Prickly Pear Jelly

The prickly pears are ripe and the fields and along side the roads, they are everywhere! It’s so hard to pass them up. Vince has been chomping at the bit to stop every time we see them and I kept telling him . . NO! I still have juice in the freezer from the ton of prickly pear we had last year.

Prickly Pear Juice

Prickly Pear Juice

If you notice, in the jelly recipe in the link, I used 5 cups of juice and 7 cups of sugar, with liquid pectin. For the new batch of jelly, I used 6 cups of juice and 3 cups of sugar, with Pomona’s Pectin. 

Pomona's Pectin

Pomona’s Pectin

If you’ve never tried Pomona’s Pectin, and you’re a jam/jelly maker, you might want to try it. I love that it’s easy to double or triple batches, and you can use way, way less (or even no) sugar. It isn’t easy to find locally (at least not here) and the least expensive place I’ve found to order it is Vitacost. Even though the box of pectin costs more than the pectin most of us are used to using, there’s enough in each box to make 2 to 4 batches of jelly. 

I’m totally out of half pint/jelly jars so you can see I was using everything I had left for the prickly pear jelly.

Prickly Pear Jelly

Prickly Pear Jelly

Five half pints, 3 little bitty jars and one pint. This is some of the best jelly . . and I love that the prickly pears are free!

Kroger had raspberries on sale again last week so I made another batch of raspberry jelly.

Raspberry Jelly

Raspberry Jelly

There are a few seeds in it, but not many. I used the Food Mill and didn’t strain out the seeds, as I wanted a bit of the pulp in the jelly.

We use a lot of jam and jelly since we put it in the yogurt that I make, and I share quite a bit of it with Chad and Nicole so I never mind making more of it.

Sunset

Like so many areas, we have such beautiful sunsets. Depending on the predominant color in the sunset, the whole area has that tint. A couple of days ago, it was pink and, from sitting inside looking out, the whole front yard looked pink. Last night there was an orange hue to everything so I grabbed my camera and went out.

Through the trees, this is what I saw:

Sunset

Sunset

Behind the chicken coops, I saw this:

Sunset

Sunset

From in the middle of the orchard, I saw this:

Sunset

Sunset

As I turned to go back towards home, I was surprised at how dark it was in that direction.

DSC_0045

Sun Has Set

So many thoughts run through my mind at this time of day . . I’m thankful for the beauty of nature and thankful that I see that beauty.  I was thankful to see yesterday end . . it was one of those Mondays when enough happens that you keep waiting to see what else can go wrong before the day ends. I was looking forward to a new day today and right off the bat, we had a dead chicken. That’s always scary when there’s no evidence as to why she died. We’ll be watching the others in the coop to be aware if any of them appear to be sick . . nature can be both beautiful and not so beautiful.

Dinner Tonight

We went to a fairly new restaurant tonight for dinner. 

Restaurant View

Restaurant View

The view was nice . . the food not so much. I doubt we go back. I ordered a 6 oz. beef tenderloin and got a pork chop. Vince ordered his meat medium rare and it was medium at best and fairly dry. I think we get spoiled eating at home but at least I know the difference in a pork chop and a steak!

We had a bit of rain today . . yay!  Not so much at our house but there seemed to be good showers north of us which may have helped the lake. I looked at our forecast this evening and we have no more 100+ days in the forecast. Things can change but for now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.