I had to take a break from packing and painting and weed killing because some things…like apricots, just won’t wait. At the risk of losing them all, I decided to just drop everything and make some jam in my cute little kitchen.
I wasn’t positive that I even had everything that I needed because I’m still living in one house while working on the other, and I don’t have my kitchen totally set up yet.
As it turns out, I found what I needed. I also found a very simple recipe without pectin, that–short of burning the whole pot to a crisp–promised to be pretty much fool-proof. My kind of recipe.
So, you start with 8 cups of washed, pitted, and chopped apricots.
Mush them around a bit with a potato masher. You don’t have to go crazy with this part–just smash them enough that you release a fair amount of the natural juices.
Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice. I used bottled juice–but if you have fresh lemons, you can use them. Either way should be fine.
Now add 6 cups of sugar to a nice, deep sauce pan. Stir in the apricots and mix it well.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture reaches a rolling boil, continue cooking for about 30 minutes. Keep checking on it and stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the pan and scorch.
When it starts getting really foamy, I always add about a teaspoon and a half of butter–which usually calms it all down. You don’t have to do that–it’s just what I do.
Now I should have a lovely picture of pouring the beautiful jam into the jars, but since I was alone in the house, taking pictures of that process seemed like a good way to land in the emergency room. SO…
you’ll have to believe me when I tell you that I poured the jam in the hot, clean jars and processed them in the boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
Here’s my proof. That and…
Perfect Apricot Jam–Without Pectin
Serves: 5 pints
8 cups chopped apricots
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 cups sugar
5 pint jars, lids and rings
Mash the apricots lightly.
Add lemon juice and sugar.
Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Once it reaches a rolling boil, continue boiling for about 30 minutes.
This year, our parade “stake-out” blankets survived a small thunderstorm AND a gigantic windstorm. We thought we’d find our stuff somewhere in Fargo, North Dakota–but no. It all miraculously stayed put. Good blankets.
Miss Chompy and I hung out, eating Twizzlers while everyone else roamed around in the booths. Twizzlers won…for a while…
then we joined the crowd and strolled around the concession booths…
where apparently, somebody was blowing bubbles.
The girlie even got to bring home a little brown frog. I know. Random. But she loved it.
I was tempted to go buy dinner at the big covered wagon, but then I had to wonder if they were serving chuck wagon type food. I ended up being too chicken to even go see because I’m pretty sure pioneer food was nasty. And hey, I’m just not that brave.
Magoo had had it before we could even decide what food to get. Don’t you wish you were a baby sometimes? Looks good to me.
Then everyone gathered for the parade…our favorite, silly little thing.
It always starts off with the police doing motorcycle tricks.
Incredibly loud tricks.
Then the military comes with the American flag. Luckily, people still stand and put their hand over their heart. I was so glad.
These beauty queens were totally waiving at the Bald Kid like they knew him. He was baffled.
Pretty cute Rapunzel float…
and some creepy tiger guys with no faces.
Then came this fuchsia poodle. I couldn’t tell how I felt about it because I’ve been looking for non-toxic nail polish and natural mascara and here comes this poor neon colored doggy. I kinda felt sorry for her.
Magoo dancing to the band’s music. This kid’s got music in him deep down that’s coming out someday–mark my word.
Cute little fireman clown that miraculously didn’t scared the kids. He was a gentle, quiet sort of clown guy.
Of much more concern was this odd little dude. I couldn’t tell what his deal was but he just stopped right in front of us and started dancing in his…flag skirt…thingy.
And this guy made us laugh because he was just sitting on the flatbed of a pick-up truck playing his drums. Just like that. I wondered what his parade entry said…”guy sitting on a trailer playing drums.” Okey dokey.
Check out this fish man. He was cool pulling levers and strings to make the fish’s mouth and fins move.
Hey, I know those guys!
The kids favorite doggy characters throwing out candy.
Mmmmm…the Menchie’s guy makes me hungry.
And catch these guys laying in the road letting the bike riders jump over them. Take one guess at one thing I would never let somebody do. Crazy!
The last bunch were my very favorite bagpipe guys! I’m in love with everyone of them. Where is that Scottish farmer I’ve been looking for anyway?
There was a little kiddie fair put on by PartyLand the other day. Miss Chomp and Magoo were sooo excited to go, and me? Well, I’m usually up for an adventure. But this time, I decided to shake it up and bit and NOT go out to the actual fair grounds. Oh, the kids and their momma went in alright, but I wanted to stay in the nice warm car.
After all, I had my Lemon/Peppermint water…
a stack of magazines and a good book…
and even my phone…just in case. Yeah, I was ready for the long haul alright.
Then I looked out my car window and realized that there were some pretty things going on all around me–most of them within arms reach.
I’m pretty sure after soaking in all that lovliness–I fell asleep and dreamed of a pretty little brook…