Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Made Jam. Plus Important News.

Yesterday was the first day of school.  Historically, I have not handled this day well for so many reasons: summer's over and, oh crap, i forgot about how hellish winter is; the kids aren't hanging from the tree in the front yard or being hilarious or sprinkling dirt all over the house all day; and, as a lifelong commitment-phobe, I really, really hate schedules.  I might dread the first day of school more than my boys do, which is a lot, and when it finally arrives I'm prone to weepiness and poor decisions about cutting my own hair.  Last year I staved off the crazies by making a gajillion jars of salsa.  And this year, jam.

Pint jars cooling on the kitchen table.

 It is not difficult to make jam.  Unless you consider actually having to measure things trickier than necessary, and maybe math isn't your best subject.  In the past I've foolishly believed that I could just throw a few fruits in a pan with some sugar and a box of that stuff and everything would work out.  (Last year I made a pretty spectacular super adhesive from several pounds of precious wild Michigan blueberries.)  So this time, I put on my apron, got out the Ball Canning Chart, a kitchen timer, and my oversize calculator.


I planned on two batches:  plum and strawberry hibiscus-honey.  Thanks to the totally unfair fractions used by the Ball Canning Chart it was touch and go there for a while (major props to The Husb here for not just leaving when I was following him around with my giant calculator and shrieking "but does that make SENSE?!!"), but through some dark magic both batches set up perfectly, and every single airlock sealed.  Yes.

Strawberry Hibiscus-Honey.

The best news is that for once I remembered to write it all down, so next time shouldn't put either my fragile brain or my marriage in any danger.  Or maybe the real best news is that now I have 10 pints of freaking delicious homemade jam on my kitchen counter.  I did my best to translate them into a normal person recipe, and you can find both of them, plus canning instructions, after the jump.


Important News!  There are only two days of August left...don't miss out on the State-on-a-Cozy sweepstakes going on.  Details HERE.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I can't believe I'm about to use this kind of language, but people, it's 2+ weeks till back to school.  In our house we don't speak of it, and I've been doing my best to put it out my mind completely.  Not easy, since I'm working on an order of hand-stitched fall satchels for CorAzon.  At least, if it has to come, it can come in plaid.

Antler, on a green and blue wool plaid

Antler, Hare, and Barn Owl designs for Fall Satchels

Hare, on a heather wool solid

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Your State on a Cozy Sweepstakes!

Friends!  August's cozy drawing is finally here!

Your State on a Cozy Sweepstakes.

That's right.  The state you love lovingly stitched onto a cozy.  Basically a once in a lifetime chance is what we're talking about here, and the rules are simple.

First, select your favorite state, or if you can't pick a favorite (I hate decisions), just pick one you really like.  Here's one I really like:

Yes! Michigan!  (Map courtesy of geology.com)

And I know lots of great people who live in this state:

By and by: Washington!  (Map courtesy of http://parks.wa.gov)

And here are the rest of them:

USA! USA! (Map courtesy of ggdrink.com)

Now that you've made your choice, make sure you're entered in the drawing or all that choosing will be for naught.  You can enter by following R is R on Facebook, or by subscribing to this blog.  Anyone who enters both ways gets their name in the hat TWICE.  Holla.

Drawing will take place on the last day of August 2011; one winner, one cozy, one state.  Also, as far as I know all official R is R fans are stateside, but if we gather any non-U.S. residents as friends in this process, I'm happy to adjust "state" to "any geographic boundaries which you love or live within" as long as a map of that place exists.  

This isn't part of the rules, it's just a picture of the state I chose made into a cozy:

Star of the North: MN!