Thursday, July 04, 2013

Independence Day...

It's Independence Day here in the US. 

So people are practicing their independence by driving the rest of us nuts with fireworks!! 

I found this article, and it brings to mind the current divisiveness in our country as we struggle with a Congress that won't do anything because they're afraid of their corporate overlords, and a religious right that insists upon beating the rest of us over the head with "how the Founders conceived this Christian Nation."

Well. History has a weird way of biting you in the rear end if you spout facts that, patently, are not true. 

Here's what the Founders really said, and  this one is my favorite: 

35. “The legislature of the United States shall pass no law on the subject of religion.”
~Charles Pinckney, Constitutional Convention, 1787

Read more:

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Makes you kind of want to whomp your head, doesn't it?

We are not now, nor have we EVER been a Christian nation. To assume otherwise is to show your own profound ignorance of your own country. Or bigotry to the "other" among us, forgetting that there's probably oh, maybe a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the actual US population who can really trace their ancestors back.

And you know who they trace them back to? British colonists. Who aren't even the true citizens of this country. 

I could go into the whole rant about the First Nations. But I won't. You can research it yourself. If you really want to educate yourself. I would hope that you do want to educate yourself.

In a fit of productivity, after getting groceries, I noticed my basil plant was going to seed. So I gave it a haircut and made some basil jelly. Also made some rosemary jelly, and I'm waiting to see if that sets up. Frankly, I'm not too sure the BASIL will set up properly, which will annoy me. The proportion of water/sugar/pectin was ok. I can't figure it out. The rosemary was a tad skimpy, so we shall see.

So, the uses? Basil jelly can be put on top of a cream cheese or a soft farmer's cheese and used with crackers. It can also be used in BBQ sauce for a different taste to those "crock pot meatballs" you see at parties everywhere.

As far as the rosemary, use it like mint jelly: with lamb or perhaps pork. Either way, savory jellies are kind of cool. And I have the herbs sprouting like crazy.

Maybe next week, it'll be dill jelly - that's coming along faster than the pickling cucumbers are!

Basil Jelly 2013
Here's the basil. Sitting on the bench on my porch. The bench that my great-grandpa, an immigrant from Poland, made. It's gotta be at least 100 years old. And it's still in very good shape. My mom handed it over to me, since she doesn't have a porch. I did buy some cushions for it, but I didn't want them in the picture. 

I will see how the rosemary is settling. I did tip the jars over because I put sprigs of rosemary into the jars and I wanted the sprigs to kind of be in the middle. It's not really working out that way, but that's ok. 

Note to self: need 1/2 pint jars!! And I have to do a better job of taking off the old labels. I had purchased some that were supposed to be "water soluble" but they haven't proven to be so. 

I hope to get some pickle relish made this year. I have the pickling cukes coming along nicely in the garden. And the tomatoes are s-l-o-w-l-y coming around. 

We're about to plant our second run of lettuce soon. And the carrots are very beautiful. I may do a carrot jelly this year. That could be fun. 

Chugging away on the Chandelier Lace scarf. I'm taking it easy, resting my hands, because I'm kind of fighting with the yarn and the needles. But that's ok. It's starting to look like something, and I'm really thinking I'm going to like it. 

Off to make another cup of tea, finish the repeat and check on my rosemary jelly. 

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