.

The Cherry Juice was a particularly wonderful find, as it is not available near where we live, at such a reasonable price. So this afternoon I canned 7 250-ml jars of Chocolate Cherry Jelly, but really it is Topping. I deliberately did not cook the “jelly” as long as was needed to reach the gel stage, which left the mixture somewhat runny, a topping. When I used the Sweet Cherries we purchased just a little while ago, I made Chocolate Cherry Jam, and it has become my favourite way to eat chocolate. It is wonderful on vanilla ice cream, and sinfully good on chocolate ice cream.

I’ve been canning in dribs and drabs this spring and summer, a few jars of this and a few jars of that. It adds up, fast. So far I’ve canned over 70 jars of food, and my original 500 ml jars are all full. I’ve had to buy another few boxes of jars! The canning season hasn’t even begun in earnest in my part of the world.

Tonight Attila brought in about 4 quarts of Roma tomatoes, which went directly into the freezer for canning later. When I think I have enough to can 7 1-litre jars, then I’ll process them.

From mid-June until into October our little house is all bustle. Canners, canning pots, jars, canning equipment, juice making equipment, dehydrating equipment, it all takes up lots of space. I think in the past I might have regarded the space here as extremely cluttered. Now it looks resplendent with promise to me, symbols of prosperity everywhere I look.

Attila is taking vacation days from time to time. We have decided that since Tank is in no condition to pull Iris the trailer, trips away are not feasible. So vacation days are used for things like our excursion for wheat berries, visiting the Camp, and gardening, mostly gardening. We haven’t had very good luck when it comes to taking a week vacation, the few we’ve had have been spectacular failures, with unpleasant circumstances that were beyond our control. So the occasional day off is what we will be doing, staycation, gardencation, renocation, shopcation… variety is the spice of life.

I have to say that the flowers in the garden here at Mist Cottage, are a source of joy. From my chair on the porch I see Dianthus, Gladiola, Chamomile, Tomato Blossoms, Echinacea, Nasturtium, Scarlet Runner Beans, and Cosmos, all in full bloom. A riot of colour, haphazardly placed and beautiful.

Worldly

Weather

24°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Monday 12 August 2019
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.8°C
Dew point: 18.9°C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: SW 15 km/h
Humidex: 30
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.”
Voltaire
1694 – 1778

Isn’t is wonderful that this is virtually impossible!

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7 Responses to Chocolate Cherry Jelly… not exactly!

  1. Bex says:

    Well, this year Paul got me 2 tomato plants and they are on the side deck. I’ve kept them watered but all I have gotten out of those 2 whole plants are 3 tomatoes which are still green, except for one which is slightly pale orange now. 3 tomatoes is all I got. Stark difference to your agricultural success story!

  2. Manure! Bex, the difference for us is manure, and dried, powdered egg shells, these two items gave us incredible tomatoes. I had a deck garden when we lived at the country house, and it was as you describe, more pots of plants than actual tomatoes. That is very disappointing! I might try container gardening again, now that I am more experienced, and I will be mixing in a good portion of manure into the soil of the pots.

    Attila is the real gardener here, not me so much. My raised beds did very well this spring, kept me in spinach and beets for over a month, and the beef steak tomatoes, well, I think one of them might actually be as big as my head, if the keep growing the way they have been!

  3. I planted nasturtium seeds for the first time this spring. They are in one of those big half-barrels. But there are hardly any flowers; mostly leaves. The leaves are lovely, but I wonder why so few blooms. Do you know? Yes, I did fertilize a couple times with Miracle Gro. -Kate

  4. Kate, I love the leaves too! They are edible, as are the blooms, peppery in taste. I don’t know why there would only be a few blooms. I put a bit of manure around the plant on the ground, and a sprinking of pulverized egg shell, but I don’t know that that facilitated blooming. Ours bloom prolifically. They did last year too, when we planted them beside the composter, it seems they love rich soil.

  5. Teri says:

    Hi there! We are back from the cottage. Had a very relaxing trip.

    While there, DH replaced our deck that was rotting with composite decking. Considering the moisture from the lake, we thought it was necessary so we wouldn’t have to do it again in our lifetimes.

    I was wondering how you liked your chocolate cherry jam. I looked at the recipe link you offered and it sounded so good, though using cocoa powder surprised me some. But sou d’s like you still find it quite chocolatey.

    I might have found a reason to brave getting an InstaPot: it makes shredded pork in an hour and a half. That’s half the time. Between soups and stews plus shredded pork, I just might need to get one.

    Oh, and I asked for and got a veggie spiralizer for my birthday. Now I need to remember to use it for the next zucchini we buy.

  6. Teri says:

    Drat the new auto correct. What a lovely way to spell “sounds”. *grumble grumble*

  7. Teri, glad to hear you had such a relaxing, and productive trip! The weather has been lovely for the most part, but there were a few days with some pretty torrential rain. Decks made from composite materials are, well, a disappointment at best. I bet you will enjoy your new deck!
    We love the Chocolate Cherry Jam, it is going to be my preferred way to enjoy chocolate from now on!
    I haven’t tried shredded pork, but I read about doing it in an Instant Pot, it sounds delicious. I think you will really like it, and find a lot of things to do with it, that are easier. The veggie spiralizer sounds interesting, gotta do some poking around and look at those!

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