Because I was feeling all “superhomemakerey” this weekend, I decided to try out a recipe for jelly that I found while browsing throughÂ one of the blogs I keep in my RSS reader… I’ve never canned, jarred or anything of the sort before, so I was pleased that this recipe looked super easy! Please check out Maija over on FinnskimoÂ – she has all sorts of cool Alaskan recipes and stories. The recipe below is straight from her blog and it turned out beautifully. :)
My superdad graciously offered to gather a large bag full of beautiful fireweed blossoms for me off of the riverbank near his cabin on the Little Su River.
ALASKAN FIREWEED JELLY
8 C Fireweed Blossoms 1/4 C fresh squeezed Lemon or Lime juice 4 1/2 C Water 2 pk Powdered Pectin (Like Sure-Jell) 5 C Sugar
Pick Blossoms off the stem, separate leaves, and wash blossoms. Add to a pot, add citrus juice and water (we find that Lime works best), Boil for 10 full minutes, stirring occasionally. The color will slowly fade from the blossoms, that’s what you want! Strain the “juice” into pot (the juice is what you’ll use to make the jelly) and add pectin. Bring to full boil, and add sugar one cup at a time, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute after all sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat, place into clean jelly jars. Let sit overnight on a cooling rack. You’ll hear the lids “pop” and seal throughout the night. If there are any that don’t seal, simply store in refrigerator. Enjoy!
Here are a few photos from the process – this jelly turned out AWESOME! Such a yummy flavor, and a surreal color – like a fluorescent purple, almost! My sister-in-law, Amanda and I had a great time making this. We ALSO made two loaves of my Grandpa Bill’s Beer Bread so that we’d have something to try the jelly on… we ate a half a loaf and a half a jar of jelly by the time she went home!
Adam’s grandma Sue gave us some caramel corn (cracker jacks!) during Christmas, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how delicious it was… so I asked for the recipe. Surprisingly, it’s SUPER easy!! I thought the recipe’s yield was a little large until I realized it HAS to be that way, because you inevitably eat about a quarter of it before it’s even finished (especially if your Dad, Mr. Cracker Jim, is over). :)
Baked Caramel Corn / Homemade Cracker Jacks
6 quarts popped corn
1/2 lb butter
2 cups dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup (Karo)
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
can of spanish peanuts, if you’d like
Pop the corn (I use my WhirleyPop)Â and spread in large roasting pan (really, a LARGE one… I used one of those disposable aluminum ones). In a large sauce pan, oil butter, sugar, corn syrup, molasses and cream of tartar until bubbly (stirring constantly). If you’ve ever made toffee, cook it just a little less than you would that. If you haven’t… then basically just cook until it bubbles, then keep stirring for about 3 minutes. You’ll see the consistency change pretty drastically. :)Â Remove mixture from heat, and stir in (very well) baking soda. Pour over corn, add peanutsÂ if using themÂ and stir well. I used two serving spoons to mix the corn/caramel together. Bake one hour @ 225, stirring thoroughly every 15 minutes. Turn out on wax paper, let cool and enjoy!
Shortly before my grandfather died a few years ago, he passed along to me an awesomely delicious and easy beer bread recipe. For some reason I thought of it earlier this week and I’ve been craving it ever since… so today I caved. :) I love that this recipe is so basic, and you can tweak it to make it yours in so many different ways. I hope you enjoy!
Grandpa Bill’s Beer Bread (3-1-3-1)
Prep Time: 5 min ; Cook Time: 60 min
3 cups flour
1 “heapin'” tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 beer (any kind)
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl, then add beer & mix well (I use my hand). Grease a bread pan (butter or Pam works fine), then put mixture into pan. Smooth the top of the batter out with a wet rubber spatula (run the spatula under water for a second, the batter will be very sticky). Bake 50 min at 350 degreesÂ (watch it though, all ovens are not alike!)… then butter the top of the loaf and bake for 5-10 more min. Voila!
For variations, I use different types of beer and add extra ingredients to complement… some loaves I’ve made in the past include:
-Pumpkin Beer w/pecans
-Apricot Beer w/ dried cherries
-Guinness or Chocolate Stout with chocolate chips
and today’s creation… Alaskan White Beer with shredded orange peel and Craisins (I also used wheat flour)