Canning, DIY, Recipes

Things Are Just Peachy

IMG_4183I hope that everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July! Here at the homestead, we had a quiet and relaxing day. No farm work, picking out new chickens to add to our flock, feet up, delicious summer mocktails, and, ok, finally at 2 pm I had to do something and made some peach jam!

Texas peaches are here. They are big, juicy, and absolutely perfect. We snacked on them, grilled them (served with ice cream), and still had plenty to whip up some jam. We even fed a few to the chickens! I don’t share jam recipes as often as I should, but here is a great recipe for peach jam!

Peach Jam

  • 4 pounds of peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  1. Place chopped peaches into a pot and bring to a boil
  2. Use a potato masher periodicaly to mash peaches into smaller pieces
  3. Stir often so that the peaches do not burn on the bottom of the pot
  4. After 30 minutes or so add the sugar and lemon juice
  5. Return to a boil for about ten minutes or until the jam begins to gel
  6. Remove from heat and transfer the jam to jars

If you do not want to cook the jam for what seems like forever, you can add pectin to speed up the gel process. You can store this jam in the fridge in Tupperware, or use the traditional water bath canning method and store it in the cupboard up to a year. IMG_4261

 

Homesteading, Updates

June Update

Hello Everyone! 

I hope you are doing well during this time. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. The last I had written anything I had halted jam production and got some chickens. Since then, I’ve made some big changes, in a good way. Check out my little video for the update.

If you don’t feel like watching…

I’ve moved! My partner and I have moved into an adorable little cabin in the Texas Hill Country that sits on seven acres, has a fenced-in run for our girls, and a workshop. We’ve been insanely busy nesting and setting up shop. Since we’ve moved in, there has been chicken coop constructing, unpacking, bee and butterfly garden building, and vegetable garden planning. Did I mention there’s space for all our fruit trees and more? 

With all of the things going on, I’ve been trying to focus on all of the things I am grateful for and taking time to think about the direction I want made by laura lee to go towards. It is my hope that once our garden is up and running and producing enough food for us that I can begin making jams and pickles from food items solely from the Homestead. It will take time but very doable. 

I will be posting more regularly now that we are settled and have internet. I’m looking forward to sharing with you all things made by me, Laura Lee. I hope you are all doing well, safe, and healthy. Thank you for your continued support. 

       XOXO

    Laura Lee

Canning, Food, Uncategorized

Pump Up the Jams!

Oh, how I love a good food pun.

Yes, PUMP up the jams!  Last weekend at the ABGB Austin Flea Market, I had a record breaking sales weekend, outside of the holiday season.  This week, I am a jam making fool!  I cannot believe that I am wiped out of stock.

Now, I would have been standing over the stove sooner, but I certainly didn’t foresee blowing out my back, which had me laid up for a few days.  Still a little tender, I got to it this weekend!

I’m kicking off the fall with blackberry rosemary jam.  This one is slowly becoming a silent favorite amongst regulars. It’s got the sweetness from the fruit (obviously), I leave the seeds in for a little bit of tooth and texture, the rosemary adds a touch of savory and is quite aromatic.  I’ve heard folks tell me they put it on an english muffin with butter, others use it as a last minute touch on grilled pork chops, etc.  I, myself, love it with brie! Whether it’s on grilled cheese or a condiment on a burger with arugula and more brie, of course.

Check out the upcoming craft fair schedule over the coming weeks to pick up some Blackberry Rosemary Jam to add to your cupboard.

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Food, Recipes

Something Sweet in the New

I am one of those people that if I am not learning something new on a regular basis I begin to feel stagnant.  I feel stuck.  I then become frustrated.  Usually, I don’t pay attention to the nagging in the back of my mind until it’s too late.  The last few weeks I have been overwhelmed with lengthy to do lists, custom orders, and planning some big life changes (more to come soon).  As I was rushing around yesterday, I had a iCalendar notification for an ice cream class that I had signed up for a month ago.  Signing up for this event had completely escaped me.  What a treat, an ice cream class in August! Well done! Thanks, past Me!

The co-owners of Lick Ice Cream partnered with Sustainable Food Center to host this class.  What a great opportunity for such a great cause, for more on that click here. There was a demo and then we broke off into groups to create our own fig inspired ice cream!  We were given a base, chocolate sauce, fig jam, and neufshatel (fancy cream cheese).  I, clearly, fell into the right group when the decision that all of the ingredients would have to be used!  We went with a chocolate and neufshatel base, with fig & chocolate swirls.  Heaven!  Due to the smokiness of the figs this year, it tasted like toasted marshmallow.  As a serious s’mores fan, I was completely blissed out.  In fact, I would have taken a picture of our batch, but…. we ate it all.

Who knew making ice cream was so easy.  I was always under the impression it was much more difficult.  I’m looking forward to testing out new recipes and maybe, potentially, incorporating some recipes into the upcoming cookbook!

Thanks Lick and SFC for a great learning opportunity!

12 Day of Crafting, Canning, Embroidery, Glass, Mixed Media

Craft Fair Recap

 

IMG_1480The dust has settled and I am slowly cleaning up my apartment from the mania of 12 Days of Crafting and prepping and so on.  I’m not going to lie, I had nightmares the entire week before that I wouldn’t be able to sell a single item or that no one would like anything. I am relieved and so very thankful to say that my first craft fair was a success.  I am very much looking forward to participating in many more, that is right after I restock my inventory!

I did much better than I anticipated.  There is a glimmer of hope that I could quite possibly continue to do what I do… and, wait for it, make a living off of doing what I love doing the most: making.

Here are some pictures from my table.  I hope you enjoy!  I have some items left, so if you are looking for Christmas gifts, search no further!  Feel free to contact me!

 

12 Day of Crafting, Canning

12 Days of Crafting

 

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It’s December 1st! Bust out the Christmas tree, deck the halls, get ready to roast some chestnuts, and so on.  I can hear the carols playing already. Although, I’m not as gung ho as my dear friend, Lindsey of Sweet Tweats, (you should totally check out her page, by the way), I have been putting a splash of eggnog in my coffee for a couple of weeks now and I am definitely looking forward to seeing my family for a White Christmas in the Northeast.

But what’s got me the most excited about the Christmas season this year? Crafting!   I will be participating in my first craft fair!  This is something I have always wanted to do.  Admittedly, it has always seemed a little far out of reach and intimidating, but I’m doing it! I will be a vendor at the BluebonnetBazaar!IMG_1368

This little market will be taking place on Saturday, December 13th in South Austin.  Everyday leading up to the Bazaar, I will share a post highlighting an item that I have made and will be available at my booth.

IMG_1370This post is dedicated to Day 1 of the 12 Days of Crafting: Blackberry Bourbon Jam! This jam is the perfect blend of tart, caramelized, spiced goodness.  My apartment now smells like a bourbon distillery after cooking the jam down for a few hours.  I even had a neighbor know on my door to let me know how great it smelled!

For more information on the Bluebonnet Bazaar, check out their Facebook Event with updates and other links: Bluebonnet Bazaar Facebook Event

 

Canning

Butters and Jellies and Jams! Oh my!

butter jellies jamsOk, I cannot stop talking about cooler weather!  It means fall is here, sweaters, scarves, and all things pumpkin!  It also means that I am not avoiding my stove top and oven like the plague, which means when I got my latest order for a gift basket I was jumping for joy!  I had already been canning cucumbers like a mad woman despite the heat and humidity, but now I can have all the windows open on a cooler evening, have a glass of wine, crank up Miles Davis, and bust the ol’ recipe cards out.

I wanted to do something just a little different for this gift basket.  With the combination of seasonal produce and the love I have for the combination of sweet and savory flavors, I decided to play with both ideas!  Nettie’s Bread & Butter Pickles, Jalapeno Jelly, Ginger Peach Jam, and brand new to my recipe collection: Rosemary Pear Butter, were the winners for this little basket.  I must say the Rosemary Pear Butter paired wonderfully with my glass of Côtes du Rhône!  

The basket has been sent off and I eagerly await to get feedback! But like all batches of pickles, butters, jellies, and jams (oh, my) I am left with a little extra!  What does that mean?!  Well, for those that are interested in trying some new treats, but aren’t quite ready to make the commitment to a pint size jar, or perhaps you too are in search for a gift basket for someone… Look no further!  I have put together a trio of sweet and savory gift bags that need homes!

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What’s inside? Three 4 oz. jars! 1 Jalapeno Jelly, 1 Ginger Peach Jam, and 1 Rosemary Pear Butter.

How much? $13

Interested?  Please don’t hesitate to contact me!  (lauraleeimhoff@gmail.com) I will find a way to get them to you!