Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Zucchini Galore

I'm sure you'll all be able to relate to the too many zucchini thing.  This year we are no different, as you can see...
I've decided that one family needs only one plant. Or maybe one neighborhood needs only one plant?  I'm amazed by their colossal size.  We found a few yummy recipes.  This one is a hit with Ben and me (from my mom's old Mormon Country Cooking)...
...though the kids prefer things like chocolate zucchini cake or double chocolate zucchini bread from Lion House. Oh, and my friend said she liked Zucchini Chili Nachos. I'm sure there are an endless amount of recipes.  I would LOVE your comments and you can share your favorite way to use zucchini!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Raspberries Galore

When we bought this house we knew we'd also be getting big raspberry patches.  Little did we know how many raspberries could come out of them.
This week, so far, I've picked enough to make 8 batches of raspberry jam (freezer and boiled). That doesn't include those harvested by two sets of neighbors before that.
I got the frozen raspberry jam recipe from my wise neighbor:
  • To 5 c. crushed raspberries add 1 box of MPC pectin and let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Stir 3 1/2 c. sugar plus 1/2 c. corn syrup into berries and cook until "blood" or "bottle" warm. (Just to dissolve sugar. DO NOT BOIL.)
  • Pour into freezer-worthy containers.

The raspberry jam recipe comes from my mom:
  • To 6 c. crushed raspberries plus 2 c. crushed blackberries (or more raspberries) stir in 1 box MPC pectin and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Measure 8 c. sugar in a separate bowl (later you will need to add it all at the same time).
  • Bring mixture to a boil stirring continuously.
  • Add all of the sugar while stirring, to avoiding clumps, and return to a rolling boil.
  • Turn down temperature to maintain a good simmer (I learned the hard way that if it is not rolling then the jam doesn't get cooked good enough).
  • Boil for 8 minutes.
  • Test jam by putting some on a cold dish; if it "sets up" then it is done.
  • Pour into clean jars, wipe jar rims, top with heated canning lids, screw on band hand-tight and turn jars upside down. Leave for ten minutes, then right the jars and let stand. You will hear the lids begin to pop/seal.  (Note: because I don't bathe the jars the jam may not last as long on the shelf, but at my house it never lasts long enough to worry!)

This morning I used the rest of the leftover raspberries in raspberry-blueberry muffins. They turned out fabulous. A good way to spoil the family after all the hard work put into making the jam!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

thursday thoughts

It seems the Pack family has been adjusting well to Blackfoot, Idaho.

Hyrum "loves doing his homework as long as he gets Mommy to bribe him. When he's behind a week the big kahuna-bribe has to come out--extra time on Mommy's iPad! (Can't really take a photo of him playing on my iPad, but you get the picture.)

Ally made me promise not to post this one, but it is so Ally! She must be feeling comfortable to come out with her creative drawings like this one.

And Benji, what more can I say! (He loves playing Monopoly. He got Monopoly Deal for his Christmas present and loves it too.)

Daddy captured the essence of our holidays with this picture. We have become TV-holics where Psych, Once Upon a Time, Studio C or Sue Thomas FB-eye are involved. Before you get hot and bothered let me just tell you that the cold here will drive you to do things like this. ;)

I must say that this was another vision of our holidays as well. See, the TV didn't swallow us up entirely....

We've loved having so much time together as a family, even on a day to day basis. We appreciate Ben's sacrifice and love the blessings that have come with having each other through this change. We miss our friends and family but have so enjoyed not being "distracted" by an overly busy, friendly schedule.

Here's to many more family days!