Thursday, July 25, 2013


Specialty Produce's stone fruit is coming in quickly, and I was so lucky to get a some beautiful peaches to use for jam before I left for the East Coast.  If you haven't made jam before, it's simple, and a great way to make some gifts for later in the year.  If you can follow directions, you can make jam.  The most labor intensive part is peeling the peaches (a serrated peeler is great for this) and then chopping them for the jam.  

You will need 8 cups of peeled, pitted and chopped stone fruit. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice to the fruit.

Bring a large canning pot filled with water to a boil.  I don't have one, so I use a pasta pentola and it works great.  Wash the jars, lids and rings in hot water and dry thoroughly. 
Add one box of pectin, and bring to a rolling boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Boil for 1 minute.
Add 5 cups of sugar (if you decide to do a low sugar or freezer jam, follow the directions on the pectin package)
Bring the jam back to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat, ladle into sterilized jars,
This funnel from Progressive, is perfect for ladling into the jars. Leave about 1/2-inch of space in the jar for expansion.  Place the lids on top and lightly twist on the ring (don't tighten all the way)  Using tongs, place into the boiling water bath.
Time the water bath for 10 minutes, after it returns to a boil.  At the end of the time, remove the jars from the water bath---the lid should flatten once it's taken out of the bath---they tend to make a nice popping sound.  That means they are safely sealed.  Twist the ring tightly, and dry off the jars.  Label and store in a cool, dry place for up to 2 years. These went fast, Dr. C. took some in to work, and I'm saving a few for some special friends.

I'm on the East Coast helping to babysit our granddaughter, so I'll post as I have time.  Wishing you a great day from Connecticut. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Left Foot and True Confessions

As you can see by the photo, my left leg is in a boot, that's because when I was walking home one night in Spello I landed hard on my lefty off a cobblestone.  I was positive it was just a bad sprain, and did the RICE treatment, rest, ice, compression, elevation, and although it was painful I kept on walking. 
When I got home it was still pretty swollen, and sore, so when the Doc X-Rayed it, I'd broken my fibula, that thin leg bone, and I'd been walking on it for 2 weeks!
The good news is, it's been healing on its own, no thanks to me and my knuckle-headed-ness (walking in Rome for 2 days, and walking up and down hills in Spello) and it's actually feeling better being in the boot.  
I keep saying, "color me blond" but that wouldn't even cover how silly I feel for not having gone to the Dr. when my Italian family kept saying they would take me. 
Re-entry has been hard, I miss Spello a lot, and I miss the simple life, simple apartment, our friends and family there, but I'm happy to be home with Dr. C.  Everywhere I look there is something that needs to be done, and one of them is my next book, which I've been working on non-stop this summer, and into the time I've been home.  I'll write more as time allows this summer, till then, enjoy your weekend.