Sunday, November 13, 2011

Peach Jelly... yum yum

What to do with a whole bunch of peaches?  I didn't feel like just canning them this year.  Especially since I don't own a pressure canner, nor do I remember how to use one.  I decided peach jelly sounded good.  I prefer jelly over jam.  I guess the difference is that there are no fruit chunks?  I think I went 29 years of my life getting that one mixed up.  Anyways, I like whatever is spread on my toast to be nice and smooth.  So jelly it was!  I scoured the web looking for a good easy recipe.  I also don't like how so many recipes just ask for the juice of a fruit.  All that straining didn't sound any fun.  So here's the recipe I found on  

3 lbs. peaches
1 box powdered fruit pectin
2 T. lemon juice
5 1/2 c. sugar

Weigh your peaches.
Blanching your peaches is the easiest way to get those skins off.
Boil for about one minute.
I bought this nifty little contraption in an attempt to get me to do more canning but using my own pots as a water bath.  It was totally worth the $10.  I use it for several things in this recipe.

 After one minute pull those babies out and toss them in an ice bath.  See how handy that green thing basket is?

Now you can slice around the peach and the peach skin should pull off easily.

Slice up your peaches and put them in the blender.  Cling peaches, which are what I have, are more difficult to remove the pits.  But since these are just going to get blended up they don't need to look pretty!

After your peaches are blended mix 4 cups of the blended fruit with the fruit pectin and the lemon juice.  Put the mixture in an 8 quart saucepan and bring to a full boil.  Stir constantly.

Immediately add the sugar.  Yeah.  Jelly is not a "health food."

Bring to a full rolling boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly.  
Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes.  Skim off the foam and ladle into jars.  

Sterilize the jar lids by boiling.  Dry them off and make sure that the mouths of your jars are clean before putting the lids on.  If there is jelly on them it will make it more difficult to open them later!

This recipe made 3 pint size jars of jelly for me.  Boil your jars in your water bath for the appropriate time.  We live at a high altitude so mine needed about 10 minutes.  You'll know you processed them long enough if the lids pop down.  I love hearing those little pop sounds once they start cooling.

And there they are!  Aren't they so pretty?  I always feel so accomplished when I have new little jars of food  to put down in our food storage.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This is why I didn't blog all summer...

We were just too darn busy. Here's a quick run-down of Summer 2011.

The girls discovered that wet sidewalk chalk makes great face paint.

Marshmallow war at the Ruben family reunion.

Plenty of time running through the sprinklers.

Awesome trip to Washington D.C. with no kids!

Complete with an awesome car rental during the trip.

Attended the wedding of my brother Nate to this little cutie, Sarah, in the Washington DC temple.

Camped in the backyard. Still haven't made it all the way through the night without going inside.

Zoo trips with friends!

Company party with a Harry Potter theme to celebrate the final Harry Potter movie. Sigh.

Enjoyed zucchini from the garden.

Also enjoyed peaches from our peach tree. By far the biggest crop we've had yet!

This one learned how to climb up almost anything and developed an obsession with water.

Some fun friday nights with our babysitting co-op kids.

First lemonade stand. One full afternoon of work earned them approximately $3 total. It wasn't really about the money.

Celebrated our country's birth.

Also glad nobody died from the crazy, and now legal, fireworks we set off this year.

A few newborn photo shoots. I just love those squishy, little babies.

A trip to This is the Place Heritage Park.

A little bit of hiking. Not nearly as much as there should have been.

Muir family reunion at Bear Lake.

Plenty of trampoline time at Grandma and Grandpa Ruben's.

Went boating with the Reids. Someday maybe I'll get up on those skiis or a wakeboard. Someday. Maybe.

Swimming lessons for the three older kids.

A visit to the Ogden Dinosaur Park.

Made lots of trips to the park.
Well there you have it! Whew! Now I'm only a month and a half behind on my blog instead of four months!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Heart Faces

I just discovered the website So I'm entering a photo into their photography contest this week with the theme "white." This was the first picture I thought of! My little sweetie Camryn in her blessing dress when she was a couple months old. It's always been one of my favorites.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Utah Valley Half Marathon

I did it! My first half marathon! I can not imagine doing that twice. Hats off to you full marathon runners out there! You're a little crazy in my book.
Anyways, 1-800 Contacts paid for Josh to run the race. I planned to run it too, but kept procrastinating on the registration. When I finally went to register it was full! So I kind of halfheartedly trained thinking I might run part of the race with Josh and our friends, Mindy and Tyson. Then about a month before the race a spot opened up for me to take. So my training was not fantastic and I had terrible shin splints for a good chunk of our training. However, I did run the whole thing, walking only to drink water at the aid stations. It was such an awesome experience and we're planning to run another one in October. I was hoping for about a 10 minute mile average pace and finished in 2:15 so I was pretty much right on with that pace. It was what I expected. Next time I hope to beat it though. Josh finished in 2:04. He ran with me for the first 1 1/2 miles but my pace was a little slower than his and we had agreed beforehand that we would rather stick with the pace we were comfortable with than stick with each other. Isn't that sweet? :) So I had no problem with him leaving me in the dust!
I was pretty nervous before starting the race. We had to leave at about 3:30 am for Provo and then took buses up to the race start. I got nervous when the buses just kept driving and driving and I kept thinking about how I was going to have to run the whole way back. The farthest we had run before this was 11 miles. Fortunately, this race had a bit of downhill (though I could have gone for a little more of that) and it was nice and cool in the early morning and we had a pleasant breeze at our backs. It was a pretty ideal morning for running.
I discovered two products of which I am now a big fan. KT tape saved my shins during this race. I saw a guy taping a girl's knee with this stuff at the expo when we picked up our race packets. So I asked him to tape my left shin where I've been getting terrible pain. It didn't completely cure the pain during the race but it helped significantly. The night after the run I took it off and almost immediately regretted it. I didn't realize how much it was helping even hours after running! I bought new running shoes a week after the race and a bunch of that tape and my shins have felt much much better.
The second thing is Sport Beans made my Jelly Belly. Way yummier than GU and they didn't make me too thirsty. I just took a couple at each aid station and they helped quite a bit I think. I still got very hungry while running. Right around mile 8 I started feeling hungry and by mile 11 my stomach was growling. Those half bananas they handed out at the last couple aid stations seemed to make my stomach more angry because it just wasn't enough. I guess I'll try to eat more breakfast next time.
Well, it feels awesome to accomplished this!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday photos

I have a picture frame that needs to be updated in our living room. And several other frames that still need to be filled! So we headed to Gardner Village on Sunday so I could have a little fun with my camera. Some days the kids just don't cooperate. Oh well we'll try again another day. This is another reason why I don't think I'll ever become professional. It would be stressful to have a one hour set time and be expected to get great pictures when kids just might not want their picture taken that day. You just can't force them to smile or look at the camera. And the weather is always to be determined as well!
Well the weather was beautiful on Sunday but I just didn't quite capture what I was hoping for. This one is my favorite I think.
And this one is a pretty cute father's day shot.
And then there are these...
No matter how many tears or how many times the baby wanders off I will always love these shots. And soon I'll get the perfect picture to fill that frame. But it doesn't really matter because they grow up so fast it will just need to be updated again soon.