Tag Archives: jelly

Queen Anne’s Lace and Feral Apple Jelly

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I feel my best when I’m outside, among the trees, in a meadow, or beside a stream. Where I can see the sun shining, feel the wind blowing, and hear the birds singing.

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Add some wild edibles or medicinal plants to harvest and I’m in heaven.

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Yesterday we picked Queen Anne’s Lace, also known as wild carrot, latin name: Daucus carota.

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There was a wild apple tree along the edge of the field and we picked a few that were within our reach.

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I pulled out my grandfather’s Kabar and sliced one for us to eat right there beneath the tree. I can still see him doing this, removing the knife from his pocket whenever the need arose and peeling the blade out. Preparedness goes a long way in this life.

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Once home, we placed the flower heads out to let the critters wander away and then steeped the blossoms in boiled water.

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We chopped the little apples into chunks and placed them in water to boil.

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We combined the juice and the wild carrot tea, added some sugar and reluctantly, some pectin and our yield is 6 half pints of Queen Anne’s Lace and wild apple jelly.

And we’ll think of those fragrant apples warming in the sun and the field of seemingly endless white blossoms when we slather this jelly on toast or biscuits.

Get outside and find something wild.

 

 

 

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Wild Grape Jelly

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Autumn is here.

That means wild grapes are ripening.

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Vitis labrusca (fox grape) grows all over New England. The fruit is large and sweet, perfect for making jelly. Wild grapes contain polyphenols and antioxidants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and limit inflammation.

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After a morning of foraging, we came home with about 4 cups of wild grapes, a large bowl of autumn olive berries and some beautiful acorns we found with the cap still attached, which we plan to do crafts with.

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To make the jelly, we first have to crush the fruit with a potato masher. The pulp simmers in a 1/4 cup of water for about 15 minutes.

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After straining out the pulp and letting the juice sit overnight, sugar is added and the mixture is boiled until it becomes thick. It’s then poured into mason jars and refrigerated.

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Wild Grape Jelly 

from Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons

  • 4 cups wild grapes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Wash and stem the fruit. Place in a saucepan and crush with a potato masher.  Add water, cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Strain out the juice and discard the pulp and seeds.

Let the juice sit overnight to let the tartrate crystallize and settle to the bottom of the container or cling to the sides. If it crystallizes in the jelly, it will make it gritty.

Carefully pour off the juice into a measuring glass. Use an equal amount of sugar. (If you have 1 1/2 cups of juice, add 1 1/2 cups of sugar.) Bring to a rapid boil and boil until it is thickened. When you pull the spoon out, a few drops of jelly will drip and the final drip will hang off the spoon, that’s when you have yourself jelly. Pour into mason jars and seal.


PB & J Bars

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My little boy is ten years old already. How’d that happen?

There was a time when all he would eat for lunch was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Those days are over but so are the endless hours of simply watching him sleep, cooing over his little toes and wiping his chin and tiny hands clean.

Each stage of life is a blessing, even those terrible twos. I look back and laugh at what it must have looked like to see me as a young woman walking down the street, holding a flailing two year old, clearly upset because he didn’t want to leave the playground.

He has grown into a thoughtful, kind and practical kid. He amazes me with his knowledge of all things deep sea. “Did you know that at 9,000 feet, the pressure is so great it would be like wearing a school bus for a hat.”

These PB & J Bars can be enjoyed by all ages, from two to ninety-two.

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PB & J Bars

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 inch pan with parchment or aluminum foil and grease the bottom. This will make it easier to remove and cut your bars after they have baked.

Cream butter and peanut butter with a handheld mixer. Add brown sugar and cream until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until combined.

In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt until incorporated.

Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture a little at a time until crumbly.

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Pour 3/4 of the mixture into the prepared pan and press down with your fingers. Pour jelly over this layer and crumble remaining batter over top.

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Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Remove aluminum foil or parchment and cut into bars.

Enjoy with a tall glass of milk :)

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PB & J Oatmeal

We are yearning to get back to basics. To live a simpler life. To live for a living. Subsist.

Less stuff. Less burden. Less stress. Less distraction. (buy this, watch this, you’ll be awesome if you have this, people will love you if you give them this)

PB & J Oatmeal is fast food. It’s simple yet healthy.

Old fashioned oats. Water. A splash of vanilla extract. A tablespoon of peanut butter and a tablespoon of your favorite jelly or jam. That’s all folks. That’s all you need to make this delicious and simple breakfast staple.

 Serves 1

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon jelly or jam (I used strawberry preserves)

Mix oats and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Let come to a boil and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl. Add vanilla and stir. Top with peanut butter and jelly. Enjoy.