Welcome to Mama Homesteader!

Follow my family in year 3 of our homesteading journey. Along the way we try to answer the question ," What can one small family do to change their lives on little more than 1/10th of an acre?" Let's Find Out!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Canning Apricots

   Another outstanding recipe from Linda J. Amendt's book, " Blue Ribbon Preserves". This is the following recipe I use for canning apricots. These beauties are summer time in a jar!

makes  about 4 pints or 2 quarts

5 lbs firm, unblemished, ripe apricots
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
8 cups cold water
2 tablespoons antioxidant/ascorbic acid crystals (substitute 1/4 cup lemon juice)

Rinse the apricots in cool water and drain well.

In a 4 quart pan, combine sugar and four cups water. Over medium-low heat, heat mixture until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover, and keep syrup hot until needed.

In a large bowl combine the water and crystals/or lemon juice. Combine well.
Cut each apricot in half, remove the pit and drop the fruit into the mixture to prevent browning. If using crystals, do not let the fruit sit in the mixture more than 20 minutes. Remove the halves from the solution and rinse in cool water. Drain well.

Add the apricot halves to the syrup. Over medium-low heat, stirring gently, heat the fruit for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from heat.

Ladle 1/4 cup syrup into a hot prepared jar. Pack the apricots cut side down into the jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle extra syrup as needed.

Remove any trapped air bubbles.  Apply a hot lid and screw ring, and waterbath process. Process pints at 190F to 200F for 20 minutes, quarts for  25 minutes.

                                         I hope you enjoy  these as much as we do!

                                               Cheers!~ Mama Homesteader

Jam Session

  This time of the year kicks off my summer long jam session. Last year, I shared the recipe for Apricot Jam and Apricot Cookie Filling, as well as my recipe for Strawberry Jam. These were a real hit with my Family, and also with those who recieved homemade goody baskets at christmas.

  This year was slightly different. I made the same amount of Apricot jam, but I turned the skins into Apricot butter (by accident)! I also made sure to can some of those little jems for a cold winters day, because my husband dearly loves Apricots. And  I still want to make some cookie filling for his favorite cookies.
  But Instead of store bought strawberries- we took Sarah strawberry picking at Waltz Berry patch in Paris, Ohio. We wanted to keep most of our homegrown strawberries for her to eat fresh. I used the berries we picked for jam (as well as freezing several quarts), which turned out incredibly well this year. I plan on making a second smaller batch with some of our homegrown berries, to use as gifts for grandparents at christmas.

                            Yummy berries from our berry beds!

At the Berry Patch!

While our summer jam session is far from over, I look forward to sharing more jam recipes with you along the way.  The fresh fruit of summer is the best way to chase away a cold winter Day! 

Cheers!~ Mama Homesteader

Sarah And Mr. Bobby

    Although I've been absent from the blog over the last few months, Sarah and I  have had wonderful adventures in our garden. One of my pastimes is looking up gardening ideas on youtube and putting them to use here. I subscribed to a fellow named Bobby (mhpgardener) on youtube, because he was down to earth and shared a lot of helpful information. I never dreamed that it would lead to new friendships for Sarah and I!.
    A little background about Mr. Bobby. This gentleman lives in Virginia, which puts him a zone or two warmer than us up here in Ohio. His plants are already producing TONS of delicious veggies. He gardens on a massive scale, and gives much of his produce to those who need it. He's an all around great guy, and I feel very thankful that he has come into our lives.
     I made the comment on two of his videos, that Sarah loved to "pick" his veggies right off the computer screen and put them in her basket. Low and behold he went out of his way to make a special memory for her. He made a video for her, showing himself picking fresh veggies just for her- then mailed them to her. It was like christmas, and they were prized trophies!
    Sarah considers Mr. Bobby her special friend ,and always asks about him, and wants to watch more videos. Especially the one that "says her." So here I present the store in its entirety, as unfolded on youtube!

                                                 Cheers!~ Mama Homesteader