Tag Archives: old timey

Chokecherry Jelly

A few weeks ago, my Dad was reminiscing with me about family history and family members long dead and gone. I was lucky enough to meet some of these people when I was small. I have some hazy memories of certain encounters. I am constantly trying to strengthen these memories by pestering people who remember more than I do, or connecting by recipes, because taste and smell seem to bring memories galloping back.

I battled beard and mountain lions for these chokecherries! See the broken limbs?  From a bear!

I battled bears and mountain lions for these chokecherries! See the broken limbs? From a bear!

My Dad was telling me about cutting firewood for his Aunties and doing various “chores” for them like picking fruit, killing wild game, etc. Dad mentioned he used to pick a lot of chokecherries and gooseberries for jelly making. Immediately I perked up and demanded to know more.

This is what chokecherries look like.

This is what chokecherries look like.

I had vague memories of riding my horse and picking something for jelly when I was very small. I was little, therefore, super short, and couldn’t reach the fruit. But, like any enterprising young ranch kid, you found ways around that. I can’t remember much about this memory, like what berry, how old I was, or who we were picking them for, but I do remember riding my horse Sequoia.

Some of the biggest bear poo I've ever seen. I had all my cowdogs with me, just in case!

Some of the biggest bear poo I’ve ever seen. I had all my cowdogs with me, just in case!

I spent so much time on our mountain ranch this summer I was unable to devote as much time to my passions of gardening and canning. However when Dad taught me what a chokecherry bush looked like, I knew I had the opportunity to make up for lost canning time! During the middle of the afternoon, when it was too hot to do much else, I picked chokecherries, lots and lots.

Seriously, I went overboard. Typical.

Seriously, I went overboard. Typical.

 

Chokecherry Jelly

  • 3 cups chokecherry juice
  • 6 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 box (2 pouches) liquid pectin
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter (to prevent foaming)

Pour juice, sugar and butter into large heavy saucepan and stir to mix. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Bring to a full, rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir and skim off foam.  Add almond extract. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal with two-piece canning lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

This jelly is delicious. The almond extract really adds a lovely layer of flavor. Since I picked so many chokecherries I am attempting to make wine. Stay tuned as I am just a few more weeks from trying it, and if it’s good, I’ll show you how I did it!

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, arts & crafts, dogs, family, food, History, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Recipe

Wordy Wednesday: Pier 23 Cafe and Sally Rand

My Mom and I went to the Pier 23 Cafe for lunch on a recent trip to San Francisco. The first thing you see when you walk into the Cafe is this picture. I loved it.

Sally Rand Girls at Pier 23 Cafe

Sally Rand Girls at Pier 23 Cafe

In fact, I loved it so much I bought the hoodie and the t-shirt. You see, I have a deep and abiding love for all things old timey pin-up girls and burlesque, especially Vargas girls. Don’t tell my Parents but I was IN a Burlesque show. Actually, when I run for office, that will be part of my platform “Heck yeah, I was in a Burlesque show! I own it and am proud!” You know, the full transparency thing, these things made me the awesome, fun person I am today!

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and hoodie.

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and hoodie.

Anyway I decided since I am a cowgirl and I ain’t getting any younger it was time to do a photo-shoot on the Ranch. More specifically, a re-creation of this photo. So I contacted my friend Amy Brown  and Jenny Dewey and a bunch of our girlfriends and scheduled a day for a pin-up shoot. We plan on doing this photo and maybe some new updated versions of it. I’m excited! I do so love photo days at the Ranch, and I love photoshop even more! So stay tuned…..

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, arts & crafts, History, Humor, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday