Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer Sunday Morning

Today I feel like I have a lot of blessings.  First and foremost, Sam is still getting along okay.  He's not showing any acute signs of disease -- he just seems to eat less and less every day and he's getting boney.

This morning after my meditation I felt led to take my coffee out to the new patio.  I let Charlie out in the exercise pen and Sam and I enjoyed the morning air.  There's a young rabbit who frequents our crabapple tree and eats the fallen apples and it was out there investigating the planter and chairs under the tree.  I wonder if I could tame it like Annette has tamed Pip but, with the dogs around, I don't think I'll get a chance.

Sam was alert to the rabbit and watched it carefully, but he didn't really get preturbed until a lousy chipmunk came down the hill.  That was simply too much and he took off up the hill after it ... almost as fast as he did in younger days.  After running the chipmunk underground, he sniffed around on top of the hill and then decided to take a tour of the neighborhood.  Ever since we've had patio and drainage construction, the invisible fence has been torn up and non-functional, so Sam -- who usually stays close to home without the fence -- was free to roam.  I saw him sauntering around the neighbor's yard and then lope out to their front yard.  I followed him there and he knew he was busted and came home.  It's good to see that he still has some life and adventure in him.

Another joy was seeing Charlie binky all around the exercise pen.  He hasn't been out in a few days and he was thrilled with the opportunity.  One reason he hasn't been out is that last time he discovered a way out of the exercise pen and went on a romp of his own.  I wasn't sure how he was doing it, but I watched him this morning and I think I blocked up his escape route.

Yesterday was peach day.  We've been overrun by fruit flies, so I decided to cook up all the peaches we had and get them out of the kitchen.  I made peach jam and peach cobbler and both are delicious.  Die, fruit flies, die!!!

Three tips for making peach jam.

  • First, put the peaches in boiling water for minute and then allow them to cool a little before peeling them.  You're going to cook them anyway, so it doesn't matter if they cook a little. The peels will come right off with very little effort.  
  • Second, use a melon baller to remove the bits of coarse fiber that are right next to the pit.  I've never seen this suggested before, but I thought of it yesterday and it worked like a charm.  It's probably an old trick, but I prefer to think I'm a genius.  
  • Third, mix the pectin with 1/4 cup of sugar before adding it.  This will prevent it from blobbing up or making little gummy balls.  

I like jam with a strong flavor, so instead of the four cups of peaches the recipe required, I started with six cups and cooked it down into four cups before adding the pectin.

The results of my peach jam experiments have been very satisfying.  I think I may try some other jams and/or jellies.   

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