Making Grape Juice for Jelly

My friend, Reva, texted me saying she has “a butt load of grapes” that she picked and asked if I’d like them. ROFL! But of course!

I would say there was about 5 quarts of grapes, once I picked them off the stems. When I left this morning for work I had 2.5 quarts of juice and it was still draining…so I may have another pint.

Concord grapes ready to make juice.

Concord grapes ready to make juice.


Simmering grapes.

Simmering grapes.


Straining the juice from the pulp.

Straining the juice from the pulp.


Two quarts of juice (as of last night).  Had a pint this morning, and it's still draining when I left.

Two quarts of juice (as of last night). Had a pint this morning, and it’s still draining when I left.

Weekend Roundup ~ 22 September 2014

Depending on which ever way the wind blows, our days here in the Truckee Meadows either start off looking like this:

Morning smoke from the King Fire in Pollock Pines, CA.

Morning smoke from the King Fire in Pollock Pines, CA.

Or, yesterday’s sunrise pre-settling of smoke:

Canada geese flying by Sunday morning ~ 21 Sept 2014

Canada geese flying by Sunday morning ~ 21 Sept 2014

As of this morning, the King fire has burnt 87,592 acres and is only 18% contained. Come on Mom Nature! Bring them some rain already!

Friday I took 4 hours of annual leave and stopped off for some canning jars as I had mustard seeds soaking in some Sierra Nevada 2014 Beer Camp West Coast Double IPA.

I adapted a recipe I saw using Guinness Stout:

In a glass bowl add the following: 1 cup yellow mustard seed, .5 cup of brown mustard seed, 12 oz IPA or dark beer, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 2-3 tsp of sea or kosher salt, 1 tsp coarse ground pepper, 1/4 tsp each of cloves, nutmeg and allspice. You can add turmeric for yellow coloring, but I didn’t use it. Let it sit on the counter, covered, for two days. I stirred it before going to work and then when I got home. Plop it all into a blender or food processor and grind away until you get it how you like it…I added a bit more beer to get it the thickness I liked. Pour into your canning jars and hot bath process for 10 minutes. Being at a higher altitude I processed mine for 20 minutes total.

Beer Mustard in the making.

Beer Mustard in the making.

10 4-oz jars of Sierra Nevada Beer Mustard.

10 4-oz jars of Sierra Nevada Beer Mustard.

I also stopped off at the Sparks Windy Moon Quilts shop to buy a yard of white on white fabric to start a wall hanging quilt. While there I bought the September’s Fat 8th to make a Building Blocks To The Moon in support of ovarian cancer research.

You donate $1 and then you receive a Fat 8th of focus fabric (September’s is a multi-colored Autumn leaf fabric). You then make a 12.5″ block using the fabric, a selected colored fabric by the store (brick red this time) and any fabrics from your stash. Turn in the block by noon of the last day of the month. Both stores are participating in the challenge…anyone who made a block will have their names entered into a drawing where one of us will end up with all the blocks.

I had saved a Mini Medallion tutorial and thought the center block of that would make a great block for that fabric.

My entry to Building Blocks To The Moon…September 2014.

My entry to Building Blocks To The Moon…September 2014.

After finishing up the challenge block, I got my Kate Spain’s Solstice layer cake out and Lori Holt’s tutorial for a Scrappy Cross Roads Block.

Then on Saturday morning, after shooshing my husband out the door for his half day of overtime, brewing a cup of chai latte, I settled in with my pretty winter Solstice fabric. I have four blocks all sewn together, now will put a border or two on it.

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Winter Solstice Cross Roads

Winter Solstice Cross Roads

Sneak peak at an upcoming post ~

2014-08-03 12.32.56

Wild Nevada Blackberries

Saturday, on our way to our favorite spot on the Little Truckee River at Boca, we stopped off at Verdi to see if there were any blackberries still to be picked. The bears and other people picked most, but, YAY! I found enough to make 2.5 pints of juice to make jelly.

To make the juice I plopped the berries into my stainless steel pan, added water to almost the top layer of berries, and simmered until they were starting to pop. I smashed them with a potato masher then ran them through my cone sieve (found at an estate sale long time ago). I added the strained juice with pulp back through the sieve this time using cheese cloth to catch the small pieces.

I’ll be making jelly sometime this week. 🙂

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A Wednesday Round-up ~ It’s been a while!

Wow…it’s been quite a while since I last blogged. Pop some corn, grab a beer. 🙂

Quilting & Sewing:

Since I brought my new Brother sewing machine home, I’ve putzed around with it. I’m still learning what it can and can not do, but all in all am getting the hang of it.

1930's HST baby quilt.

1930’s HST baby quilt.

Patch quilt top in the making using Nordika.  I have 1/4 of it sewn together now.

Patch quilt top in the making using Nordika. I have 1/4 of it sewn together now.

I’ve made up a few of these cute totes, modifying a free pattern.

Totes with pencil/crayon slots.

Totes with pencil/crayon slots.

Had one crafting day with friends…another one coming up. We’re gearing up for a November craft fair.

Day of crafting with friends.

Day of crafting with friends.

Canning:

Made up another batch of mustard! Loving the smell and taste of this one! I used Stone Smoke Porter, yellow & brown mustard seed, apple cider vinegar, ground mustard, salt, pepper, allspice, nutmeg. I adapted two recipes I found (Homemade Beer and English Mustard)…it made up 10 4-oz jars. I plan on making a Cranberry Mustard too.

Spicy Beer Mustard

Spicy Beer Mustard

I was given a bag full of clipped lavender from my MIL’s garden earlier and dried it. Part of it is now in a big old canning jar of local Nevada honey with my own dried rosemary. I’ll be putting this into 4-oz canning jars in about two weeks after it’s been strained.

Lavender Rosemary Honey.

Lavender Rosemary Honey.

Ghost Hunting:

My sister has quite a few ghost hunting equipment and she booked the Miner’s Shack up in Gold Hill (just south of Virginia City on the Comstock). My niece, Hannah, and her friend Maddie, my sister and I all spent an afternoon in VC and the night in Gold Hill. That was fun! Definitely want to go up with them when they do the Washoe Club in VC.

Miner's Shack, Gold Hill, NV

Miner’s Shack, Gold Hill, NV

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Yellow Jacket Mill

Yellow Jacket Mill

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Bottle Tree.

Bottle Tree.

I know my niece, Hannah, took a bunch of photographs, but I never see them…hint, hint…if you’re reading this, Ms. Hannah.

Hannah.

Hannah.

Mackay Mansion grounds.

Mackay Mansion grounds.

Carnelian Bay, Lake Tahoe:

Took a Monday off so we could spend Sunday night up at Tahoe. Spent Sunday at one of the free public beaches and Monday morning we tried kayaking (waterman’s landing). So…I’m saving my money up for a sit-in kayak now. 🙂

Carnelian Bay from the Gar Woods pier.

Carnelian Bay from the Gar Woods pier.

Kayaking on Lake Tahoe.

Kayaking on Lake Tahoe.

Mergansers.

Mergansers.

Truckee Trestle Tour:

We finally made it up to Truckee, CA for the Hobart Estates Trestle Tour! They’ll be having another one in October if you’re local! We toured the lumber railroads and mills.

Remains of a flat car near Hobart Mills.

Remains of a flat car near Hobart Mills.

Railroad maintenance shop, Hobart Mills.

Railroad maintenance shop, Hobart Mills.

Lumber railroad trestle remains.

Lumber railroad trestle remains.

More trestle remains.

More trestle remains.

Baseball Bingo:

How to have fun when your minor league team, the Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks), is losing. Sorry guys for wishing one of you got beaned by the pitcher! 🙂

Baseball bingo!

Baseball bingo!

Miscellaneous:

God-Awful Rim Fire smoke from Yosemite...Reno/Sparks, we can't breathe.

God-Awful Rim Fire smoke from Yosemite…Reno/Sparks, we can’t breathe.

Scheaffer's Balance Blue fountain pen my husband found for me.

Sheaffer’s Balance Blue fountain pen my husband found for me.

Sunrise with a little bit of Rim fire smoke in air.

Sunrise with a little bit of Rim fire smoke in air.

Rambling Friday ~ 12 July 2013

Just a few rambles for today. Been insanely busy at work with the new fiscal year, but still was able to take a few days off here and there.

On one of those days off I made SWEET and SAVORY RHUBARB SAUCE that I found on on Mennonite Girls Can Cook’s site. I added a few more cloves of garlic and dried peppers, and I think it could of used a bit more. I used the chicken recipe that they suggested with the recipe, and dinner was wonderful that night! I used a water bath with my batch.

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I had the day after The Fourth off too…and made Beer Mustard. Overnight I soaked brown and yellow mustard seeds in Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale (had a bit of ale left for me!).

mustard_making

I probably shouldn’t have drank the rest of the ale as I could have made the mustard a bit more “runnier”…I love it though! It has a BITE to it and sorta makes your nose run. I was able to can 3 half-pints with the recipe I used, will have to find the smaller jars to give as gifts and sell at the November craft fair.

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I DID IT!!!!! I paid off my sewing machine on layaway! Yesterday I brought her home with me…but all I had time to do was take her out of the box, look at all the extra feet, and wind one bobbin.

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I LOVE the thread compartment…kitties can’t get to the thread now.

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My first project will be the Labyrinth lap-size quilt top that I’ll make in class this coming Monday. I even have all my fabric cut out for class. 🙂

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Have a great weekend everyone!

11 July 2013 - Reno, Nevada Sunrise

11 July 2013 – Reno, Nevada Sunrise

Rambling Monday ~ 24 October 2011

Wow…it’s been a week since I posted anything.

Friday night, while my husband had boxing on, I prepped a lot of hexies so I can start making flowers again.

Spent Saturday up in Virginia City and then at Bowers Mansion. It was supposed to be cooler up in VC…but they lied. We wandered over to our favorite park up there to play a game of cribbage and frisbee. OH! That reminds me…if’n you’re ever in the need of a GREAT frisbee that just ‘feels’ right? Look no further than Del Sol! Just love that frisbee!

Then over to Bowers Mansion for a couple of games of horseshoes and to walk around.

(pictures taken from my Blackberry Torch…not my regular camera)


View looking down at Washoe Lake from the horseshoe pits.
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View looking up while laying in the leaves.
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View looking up to where the horseshoe pits are.
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Virginia Creeper on the wooden fence around the old hot springs swimming pool.
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After getting back from our outing I started washing the box of Macintosh apples I got from Apple Hill so I could make applesauce.

I used a recipe I found online at Simple Bites…posted by Aimee on 29 Sept 2010. I liked the idea of leaving the skin on while cooking the apples!

CLASSIC APPLESAUCE RECIPE

I added two cinnamon sticks, two vanilla beans and two cups of apple cider with my apples.

Here is some of the finished pint jars of applesauce ~ it’s very tasty! Thanks, Aimee!