Monday, June 28, 2010

Rose Petal Jam

I apologize for how long it's taken for me to post this recipe! I won't be able to put together a tutorial with photos and all like I wanted to. You see the rose petals I was planning to use froze in my fridge and there aren't any left outside since these were wild roses. So I'm going to just have to go through it step by step without the pictures. (the photo above is the only one I took while making the jam the first time) The recipe I used for it is from The Encyclopedia of Country Living, (which by the way is a fantastic book, I have spent hours upon hours pouring over it)and it felt rather vague. So I'm not going to change it at all, simply expand it and give you more direction of what to do and what to look for. So here it goes!
What you'll need: no more than a quarter pound of rose petals, boiling water, sugar, honey, and lemon juice. For supplies you'll need a medium/smallish sauce pan, a strainer, a few bowls, and about four pint sized canning jars. Also the canning supplies.
  1. Chop the petals by cutting them into 1/4 inch strips, since the petals are already small you don't need to cut them more than that. You'll need 2 cups, packed in fairly tight.
  2. Put the saucepan on the stove and turn the element to medium high, put in the rose petals and immediately pour 2 cups of already boiling water over them. Simmer and stir for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain out all of the liquid into one of the bowls, what's left in the pan will look really gross, and will be kind of white and rubbery, it's what's left of the rose petals. DON'T throw it out! Put them in the other bowl and pour the liquid (which will be a rather orangy pink) back into the saucepan.
  4. Add 2 3/4 cups of sugar and 3 tablespoons of honey to the liquid and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. It'll turn a pretty darkish pink color and you'll want to stir fairly often, but you don't have to the whole time.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and the white-rubbery-ex-rose petals. Break the white rubbery stuff apart and stir. Heat it back up till it's simmering, and let it simmer, still uncovered, for another 30 minutes. You'll want to stir most of the time for this part. The rose petals will go clear and almost "dissolve" as the recipe said, but not entirely, they'll still be there, adding texture to the jam.
  6. Have the jars sterile and ready and follow this tutorial for the rest of the process.
I was amazed with how easy this jam was to make, since there's no pectin and it never has to boil you don't have to worry about it boiling over or anything like that. So the whole process goes along very smoothly. Do to lack of knowledge, I'm going to wait to post a tutorial for the blueberry jam, here's a recipe for an any-berry jam that you could try. I haven't used it before, but what the writer says matches up with what I do know. I hope this works for you and is helpful, if you have any questions or notice anything I left out please let me know.
best wishes,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


taken in Denali State Park
If you didn't already know, I live in Alaska. I was born here, raised here, and I'll probably stay here(aside from travels) unless something unexpected calls me elsewhere. Because I love it. It's so beautiful here and so void of crowds, but so full of the wealth and beauty of nature. I'm always astounded when people come here and say they hate it. I just can't help but think "are you blind?" But then, I suppose everyone has different tastes, and there aren't as many resources here as there are in L.A. obviously. Because this is Alaska, and we like it that way.Taken at Clam Gulch
So, I was going to tell you all about my trip here, in one post, but looking though my pictures I took I realized that would be much to huge of a project. For me to make and for you to read. I also realized I don't want to be limited to just my trip, really I just want to tell you about Alaska and how much I love it. You won't mind that will you?
Taken at Clam Gulch
This photo and the one before it were taken at the beach where we went clamming, which was really fun by the way, thanks for all of your well wishes! It was my first time to do so and I wasn't wearing gloves so my fingers got extremely cut up(they were razor clams), definitely one of those live and learn experiences. But I did love being at the sea!Taken in Homer
Oh, and did I mention I love the sea? *smile. I LOVE it. The wind, the sound, the smell, the sight, I always knew I loved it, but this short little trip made me realize just HOW MUCH I love it. Okay, I'll stop now, but let me just say that Homer is beautiful. We got to go there for half a day and now I really want to see if I can get a job there some summer in the future. Just imagine it, working in a small coastal town in Alaska, able to go down to the beach every day for lunch or to walk on at night.
Taken at the Russian River
I love how there are so many different parts to Alaska, we have rain forest and desert. There are waterfalls, glaciers, tundra, and you can drive through all of it in one day. On our way back home, in between Anchorage and Clam Gulch we went on a hike to see a huge waterfall that leads into the Russian River. The salmon were running, so I got to see a few working their way up the waterfall!
Taken in Homer
It was a really good trip, I'd never seen those parts of Alaska before(in fact I haven't seen most of it) so it was all new to me. There will be more of the trip coming, probably spread out over the rest of the summer, so I'm rather excited about that. Also, there will be a rose petal jam tutorial, I'm really hoping it will be soon, but those sort of promises don't always work out so well when coming from me. But it will happen, don't worry!
so with drift wood and irises,

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I'm back! The sea was wonderful, such a fun and beautiful trip which you'll see lots of soon. But first I must show you my jam. You all must know how unavoidably proud of myself I am that I actually have done a few things on my summer list. You see, I think this is the first time that's ever happened!
So. my jam. We'll start out with blueberry. The blueberries used here are from last year's supply. We got so many that after eating and baking with them for six people and making a nice batch of jam we still have one and a half big containers in our freezer almost a year later. Oh gosh, I totally forgot where I was going with that. Anyway, I made blueberry jam and it turned out great(I really love these plain little pint-size mason jars, aren't they adorable?). It was my first time ever making jam all by myself, I'm just so glad it worked!
This one is my favorite. Rose petal jam, it's a really interesting recipe and I love how it turned out. I was a bit worried while making it because it didn't call for any pectin,(if you don't already know, that's what makes the jam jell) but it worked out fine, it never jelled as strongly as the blueberry jam did, but it's a perfect texture for rose petals, I think.
I'm wondering if anyone would like me to post the recipe or even to a tutorial, I might do it anyway, just to give it a try. But I'd love to hear if your interested or not. I hope you're all having a delightful summer, getting things done and just enjoying the wonders of nature. I'll be back soon with clamming delights and woes, and the beauty of Alaska!
with jasmine tea and irises,
PS: I'm back to justly responding to comments now! Thank you so much for your patience with me being in and out for so long. I truly appreciate it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

aquired treasures

Well, it's taken me much longer to post this than I thought it would. But at least I'm here. So, first up is my garage sale loot. Every year there's this huge sale in support of one of my church's missionaries and I always find something old and awesome! And this year was no exception.
An apron, is it not beautiful? It makes me want to find some rustic kitchen and bake tarts.
Or little cakes, these little pans are so adorable, my favorite thing about them is how they're unusual animals. A bunny, a squirrel, a duck, and a horse.Okay, I've got to stop saying I love everything I got. BUT I do love this lamp, it needs a short little candle put in it and then I'm ready for any loss of electricity or opportunity to time travel.
Yarn and thread, a knitter can always stand to find more of those.
Now this is exciting, Better Homes and Gardens from 1930 and 1945! The oldest magazines I own now by far. Before it was my 1948 McCalls which I also found at the same garage sale two years ago.
A book of sweet children's stories, from the 80's, but it has cute illustrations and most of the tales I would have picked out myself for a collection.
I've always wanted to get into pottery, not really for art, but to make useful things. I got this though, because it has really good information on clay and all those things that are good to know and have reference to. Hopefully I'll get to use this soon.

Now I NEVER thought I'd willingly buy a chemistry book, for while I enjoyed it more than physics, that isn't saying much at all. The only science that I had fun learning was earth science and botany, everything else was a nightmare. I also hate math, apparently I'm good at it, but the hate of it takes away any satisfaction I might get from that. ANYWAY, all of that is to say that I did buy a chemistry book, but it was merely for the date in the front which is 1897. So yes, I definatly bought it once I saw that. oh goodness, I do make myself laugh.
These really tiny, really pretty vases. They're just perfect for little wild flowers or our lily of the valley.
This was quite the exciting find for me, it's a fisherman's basket! I'm hoping to attach it to my bike some how, just can't wait to bike all over Alaska with it.
Now every Memorial Day Value Village has a 50% off sale, so here's what I got this year: two vintage patterns, this cute brown skirt...
This lovely coat (yes I bought a wool coat at the beginning of summer, yes that's weird, but it was only $5! plus I loved it! how could I say no!?) (actually your all wonderful and would never question give me a hard time about such a per chase), and this great gypsy vest. Also (that I forgot to take pictures of) a fair isle vest, some legwarmers(Clara seems to have forgotten the season again), knee socks, and a lacy pink slip.

Now remember, there was also graduation in all of this, so yeah, I've been getting a lot of stuff lately. My dear friend Kristen got me this tea cup in DC, isn't it beautiful? And one of my favorite teas, Jasmine. If you haven't tried it, please do, it tastes like a fairy drink, especially sweetened with honey. Also not pictured: a gingham apron (that was my great, great, grandma's!), some old money, and a charm bracelet that my grandma got on her graduation.

I've been very busy doing many of the things I mentioned on my last post, I just haven't had time to write about it! But there will be one about it soon, tomorrow morning we're leaving to go clamming. I'll tell you all about it when I get back. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

love to you all, Clara