Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter Manatees!

A couple of weekends ago, hubby and I went to Blue Springs State Park to see the annual cavorting of the winter manatees.

Can manatees cavort? Either way it was flipper-to-flipper action!

Each year, when the weather gets cold, these gentle giants make their way to wamer water for the winter. Manatees are warm blooded mammals that cannot survive when the water temperatures reach 60° or cooler. Fortunately, the water temperature at Blue Springs stays a toasty 72° all year long.

On this particular day, there were 155 manatees counted in this spring alone. It was a very popular place that day for local and out-of-state visitors; it was a little crowded. But the manatees did not disappoint their biggest fans.

The weather was a little blustery and overcast, but the water is always crystal clear. It almost looks like someone's swimming pool, no?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

Tigress Can Jam Challenge #1

As hard as it may seem to imagine right now, summer is just around the corner. Really, it is! I promise.

And why not take advantage of all the yummy citrus that’s available now and make some of this AWESOME strawberry lemonade concentrate? Can’t you just picture it? A hot summer day with a big ol’ glass of sunshine!

Homemade strawberry lemonadeThere’s really not much to it: strawberries, fresh lemon juice, and sugar, but I cannot even put into words how delicious this tastes with sparkling mineral water! My Meyer Lemon tree still has about a dozen or two lemons on it, and I’ve already squeezed at least 4 quarts of juice out of the fruit I’ve picked so far. The freezing weather has really done a number on our citrus crops.

For drink mixture: Mix equal parts concentrate with water, sparkling mineral water, or club soda. My husband says this would be amazing with a splash of vodka!

Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate
Makes 6-8 pints
Recipe Source: Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

6 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
4 cups fresh lemon juice
6 cups sugar

Note: If you’re using Meyer Lemons, feel free to add some bottled lemon juice to the mix to bring up the tartness. That’s what I did.

If you do not want to process this concentrate in canning jars, freeze the concentrate in 1 to 2 cup portions.

Puree strawberries in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Mix pureed berries, lemon juice, and sugar in a large pot and bring up to about 190°. Do not bring to boil.

Prepare canning jars and lids for processing. Ladle concentrate mixture into pint jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!

I know I haven’t been around here very much lately, but it’s all been good. Lately, it seems that all the things I normally obsess about have been put on the backburner.

More medication, please!

No really, things are going for the better. Last year, I promised to do a few new things with this blog, but quite honestly, I haven’t had the time or energy. I’ve wanted to transition to another blog platform, or even have the site redesigned, but again that takes time and energy. I DID; however, learn how to take better pictures, so that’s a step in the right direction. I’m hoping to make some positive changes very soon that will allow me to pick up the rest of the slack.

In regards to The Great Weight Loss of 2009….wellllllllll…the GOOD news is I entered the New Year weighing less than I did the year before. Go me! Even if it’s only 10 pounds, it’s still less than the year before. At this rate, I should hit my weight-loss goal by age 50!

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