Monday, August 3, 2015

when the dear hubby goes camping ...

After he left on Friday I started my day out with dying fabric.
Using 2 colors of Rit Dye, I mixed and matched, dyed and redyed until I almost had what I wanted!
What a process!
The rug is going to look beautiful when it's done. I hope.

In between loads of rinsing fabric strips, I moved outside.
This little beauty started out being a porch swing for me and ended up being a plant stand of sorts.
Bullet, the puppy, would really like some dirt to dig and took up dumping my pots.
They had to move up higher and I wanted something done with this.
I spent much of a hot day outside, sweat running and burning my eyes.
My list of want to get done was much bigger than the one of accomplishment,
but I did get a few things checked off before I gave it up!

Saturday, while I visited with my sister Jen on the phone, I drove around looking for some prickly pear cactus to pick. I'm just a little too shy to be hopping through fences or picking out of people's yards. There isn't any to be found if you head toward Lake Pleasant, but if you head for Cave Creek .... it is boundless! I think I came home with 3 gallons worth of the pricker laden pretty stuff.

Alyx came over and helped me with this bad stuff. We had a few prickers before we were done, but not bad! I did find what might be an easier way to this ... after we were done. But our system wasn't bad! Isn't the color of this just gorgeous?! Was ready to try dying some more fabric!

Yup. Evidence of mean prickers. Plenty of those little ones that you can feel but can't hardly see
making removal just a challenge.

Before sending these to the cooking pot, they were cut in half. The fruit, known as tuna, is so seed filled it is incredible. Reminded me of making jelly from cultured rosehips as opposed to wild rosehips!
I added only a titch (I just googled that word and learned that it means small person!) itty bit of water to the bottoms of the pots to keep them from burning.
It didn't take very long for them to cook down and I only used the potato masher once.

The pulp.
At this point I was sort of thankful that I don't have a compost bin. Imagine the nightmare growing in there! You might notice I'm not using cheesecloth. I tried it with home picked berries that I made into jellies while we were in the land of berries aplenty. Then I used this fine mesh colander and didn't notice one bit of difference. I might end up with a wee bit more pulp left in the bottom of the juice after it sits, but nothing that's worth having cheese cloth having around.

The juice headed to the stock pot with scads of sugar, lemon juice, butter (to prevent foaming) and pectin. Cook and boil ....

and voila!
I can cross make prickly pear jelly off the list!
I opened this jar and tasted.
So, my goal for making this is to bring it to a church craft sale.
I like my jams and jellies sweet.
I can't even let Sweet Tarts pass my lips.
Crab apples? Perhaps that might be a close comparison ... at least for me.

My girls both spent the day here and I was so happy!!
Not only for their company, but the little boys as well.
And ... they dined with me.
Jari can't eat Tortilla Soup so it is a treat reserved for when he is gone.
Yum. Yum. Yum.

The girls topped off the evening with a haircut for the little guy.
I wonder if all of his haircuts will take place in our bathroom sink. It works very well.
The cold water faucet is highly entertaining and it works!

That wraps up my Friday and Saturday ... and led right to my serious nap on Sunday.
Incidentally, during that nap I dreamed that I quit my job.
I was nearly hyperventilating when I woke up!

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