Apricot Freezer Jam

The great thing about freezer Jam is that you do not have to stand over a hot stove continually stiring or put the bottles into a canner.

Freezer jam is as easy as it gets.

Yes it takes time, but if you have a great friend to do it with then you can have a fantastic time.

This was also the first time my friend Alicia had ever made jam, so this was a great place to start learning.

The first thing we did was seperate our apricots.  The ones that looked good we put into a strainer to rinse.  The ones that may of had some blemishes, not quite ripe enough or tough skin we put in the steam juicer.

Thank you to my neighbor G for loaning me her steam juicer.  This thing is so easy and it is a great way to use the apricots that have some issues.  The water in the bottom boiles and steams the fruit in the top.  The fruit opens its pores from the steam and drops juice into the middle where the spigot comes out.  You let it sit there for around an hour while you do other things in the kitchen.  I did sprinkle a cup of sugar over the apricots to add some sweetness.

You then squeeze the clamp on the spigot and fill your jars.  We got three jars per batch and we did 2 batches.  It also makes the house smell great, like summer.  I like to mix a jar with a bottle of Sprite for a refreshing beverage.  My neighbor says she mixes it with her OJ to make it last longer, that is a great idea too!

While the apricots were steaming we got to work on the jam.  I referenced this post to help us along.

-washed the apricots -pitted the apricots – smashed the apricots with potato smasher (is that the real name of that thing?)

-We each got a bowl and combined these ingredients

*3 cups of smashed apricots

*4 cups of sugar

*1 cup of corn syrup (I heard it keeps the jam from crystalizing in the freezer)

*2 T of lemon juice

* We then added the box of Pectin and stirred on and off for 30 min.

Then into the jars.


It was a successful morning of jam and nectar.  Thank you Alicia for being my partner and conversation buddy!

If you are interested in the labels I used, go here.

Out Picking…

APRICOTS!

When we moved into our house we were lucky enough to have a cherry and apricot tree already planted and giving fruit.

For the past 2 years we have not gotten any cherries because of late frost, but the apricots never seem to disappoint.

So I grabbed a ladder from our neighbors(can you believe after 4 years of owning a home we still do not own a ladder?  We just have such nice neighbors who are always willing to loan us one.) and set to work.

I sorted the apricots right when I picked them off the tree.  the ones with large blemishes or that had been half eaten my birds went straight into the trash can.  The good looking ones went into the white bucket and the perfect large juicy ones went into the white bowl to put in the kitchen to eat.

Pilot even enjoyed a few.

I had fun being up in the tree, on a cool day, with a nice breeze picking yummy apricots.

Tomorrow I have a date with one of my friends for a Jam Session.  We are going to make freezer jam and apricot nectar.

Those things are always more fun to do with friends!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I am a huge fan of the ladies over at Our Best Bites.  I am a follower of their blog, I own their cookbook and use their recipes multiple times in a week.  I just think their recipes and ingredients are real life.  You do not have to go searching for some weird ingredient you have never heard of, to make these items and the chocolate zucchini bread recipe did not disappoint.

So the first ingredient that you need for zucchini bread is ZUCCHINI.  The other day I was surprise to find these two huge zucchini’s in my garden.  They were seriously hiding and I never saw them until they were this big!  I think they grew over night.

I usually try and pick my zucchini before it gets this large because the skin is tough and the seeds are too big.  But I made it work by peeling some of the skin off and cutting out the seeds like you would with a cucumber.

Here is the link to the recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I feel like this is a great way to get my kids to eat some veggies (and my husband)!  They scarf this stuff down as soon as it is out of the oven and the 2 loaves usually do not last more than 24 hours.  I know there is sugar in it as well, but sometimes we have to disguise the green stuff.

Plus it makes my house smell really good.

Is that OK that one of my main motivations for baking is how it makes my house smell?

I always tell myself that I am going to clean up as I cook/bake, but that never really happens…so this is what my kitchen looks like, usually worse.

But I can worry about that later.

Right now we are enoying this…

Also this is my little cowboy running around asking for more “cake”.  I think I have them fooled.

Mowahahaha!!!