Fall in Minnesota


What a difference a week makes!

Last Sunday, I was in Arizona visiting my parents.  With a high temperature was 102 degrees, I was wearing a skort, sleeveless shirt and sandals.

Today, back in Minnesota, the temperature is 51 degrees.  I am wearing a sleeveless shirt this week, it’s just accompanied by a sweater, slacks and warm socks.

My week off of work started by spending a few days with my parents.  Having recently relocated to a new retirement community, I went to Arizona to see how they were doing.  Glencroft Retirement has many nice features – fountains, library, exercise room, etc.


And entertainment!


After spending a few days with my parents, I returned midweek to Minnesota.

The later part of my week was spent on fall yard projects.  After picking apples, I spent countless hours making applesauce and dehydrated apple slices – 36 cups of apple chips and 39 pints of applesauce!



I also cleaned up some of my flower beds and planted about 400 bulbs for spring flowers.  It will be nice to see how things grow!

I guess it’s back to work tomorrow 😒.


Homemade Citrus Marmalade

After Christmas, my family headed to Arizona for some sunshine and a chance to visit my parents and celebrate their 60th Anniversary.  The weather was delightful, with highs in the mid 70’s.  Whereas, in Minnesota, the temperatures were well below zero.

With the help of my younger brother and sister, we also moved my parents into a senior living center.  This meant that they would be selling their home, including the many fruit trees.  During the years that they have lived there, they have enjoyed having fresh lemons, peaches and oranges available right in their backyard.  I too have enjoyed the fresh fruits.  Each time I have visited them, I have taken some fruit back to Minnesota with me.  Since their house will be sold, this trip was my last opportunity to take some fruit home.

As in the past, this year my plan was to make some citrus marmalade.  While most recipes call for making marmalade out of oranges, I prefer the stronger flavor achieved by using equal amounts of juice from oranges as well as lemons.  I also prefer the enhanced fruit flavor obtained when using SureGel Low Sugar Pectin – less sugar, more fruit per bite!

The first step in making marmalade usually involves cutting up pieces of the fruit skin to make the strips that are present in the preserve.  I am not real fond of the large chunks of skin that this normally creates.  Instead, I use a small grater to grate the skin off of the fruit – the size is similar to fresh lemon zest.  This creates a marmalade that spreads nicely, looks more uniform and tastes great.   This also leaves the white part of the skin still on the fruit which makes juicing the lemons and oranges much easier because your hand has something to hold onto.  Today’s batch included six lemons and twelve oranges.  Since each lemon was about twice the size of the oranges, this resulted in equal volumes of juice after squeezing the fruits. A result was 72 ounces of marmalade.  Yum!

Ten 4 oz jars and four 8 oz jars.
Delightful on a whole grain roll!
My extended family.

Cranberry Orange Relish, Wild Rice Bread and Canning

I recently ate one of the best tasting sandwiches I have ever had. This sandwich was roast turkey on wild rice bread with a cranberry orange relish, lettuce, arugula, white cheddar cheese and thin sliced apple.

I liked it so much, that I decided to try to try to make my own bread and relish. The results were actually better than what I remembered from my purchased sandwich.

Cranberry Orange Relish
16 ounces frozen cranberries
2 navel oranges, peeled and chopped
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

Combine the cranberries, oranges and water in a large saucepan.  Boil until the skins of the cranberries burst.  Puree in a food processor. Pour mixture back into the saucepan and stir in sugar. Heat to boiling and continue to cook until the gel stage is achieved. Ladle into jars and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Note – it took about 90 minutes to reach the gel stage.

Wild Rice Bread
1 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup ground uncooked wild rice
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup bread flour
2 T honey
2 T canola oil
2 T flax seeds, ground
1/2 T yeast
1 T salt

Layer the ingredients in the bread maker pan in the order given.  If doing overnight, make sure that the honey, yeast and salt are on top of the flour so that they do not come in contact with the water until the mixing process begins.

Mix and knead according to your bread maker setting for whole grain breads.
Do not bake in the bread maker.
After the dough has risen once, remove the dough, form into a ball and place in a greased traditional bread pan.  Allow to rise until at least one inch higher than the edge of the pan.

Bake 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Note – not having a wheat grinder, I tried several different ways to grind the rice. I found that the Nutra Ninja worked the best.  In the future, I think I will purchase wild rice flour.  While it is expensive, the recipe does not use very much.  And, I can try it in other recipes to see if I like the added texture and taste.

Canning 2016
While making the cranberry relish, I also made some Citrus Marmalade.

Thus my canning for the 2016 summer is complete.
Here is what my pantry
Strawberry Jelly – 13 jars
Triple Berry Jelly – 13 jars
Peach Jelly – 13 jars
Citrus Marmalade – 7 jars
Cranberry Orange Relish – 7 jars
Applesauce – 15 jars
Dill Pickles – 5 jars
Hamburger Dills – 2 jars
Sweet Relish – 2 jars
Dill Relish – 2 jars
Dehydrated Apples – 15 cups