Thursday, July 11, 2013

4th of July Fun

Happy Thursday everyone! Ok, I know that the 4th was a week ago, and I don't care. :) I want to share how my family and I spent our day. A little unconventional, yes, but it was such a great day for us. Even with the rain. For some reason, it won't stop raining for us to really enjoy a day other than for a few hours! Today is the first day in awhile it seems that it hasn't rained at some point, and here I sit at work. Some day I won't have to work, and I can enjoy beautiful days like today.
Enough about the negative, and back to the positive. So, little miss and I spent most of our day in the kitchen. Here she is in her Bumbo ready to direct me. :)
I tried my hand at making jam for the first time EVER. Peach jam. YUM! My grocery store was having an awesome deal on fresh peaches (99 cents a pound!), and how could I pass that up? So I came home with 6 pounds. What the hell do I do with 6 pounds of fresh peaches? Well Dorothy, you make jam of course. So I scoured the Internet to find a recipe. I finally decided on one that I had everything it called for. I peeled and cut 5 pounds of peaches. Added some fresh lemon juice and some 5 cups of sugar. Then I had to wait for an HOUR. Who can wait for an hour when this is sitting on your counter?
But I did. I waited the hour. Finally, it was time to put it on the stove. I brought it to a boil, and stirred. And stirred. And stirred some more. The recipe said 25 minutes to get it to the jelly consistency. 25 minutes came, and it was still liquidy. So I stirred some more. And stirred. And stirred. I gave up after 45 minutes. Obviously, this was never going to become a jelly. Next time, I will go to the store so that I can use a recipe with Pectin in it. Lesson learned.
However, I did end up with 3 jars of very yummy peach syrup. :)
Tip for you: if you have to get whatever you are canning to a rolling boil and leave it there for awhile, you don't have to do the water bath to seal the jars. Put them upside for 30-45 minutes and the heat from the jam will seal them. Then turn them over to finish cooling.
So while little miss and I were making jam, my son and husband had their own project. Project fire pit! My mother-in-law had given us the metal ring for a fire pit a few years ago for Christmas. Well, 2 years later, the fire pit has been taken out of the box. Hubby went to Lowe's and got some blocks to put around it, and made this on our patio. I love it. AND, it came with a pole and rack to be able to cook over the fire. Score!
Now that we have finished making the jam, I decided to use some. So once again I went onto the Internet in search of a recipe. I found this oh so yummy recipe for a peach glazed sweet and spicy salmon. I'm salivating a little just thinking about it. I mean what doesn't sound good when you are pairing sweet and spicy together? Bonus points for it only taking 15 minutes. The broccoli salad I served along side it took longer to prepare.
Speaking of the salad, I have finally found a salad my son will eat! Broccoli, jicama, dried cranberries, turkey bacon, and a greek yogurt dressing. He had 2 helpings! Yay for healthy food the kiddo likes. Of course, I may have fibbed and told him the jicama was a fruit, but hey, a little white lie like that doesn't hurt. Just like when I make "sweet potatoes". He doesn't need to know it is really butternut squash! :)
So here's our 4th of July dinner. Sweet and Spice Salmon, Broccoli Salad, and Cilantro Lime Rice.

Well, once dinner was over it was time to enjoy the evening. I'm talking a fire in the new fire pit, sparklers, poppers, and of course.. SMORE'S.

What a fantastic holiday we had. It was one of those days filled with fun, great food, and family time. A perfect day if you ask me. :)


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