Tuesday, July 14, 2009

At Least the Lavender's Prolific

Rhone showed me the blackberry patch he and daddy discovered yesterday. These were the directions: "It's right over here, right by where Daddy was peeing."

Rhone: "Mom, can we pick some blackberries right now?"
Me: "No, not right now."
Rhone: "But why not?"
Me: "Um, because we don't have any buckets."
Rhone: "But we can use our mouthes* as buckets!"

*In Rhone's language, "mouths" is a two-syllable word: "mouth-es."

I passed on those blackberries, but picked two more quarts of raspberries today. There were a lot that were not quite ripe. I'll pick again Thursday.

Why, in the light of blackberries and blueberries, do we not have any redberries? There are plenty to choose from.

Made more jam today; moved to larger size jars and made five pints. Why less than last time, even though I started with the exact same amount of berries? Who knows. These are the mysteries my life has boiled down to.

Oooh, boiled down. Maybe I cooked it longer. Hmmm.

I want to experiment with jam sweetened with honey instead of sugar. It'd be cool to do an all-Vashon jam. Speaking of that, I'm wondering about keeping bees. Should talk to Matt. Just a few more creatures to add to the menagerie.

I've been using Pomona Pectin to thicken the jam and I like the results. It's made with citrus pectin, and partially activated by calcium powder, which is included. For some reason this means you can use less sugar and/or different kinds of sweeteners--you can even use Splenda (gross). So honey would work. I'm interested in the cost difference between local honey and sugar, and is that worth it? May make another small batch of jam tonight to experiment. Maybe I'll add some lavender, it's prolific and needs to be harvested now anyway.

Right now, gotta get dinner on the table. I traded Noelani: she doesn't have to scoop the dog poop today if she'd watch the kids until dinnertime. So I'm dragging it out, but it smells done. Shit, gotta go.

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