Nectarine Jam

One summer years ago, one of my children was eating a perfectly ripe and juicy nectarine and asked if I could make jam out of this delicious fruit. I thought about it, and even though I had never heard of anyone making nectarine jam, I decided to give it a try. My family loves this jam, especially in the wintertime, It has a rich beautiful color and makes a pretty gift at Christmastime with a green ribbon wrapped around it. So thanks for the great idea, Maren (my daughter), this is one of my favorites. Happy jamming!!!

IMG_0562  photo

Nectarine Jam

4 cups fresh nectarine, pitted and chopped (do not peel)

1/3 water or fruit juice

1 box Sure Jell fruit pectin

2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon butter

6 cup sugar

Place all ingredients except sugar in a tall saucepot. Stir to combine and bring to a full boil. Add sugar all at once and stir to combine. Continue to cook on high heat until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil; continue stirring constantly while boiling for two solid minutes (use a timer)–this will ensure a good, solid set. After two minutes remove from heat and let sit for two minutes (this keep the chunks of fruit from floating to the top), and pour into jars. Apply lids and rings, and hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from water bath and allow to cool for at least 6-8 hours before touching jars. This jam will stay colorful for a year, but it usually doesn’t last that long.

IMG_0567

Advertisements

Little Wildcat Baby Sweater

There are many versions of this sweater available on the internet. I have made more of these little sweaters than I can count. The best thing about making this sweater is there is very little “sewing” involved. It is knit from the neck down and once you knit each sleeve, you either sew it up or slip stitch it with a crochet hook back up to the underarm, and continue knitting the rest of the sweater. I LOVE this pattern. This is my own versions with a few modifications. Happy knitting!

little wildcat sweater

Materials: One 6-oz. skein of knitting worsted weight yarn

Needles: US Size 10 (and stitch markers)

Gauge: 4 sts to 1 in

Terms: k=knit

p=purl

kfb=knit if the front and the back of the same stitch (1 increased stitch)

k2tog=knit two stitches together

pm=place marker

INSTRUCTIONS:

Starting at the neck edge, cast on 33 stitches

Rows 1 – 4: Knit.

Row 5: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3  (Always keep first 3 and last 3 sts in ‘knit’ even on p row.)

Row 6: K3, * kfb in next st, K1, repeat from * to last 4 sts, end with kfb 1, K3. (47 sts)

Row 7: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.

Row 8: Knit

Row 9: Knit

Row 10: K3, *kfb in next st., K2, repeat from *, ending kfb 1, K4. (61 sts)

Row 11: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.

Row 12: Knit

Row 13: Knit

Row 14 K4 *kfb in next st, K3, repeat from * to last 5 sts, ending with kfb 1, K4 (75 sts.)

Row 15: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.

Row 16: Knit

Row 17: Knit

Row 18: K4 *kfb in next st, K4,repeat from * to last 6 sts, ending kfb 1, knit 5.

Row 19: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.

Row 20: Knit

Row 21: Knit

Row 22: K5*kfb in next st, K5, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 23: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.

Row 24: Knit

Row 25: Knit

Row 26: You will now be placing markers to show positions of fronts, back, and sleeves:

K5, kfb1, K4, kbf1, K4, kfb1, K1, pm (20 sts for front),

Kfb1, K5, kfb1, K4, kfb1, K5, kfb1, K1, pm (23 sts for sleeve),

Kfb1, (K5, kfb1) twice, K4, kfb1, (K5, kfb1) twice, K1, pm (37 sts for back),

Kfb1, K5, kfb1, K4, kfb1, K5, kfb1, K1, pm (23 sts for other sleeve),

Kfb1, K4, kfb1, K4, kfb1, K6 (20 sts for other front).

Row 27: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.

Row 28: Knit across row, kfb 1 st before and after each marker. (131 sts)

Row 29: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.

Row 30: Knit across row, kfb 1 st before and after each marker. (139 sts).

Row 31: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.

Knit 22 sts and place on a holder or waste yarn. Kfb2 sts and knit across the next 27 sts (first sleeve), kfb 2 sts (31 sts). Working with another set of needles and on these 31 sts, work in stockinette stitch for 22 rows.

Sleeve Decrease Row: K2, (K2 tog, K3) 5 times, K2tog K2. (25 sts)

Knit 7 rows.

Bind off leaving last stitch on needle. With right sides together, sew or slip stitch sleeve closed being careful to close up all the holes at the underarm. Place last stitch on left hand needle. Knit 2 tog and knit across to next marker. Place back of sweater stitches that you just knit on a stitch holder or piece of waste yarn.

Work second sleeve same as first. Knit across remaining stitches (Body Row 1) and place all stitches back onto your original needles together. Now you will work the remainder of the body of sweater .

Sweater Body:

Body Row 2: K 3, purl to last 3 sts, K3

Body Row 3: Knit

Body Row 4: K3, purl to last 3 sts, K3

Body Rows 5-18: repeat Body Rows 3 and 4.

Work 8 rows in garter st.

Cast off.

Strawberry Peach Blueberry Jam

This was a shot in the dark at the end of a long day of canning because I didn’t quite have enough peaches and strawberries to make a full batch of jam, so I decided to add some blueberries. After tasting it, I decided that I will be making this jam every summer from now on.

IMG_0508

1002857_10201622175778126_895868452_n

2½  cups fresh, ripe peaches, skinned and chopped

1 cup fresh strawberries, crushed

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 box (1.75 oz) Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon butter

7 cups granulated sugar

Place all ingredients except sugar in a tall pot (a stock pot will work well) and stir to combine. Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a steady boil. Pour in the sugar all at once and stir. Continuing stirring until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil (one that cannot be stirred down) and boil hard for two minutes, and yes, you are still stirring. After two minutes remove from heat and set aside for two minutes (this will keep the fruit from floating to the top of the jars). Ladle into canning jars, secure lids and rings, and hot water bath for 15 minutes and allow to cool completely. The jam will be good for a year as long as the jars are sealed, but I don’t think it will last that long.