Pump Up the Jam – Revisited

I made jam (or possibly a thick sauce) yesterday out of the apricots on my parents’ tree.  I had made a test batch about a week or so before, and it was mighty tasty.

I took the pits out of a bunch of apricots. (maybe 3 pounds? maybe more?).  I didn’t even bother taking the skin off, which is a huge time saver.  I added 1 cup of water. (next time i”ll do 1/2 cup).  Brought to a boil, then a soft boil for 20 minutes or so.  Use immersion blender till it’s all same consistency.  Then add 3 cups of sugar. and the juice from 1/2 a lemon. (around 2 tbsp).  I also put in the zest of the lemon.  I let it continue at a gentle boil till the mixture held its shape on a spoon.

For jarring, I sterilized wide mouth 1/2 pint jars.  I looove the new jar tongs!  MUCH safer than trying to use regular kitchen tongs.  Then I funneled the mixture into the containers, leaving 1/4 inch of space on top.  Then I covered with sterlized lids.  Then submerge the jars in water and boil for 10 minutes.  Let cool and give away to family members…because I don’t need 5 jars of apricot jam.

Next adventure: Plums!

A New Food Group!

Cottage cheese faceMax is loving his solid food!  The other day J. started him on cottage cheese.  He loved it!  He pounds on the tray to show he wants more.

So, to recap here are the foods he’s had so far (and any tips I have to go along with said item):

  • rice cereal (just a few days at the beginning, and we also use it to thicken up extra juice fruit purees
  • sweet potato (roast for an hour in the oven on a rack, then peel, mush and serve)
  • banana  (freeze extra banana mush in ice cube trays)
  • avocado (mush on its own, or in combo with banana)
  • carrots (use a metal steamer tray, then combine with banana cube)
  • zucchini/squash (steamer tray)
  • peaches (peel, mill, combine with rice cereal to compensate for the juice)
  • apricots (at first I’d take the skin off, now I mill it with skin on)
  • COTTAGE CHEESE!
  • (oh, and he gnawed on some ciabatta crust the other day, but since the crumbs went into his diaper rather than his tummy, I don’t really count that)

Things I’m nervous for no reason about giving him: oatmeal (maybe because I don’t eat it), broccolli, plums (maybe too tart?), strained meats — I don’t even know where to start with this one.

Am I missing any key things that babies love at this stage??

I’m hesitant to go for any of the puffs/baby biscuits type stuff.  It seems like those must be loaded with chemicals to be able to disintigrate in babies’ mouths.  Anyone want to talk me down from that?

Is it time to start with cheerios yet?

Not so fast…

Turns out that greenpress is not quite ready for prime time.  I’m optimistic that they’ll get their ducks in a row soon enough, but till then, I’m afraid I’ll have to continue posting here.  Sorry for the drama!

Moved!

You can find me at http://almostima.greenpress.com

Hope to see you there!  (And it will look better soon, I promise)

Another Cheap Dinner Option – Frittata

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As you may have noticed, pictures have been a bit sparse on the website.  I’m borrowing J.’s computer these days because it’s a little faster, but most of my pictures are on another computer.  Ah, the complicate

d joys of technology.  Anyway, here are some photos of one of dinners this week: frittata.  Every ingredient is from the farmers market.  I didn’t calculate the cost of each ingredient, but I’d venture a guess that it’s roughly $5 a serving.  This frittata also makes use of a couple of egg whites left over from making mayo.

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The Smell of Clean

We’ve had our apartment cleaned a few times by a service.  We asked the service to use only green products in our house.

It didn’t occur to me till last night that after the cleanings the apartment doesn’t smell like it has taken a chemical bath.  I always associated “clean” with harsh lemon-type smell.  But now, after the maids leave, the apartment looks great, yet it doesn’t smell like anything. It’s just clean.

We don’t have to worry about what our son crawls on or sticks in his mouth.  We can all rest a little easier.  (Well, maybe not Stella)

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We’re Movin’ On Up to the Green Side

I’m still figuring this out as I go, but I am moving.  Not moving from my apartment (yet).  This time I’m moving my blog to greenpress.com.  It’s a new community that aggregates green-theme blogs into a community.  All things being equal, I’d rather lend my support behind a green start-up.

I am joining greenpress.com as a “founding blogger.”  So, that’s kinda fun, no?

I still need to figure out the logistics of the move, but probably by the end of the weekend you’ll be able to find me (and all my old content) at http://almostima.greenpress.com.

Hope to see you there!

White House Organic Garden Update

Check out this great video clip on the progress of the white house organic garden! When one considers how long it takes for change to take root in Washington, it’s nice to see such wonderful growth in just a few short months!

Perspective on Wardrobe

On the eve of returning back to work, I posted in minor desperation about what I felt was a lack of a wardrobe to return to work.  Well, it’s two weeks later and I’ve managed to get by.  I dressed professionally every day without repeating an outfit or buying anything new.  And I don’t get the sense that I’m at the total end of options, either. 

This gives me valuable perspective.  We women often get that “I have nothing to wear” feeling, while our male counterparts can make it just fine on 3 pairs of slacks and 5 shirts.  I think my previous perspective came from a place of not feeling good about myself in what I had to wear.  These are my fat clothes.  These are not the clothes that would cause a co-worker to compliment me in the hallway.  But these clothes look just fine and if I had to meet a client in them, I wouldn’t be embarrased.  So, now, I choose to derive my self esteem from the fact that I was capable of sticking to my guns and using the stuff I already have without needlessly spending money that I need to be saving.

I gotta admit, it does feel pretty good.

On the flip side, no progress on the weight loss side.  Grr.  I’m starting to consider atkins, but I know that as soon as I stop it the weight will come back and be even harder to lose.

Honesty Update

So much for the meal plan… last night we had an improptu family get together at a chinese restaurant down the street.  We put the salmon in the freezer for a later use (hopefully it won’t suffer too much.)  And I ate some of the chinese leftovers for lunch today.

Are you sometimes way too depressed by the news?  Want to find a happy place?  Try this news site: www.happynews.com (best read while putting hands on ears and singing “la la la”)

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