Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 16 Jul 2006

It’s 96° outside right now. And how do I spend my day? Standing over bubbling kettles of boiling fruit.

I, you see, am a very unique sort of fool.

The primary project for today is making and canning fruit butter. The two flavors on the docket are:

  1. Apricot-Mango, because I thought it sounded good
  2. Nectarine, because I received a sort of special request

For those who haven’t undertaken the task (which it probably everyone reading this), making fruit butter basically involves pureeing the fruit, adding sugar (half as much as you have fruit) and then stirring and boiling and stirring and boiling and stirring and boiling until the mixture thickens up. This can (and usually does) take hours. In the meantime, fill your massive canning kettle with water (you do have a massive canning kettle, don’t you?) and put it on high heat. In a couple of hours it ought to be boiling. Keep it that way. Once the mixture is thick enough, ladle it into jars, put the caps on and boil them in the kettle for about fifteen minutes. Then, because you’re a culinary masochist, start the second batch of butter.

In the meantime, because your kitchen really isn’t warm enough yet, keep your oven at 350° so you can make a batch of baked beans for dinners and lunches for the next week. Do this for at least five hours. In the middle (read: hottest part) of the day.

At some point during the day, please note how miserable you’re making your poor old cat, who insists on staying near you in the kitchen rather than hiding in her nice cool closet as she ought.

Other kitchen tasks which need to be done today:

  1. Make muffins so I can have breakfast for the next two weeks.
  2. Put the two batches of limoncello into phase 2 (sugar syrup and more vodka).
  3. If I’m feeling really ambitious (HA!), make biscuits to take to work tomorrow, the better to serve fresh apricot-mango butter.

Well, at least it keeps me off the street and outta trouble.