In the garden again, finally!

The in-laws took Blob for the afternoon and I was finally able to make some serious progress with my veggie patch this weekend. Behind the mound of soil, you can see two herb boxes which have been cleaned out and moved into their new positions for this year. The one on the left is filled with mint, lavender, sweet basil and chives currently. More herbs to join the lineup as time permits. The lavender and chives are actually leftovers from seeds I planted two years ago, believe it or not. Didn’t even notice them until I weeded all the grass …

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Wedding Jams, Part 3: Ribes’ Rogues’ Gallery and the Final Result

Having explained how my wedding jam-making process developed in the last two posts, this third one is just taking a look at the three additional flavors I did in tiny batches. The majority of my fruit donors had blackcurrants and redcurrants, since those are the most commonly grown in Finnish yards. They have the most uses and a family can easily go through a whole crop over a winter, if they are made into juices and jams. There are also a few not-as-common ribes that I was allowed to harvest — whitecurrants and gooseberries. They all produced very different-looking and different-tasting jams, which …

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2015 Spring Garden Update

This gallery contains 17 photos.

We’re 2/3 of the way through spring, so here’s my first garden picture roundup of the year! Mostly spring-flowering bulbs and some rhubarb right now — the fruit trees are just starting to break bud and should be flowering in another week or two. Just got back from visiting a friend in England and they are a full month’s growth ahead of us, with the berry bushes already having set fruit! We’re slower to get going in the spring, but once the days of midnight sun hit, you can practically hear the plants shooting up nonstop all around. We are breaking ground on …

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Wedding Jams, Part 2: Redcurrant Rhapsody

Next up after the blackcurrants were the redcurrants. In Finland, these are usually used in desserts, while the blackcurrants are usually juiced. Both are not so often made into jam, apparently. I ended up trading some with a coworker for her apple jam and her kids were excited by the novelty of it. With such gorgeous translucent color, you can see why they are often used for decorating cakes. As with the previous recipe, I used a 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar. So in went about 1 kilo of frozen berries. Time lapse of berries cooking down and releasing …

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Wedding Jams, Part 1: The Blackcurrant Edition

Flashback time! This post is technically from 2011, but since I took these photos in the middle of being a one-woman wedding production team, I didn’t so much get around to writing it up back then. One month went by, then another… you know how procrastination snowballs. Then last month, I gave a friend some homemade jam and she mentioned that she’d really like to get into canning. I was all, “I have a post about tha… oh, wait, I DON’T.” So it’s time we fix that, eh? This was the homemade blackcurrant jam I did for wedding favors back in autumn …

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Applefest 2014, Part 3: Apple Jelly

Jelly is one of those things that I rarely use, but will usually stock for the occasional irrational craving (which often leads to my using a whole jar in a week). I can’t say I’ve looked very hard for it at the supermarket these past few years, but I’m pretty sure that the majority of stuff on Finnish shelves is berry preserves. Which is just fine most of the time, but it hit me last autumn that I really wouldn’t mind some apple jelly in the pantry. Lucky for me, there was a glut of apples to process. Part of my apple …

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A Bowl Full of Mush: Creamed Pear

This is what most mornings at Casa Kerfuffle look like at the moment. Our little guy has been eating solids for a couple of months now and taken to them very enthusiastically. Here he demonstrates the typical baby bird look he has the moment he sees me getting out a bowl. This is rapidly followed by a shark attack lunge and death latch the minute the spoon is within reaching distance. In fact, if I’m not shoveling fast enough, I will often get very vocal protestations. Yep, this kid loves his food. Then again, it probably shouldn’t have been much of a …

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Little worm carcasses everywhere after a rain are so depressing. If I’m up early enough in the mornings, I usually try to get them back to the soil before the sun comes and fries them. Today, though, was an all-out massacre. My parents have a rather large garden, so it was like trying to carry a city out on your back. You’d think they would have managed to evolve some sort of emergency-gills or something, especially in places where they *know* there’s annual flooding. Bah. No hungry birds today.

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