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Jelly and jam

Posted on by MK Carroll

This week's canning: liliko'i jelly, guava-liliko'i jam, and white guava-liliko'i jam. 

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The liliko'i jelly has black flecks in it because I ran the pulp through the blender at a high enough speed to bust up some of the seeds into pieces small enough to pass through the sieve. It's edible, so not a problem. The guava-liliko'i was to make use of a batch of cold process (freezer) liliko'i jelly that had a good flavor but was both runny and lumpy, and a batch of guava jam that I tried to make without added pectin (it was bland and had a gritty texture). Combined, brought to a boil and canned - great flavor, so if I can get my hands on more guavas soon, I'll do this flavor combination again. The white guava-liliko'i has less liliko'i than the guava-liliko'i, and the white guavas I used have a milder flavor. The results are okay, but the flavor is delicate and doesn't hold up well on toast. 

August so far

Posted on by MK Carroll

I've just gotten home from a 10 day whirlwind of travel, in which I spent a couple of days in Portland OR, a few days in Cleveland and in Troy, Ohio (stopping in Columbus), and then hopped back home through Cleveland and Portland again. It was a mix of work and play: 

 Liliko'i (passionfruit) jelly, flanked by guava jam - homemade gifts for friends 

Liliko'i (passionfruit) jelly, flanked by guava jam - homemade gifts for friends 

 Blueberries and peaches - nothing quite like a good, fresh, tree-ripened peach!

Blueberries and peaches - nothing quite like a good, fresh, tree-ripened peach!

 Cooperative Press HQ: this was round 1 of mailing out  Stitching in the Stacks  pre-orders and returning many samples from the upcoming Fresh Designs Crochet series. 

Cooperative Press HQ: this was round 1 of mailing out Stitching in the Stacks pre-orders and returning many samples from the upcoming Fresh Designs Crochet series. 

   Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams  are splendid indeed - I drove from Cleveland to Troy and then back again, stopping in Columbus for much-needed ice cream breaks in both directions. I dreamed about the roasted strawberry buttermilk ice cream - it may be the best ice cream I've ever had, seriously.

 Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams are splendid indeed - I drove from Cleveland to Troy and then back again, stopping in Columbus for much-needed ice cream breaks in both directions. I dreamed about the roasted strawberry buttermilk ice cream - it may be the best ice cream I've ever had, seriously.

  "Today two families are becoming one. No need to select a side, just select a seat." The trip to Troy was to help set up and celebrate a friends wedding - it was an amazing weekend!

 "Today two families are becoming one. No need to select a side, just select a seat." The trip to Troy was to help set up and celebrate a friends wedding - it was an amazing weekend!

 Not to be left out, one of my PDX friends took me to  Ruby Jewel  for ice cream. The blueberry-basil is delicious!

Not to be left out, one of my PDX friends took me to Ruby Jewel for ice cream. The blueberry-basil is delicious!

 After a week of travel, I was really craving some live culture sauerkraut. I ate the entire jar of  Olykraut  within 24 hours. 

After a week of travel, I was really craving some live culture sauerkraut. I ate the entire jar of Olykraut within 24 hours. 

 Did I mention how much I love eating fresh blueberries? 

Did I mention how much I love eating fresh blueberries? 

 And peaches? 

And peaches? 

There's so much more - like learning that Powell's Books will ship your books home for you for a flat fee (I paid $12.99 to Honolulu), if you spend a certain amount or number of books (please check with a Powell's staff member for the details). Back in June, I checked a second bag, filled with books and yarn, for my flight home. This time around, I had the books shipped. Easy peasy - and I didn't have to wrestle an armload of books out of the store!  There was the 600 page manuscript for a novel Cooperative Press very much wants to acquire that I stayed up late reading, two nights in a row, despite really needing to get some sleep. There was working alongside Shannon Okey, the incredibly hardworking heart and soul behind Cooperative Press (who also happens to be a blast to just hang out with). There was the hawk that dove towards my windshield and then veered off at the last moment. There was the honor of being part of a team helping to put together a wedding, a deeply heartfelt event with lots of handcrafting and teamwork (what a great way to kick off a marriage!), and of seeing a good friend the happiest and most radiant I've seen in the 20 years of our friendship. It's been a good month so far - now to try to get some sleep!

Twittering

Posted on by MK Carroll

Always a bookstore

Posted on by MK Carroll

For years, I've had dreams about cities. 

 Photo by  sweetjessie  (Flickr link)

Photo by sweetjessie (Flickr link)

Sometimes it's a city that I know, and I'm just walking down a street or taking a train and it's just another day in London, or New York, or Seattle. More often, though, it's a dream city that only exists in my head for the duration of the dream. Some of the cities are dark and empty and I'm the only one there. In others, I walk and talk with people I've known. In one of them, the city was overgrown and I rode a horse over a grassy bridge. In all of them, there is a bookstore. Like the cities, the bookstore changes from dream to dream - once, it was a basement of old paperbacks on steel and cork shelves, and in another, library carts of books sat outside under an overhang, around a large bed with a patchwork quilt over it, so that customers could test books out while lying on it (which still seems very sensible to me, as someone who has done a lot of reading flopped down on a bed or floor). 

Does every city have a bookseller?