I've been crawling around in the wild the last few days gathering edibles for preserving. V and I went out early Saturday morning to hunt for ramps in the woods. Two grocery bags loaded into the back of the bike trailer and we were ready to go. Earlier this week I canned pickled ramps and froze ramp confit. I also prepared ramp soup and still have half a bag in the fridge to use fresh this week.
|Ramp Soup with Chive Yogurt (for the dairy-eaters)|
Lavender-Infused Dandelion Preserves
Makes 3-1/2 pts.
|Lavender-Infused Dandelion Jelly|
3 c. dandelion blossoms, separated from leaves and bracts
3 c. purified water
1 1/2 c. xylitol
1/2 T. dried lavender
1/4 t. vanilla extract
2 t. calcium water (comes with Pomona pectin)
1 T. lemon juice
3 t. Pomona's Universal Pectin
Boil flowers in water on medium heat for about 10 min. In the meantime, add xylitol to food processor with vanilla and lavender, process until lavender is "dust" mixed into xylitol. After petals have boiled, strain from liquid and return liquid to pot and add calcium water and lemon juice, bring to a boil. In the meantime, to infused sugar, add pectin and stir to completely combine. When dandelion "juice" is boiling, add xylitol/pectin and stir constantly for 2 min. to completely dissolve sweetener. Return to boil then remove from heat. Filter through small colander placed over jar-filler and fill warm, sterilized 1/2-pint jars with jelly, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and cap with treated, sterilized lids. Adjust screw bands and load into hot water bath canner. Once canner is boiling, process jelly for 10 min. Remove carefully and let cool at room temperature until completely cool. Check seals. Label and store.
|Gray/"Silver" jacquard fabric|
You may have heard that a temporary backyard hen ordinance has been passed in Milwaukee. There will be a one-year trial period, which I think is a completely fair way to approach the project versus continuing to just shoot down the proposals after listening too much to the opponents. Of course many people have contacted me wanting to know when I will have my chickens out back. I honestly didn't see this happening so soon and therefore I've already planted my entire backyard with veggies, not leaving any room for a coop or run. I'm interested in getting some beehives on our property first (next season) and am still running the chicken thing through my head considering my egg-free diet. I'd likely be the one taking care of them and then not getting much out of it foodwise--of course there's the beautiful manure and the bartering possibilities. But maybe I should wait until Vera's a little older and can help care for these critters and clean their house. By then perhaps I'll have my dream garage rooftop garden and can give up more of my backyard growing space to some family pets. For now I'll just live vicariously through a fellow craft blogger who keeps chickens in Madison.
I'd like to share a few snapshots of the spring garden to brighten up this dark, rainy spring day. Can't wait to see how things bust out once the sun returns.
|Espalier Apple Tree (with weight)|
|Spinach from Coldframe|
|Red Lima Beans|