Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sticky Pants

Sketch - about halfway done

This afternoon I went for a little stroll down the road to one of the 'beach' accesses. In this neighborhood, the shoreline is quite rugged and rocky so there are lots of little docks floating on the water with boats beside them. There is also lots of vegetation on the sides; ivy, shrubs, coniferous and deciduous trees, etc.

I did a quick little sketch of the shoreline while I was there. It's not anything spectacular, just something to get the creative juices going again. It's a very relaxing activity.

Anyhow, while I was listening to my music and sketching, I managed to sit in some very sticky pine sap. Arrrgh! So sticky! And I had been doing laundry earlier, so I was wearing black dress pants. Double arrgh!

I've never had to try to get pine sap out of good clothing before but after some quick Googling, I tried rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth. It seems to have done the trick! Yay for Google! What was my life like before Google? (Oh wait I remember, World Book Encyclopedia...1989 version)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apple & Blackberry Chutney

This chutney goes well with goat's cheese and crackers.... just sayin'

Well, it's officially autumn which means I have an abundance of summer fruits in my freezer and at my doorstep (literally, the apples are falling off of the tree on to my doorstep). I only have a tiny fridge freezer so in order to start making some room, I have been trying the old art of canning - for the first time might I add.

My first experiment has been  with some chutney. Because it is quite acidic, there is less of a chance of things going wrong (rancid). Obviously, the recipe I chose would need to use apples, so I chose a recipe from BBC Good Food and tweaked it to my own liking. I love that website!

Apple & Blackberry Chutney
(makes approximately 5 x 500ml jars)

8 cups apples (peeled and chopped)
1 very large red onion (450g) (sliced)
1 thumb sized piece fresh root ginger (peeled and finely grated)
    -for a little more kick, add more ginger
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup white wine vinegar

3 cups blackberries

-put everything except the blackberries into a large stock pot
-bring to a boil (uncovered) and then let the mixture simmer for about an hour until there is no watery liquid left
- add berries and cook further until berries have softened but not burst and no watery liquid is left.
-spoon into jars (leave some space at the top) and wipe the rims
-seal until finger tight
-boil in water (make sure water is at least and inch above the tops) for 5-20 minutes depending on your altitude (not attitude)

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