Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Strawberry Fig Jam

What do you do when your awesome neighbor brings you over a few gallons of freshly picked figs?  If you have your own fig tree and eat figgy pudding every Christmas, then you are way more familiar with this fruit than I am.  I thanked my neighbor and then sheepishly asked if I needed to pit them or peel them.  

Ha ha- you don't do either.  He recommended making Fig Jam using any flavor of jello. His favorite flavor was Strawberry so that is what we used .
A fresh fig cut in half.

So I searched online for a Strawberry Fig Preserves recipe and immediately got started because the fruit was very ripe.  The recipe we used is at the bottom.  We ended up with 16 cups of figs so we had to double the recipe and make a couple of batches because the recipe only calls for 4 cups.

My kids enjoyed helping.  They had to taste test quite a few of the fresh figs just to make sure it was a good fruit.  They both agreed that fresh figs are quite yummy!

                  Here is a Photo Journal of our Strawberry Fig Jam 

We used 8 cups of figs, one large box of Strawberry Jello, 5 1/2 cups of sugar.

Mix the sugar with the figs and cook until the sugar is dissolved.  At first it will look like the photo above, but the juice will come out soon and turn it into a sweet soup.  Keep stirring during this process so you do not burn your sugar.  

Once the sugar is dissolved, add the jello and boil for 7 minutes.

This recipe fills 5 pint jars. One jar is missing from this photo- we filled it but didn't seal it because we were going to use it immediately.   I used a couple of half pint jars to give away to friends.  I put the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal them.

Now it is time to enjoy our finished product!

We needed biscuits to test out our jam with.

My older daughter said the Jam was great, but she liked the fresh fruit better.  I guess I'm going to have to use more figs in the future and try a few other recipes.
This Jam was really sweet.  I like it a lot.  It tastes nearly identical to real strawberry jam, and that surprised me.  We finished one jar really quickly so I'm glad I have a few more in reserve.

Here is the link to the recipe we used from allrecipes.com:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Xinnie - Our Breda Silkie Mix

What happens when you cross a Breda with a Silkie/Cochin/Leghorn Mix?  Meet Xinnie!


Remember when I told you I was concerned about having our silky mix (named Silky) in with our Breda, because she lays the same color and size of eggs?  Well we ended up hatching some of her chicks- fathered by Storm Cloud- our pure Breda rooster, and vola!  Xinnie was born.

Xinnie's mother Silky (left) and father Storm Cloud (right).
Snowy is in the middle and is Xinnie's Aunt.
Xinnie's Grandfather
Xinnie's Grandmother
We think it is a she.  Xinnie's grandfather was a she until he started crowing so we are not sold on her sex yet.  We've been selling a lot of chicks lately and nearly EVERYONE who comes here offers to buy her from us.  She is just too unique, and people are drawn to her.  But we are firm in our no.  We are enjoying her developing traits.

  Check out her toes!  Ha ha- they don't seem to bother her but they do look funny.

Xinnie is here to stay.  She is timid- like her father.  I look forward to taming her up a bit with fresh cherry tomatoes.

Doesn't she look royal?

Xinnie's head shot- she has that one feather that likes to block her vision.