It’s been a while since I posted anything new. It’s been a busy August-September with the garden coming in, and doing some canning and freezing for the winter months. We’ve got canned tomato sauce, frozen beans (wax and green), the beets are beautiful and the carrots were better than I could have hoped. There is an assortment of pickles and even some applesauce. I took some time out to visit with friends that I don’t get to see as much as I’d like, and I’d like to thank them all for sharing the bounty of their gardens as well.
I’ve also been working on some other big changes. Yes, I’ll still be blogging and sharing my favorite recipes and exploring new dishes. But I’m excited to let everyone know that I have decided to take on a new project.
Several months ago, I began experimenting and developing a line of floral jellies with the hope of being able to market them online. It’s been an adventure, with some impressive disasters as well as some satisfying successes. So far, I’m offering four flavors: Lavender, Garden Rose, Hibiscus and Sunflower. My jellies are made from all organic ingredients and use no animal products. I will also accept special orders for jelly sweetened with stevia or honey.
As part of this new direction, Elaine in the Kitchen has moved to a new hosting site and I’ve done some redesign to set up an ecommerce page. You can find the link on the menu bar above. I hope all of you will check out the new site and the ecommerce section and hopefully do some of your holiday shopping with Elaine in the Kitchen. If you like what you see, please share a link with your friends and family. I can use all of the additional exposure, and if you have suggestions or comments please let me know what you think. ε
I’ve been making jelly this week, successfully for the most part. However, cooking is a creative art. Jelly making on the other hand, is science, which was never my best subject and things happen. Now everyone knows that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But what do you do when life gives you lavender jelly that just doesn’t jell, can’t jell, won’t ever jell. I have no idea what I did wrong, just lost my focus at some point and now I have to think of something to do with all that beautiful lavender liquid. Luckily, I have a habit of saving glass containers, including bottles. After rummaging in the cupboards for a few minutes, I came up with a “saved” maple syrup bottle, complete with screw top lid. Out comes the funnel, and by some miracle, there was just enough bottle for my lavender disaster. Once in the bottle, of course, it becomes lavender syrup, and it’s just crying out for some pancakes, or some English muffins, or maybe some scones. Guess I’m baking this afternoon. So a beautiful mess becomes a yummy by-product, and of course there’s still the jelly.
A Sweet Mess
- 3 ½ cups water
- ½ cup dried lavender buds
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 (1 3/4 ounce) box dry pectin
- 4 cups sugar
- In a large saucepan over high heat bring water just to a boil
- Remove from heat and stir in dried lavender flowers. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes
- After 20 minutes, strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a deep kettle or pot, discarding the lavender flowers (your house smells wonderful at this point)
- Stir in lemon juice and pectin and continue stirring until the pectin is thoroughly dissolved
- Over high heat, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down
- Add in the sugar, and when the solution returns to a hard rolling boil, let it boil for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- To get a soft gel boil 2 minutes and for a medium gel boil for 4 minutes
- To test for “jell” (Keep a metal tablespoon sitting in a glass of ice water, then take a little of the mixture and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon. If it thickens up to the consistency you’re looking for, the jelly is ready. If not, you can mix in a another 1 teaspoon up to one half of another box of pectin and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute
- After boiling, transfer the jelly into hot sterilized jars. Fill them to within ¼ inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them
- Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars to wire rack and let cool before serving.
- Makes about a dozen ¼ pint jars.
- 3 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 1 cup sifted barley flour
- 1 ½ cups frozen blueberries
- 2 ½ tablespoons sugar, plus some extra for sprinkling on top
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup almond milk, soy milk or regular 1% milk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Mix together all the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest)
- Mix the coconut oil into the dry ingredients (you can use a pastry blender or your hands)
- Add in the blueberries, vanilla, and slowly mix in the milk. Don’t overwork the dough, just until it barely sticks together
- On a floured board knead the dough slightly. It should be smooth and easy to handle when done.
- Divide the dough in half and pat into two 1 ½ inch thick rounds.
- Cut each round into six pieces
- Place on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet
- If you want lighter, fluffier scones, place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the scones with the extra sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Let cool on the baking sheet
So now it’s time for a cup of tea and a nice warm scone drizzled in lavender syrup, or lavender jelly. Ymmm.