These Adorables wanted to host a tea party for Grandad on Father's Day! They insisted he drink from a fancy cup and even had a in depth discussion with him on how to behave like a princess. It's a good thing Handsome Husband has their help! His princess skills are a bit shaky. ;-)
We love blackberries! They are easy to grow in our region and we're getting a bumper crop this year!!
The seeds though... We don't mind some, but they get annoying very quickly! My solution is to strain most of them, leaving just enough to know the recipe has home grown blackberries in it!
DIY Blackberry Syrup
11 cups blackberries (that's just how many I had)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups of sugar
More sugar to taste
First I picked all those blackberries. 11 cups!!
Next they were rinsed and just checked quickly for leaves or stems. My plan is to strain most of them anyway so a stray stem won't hurt anything. The clean berries, sugar, and water were dumped into a soup pot with a lid. I got them nice and warm over low heat for about an hour.
At this point, my Handsome Husband wanted to buy me lunch and run some errands. When your favorite fellow invites you to lunch, who can say "No"? Not me! I turned off the heat and left for a nice lunch and a bit of shopping. Upon return, the berries were perfect! Lots of juice was already swimming in the pot. I turned the stove back on low and started warming them slowly, leaving off the lid.
Using a slotted spoon, I scooped the berries from the pot and into a large bowl. A few seeds slipped through, but I am OK with that. I chose just a small handful of the prettier berries and tossed them back in the pot.
The rest were supposed to go thru my juicer. It only took a few minutes and I smelled smoke. How curious! Then the juicer began shooting out little sparks!
What the WHA!?!?
Welcome to my world! The juicer was quickly unplugged and set outside. Once the smoke settled, it was tossed into the trash.
I used a strainer and a serving spoon to juice the rest of the blackberries. It really didn't take long. All that juice without seeds was added back into the soup pot. I cranked the temperature up to medium and let the it simmer until thickened.
Tasting it is important. Depending on how ripe the berries are, you may or may not need a bit more sweetness. Add some sugar if you like. We don't care for deserts that are overly sweet. At this point, I added a little sugar at a time until we were happy with the flavor. I think I added about 1/3 cup.
All together, my recipe used just under 2 cups of sugar for 11 cups of raw blackberries.
When the syrup was as thick as I wanted, I deliberately scooped a few blackberries into each clean, sterilized jar. They are really quite beautiful and a few seeds are barely noticed. Then I ladled the rest of the juice into the jars. Once completely cooled, all but one jar was tucked into the freezer.
On Facebook, I was nominated to do a Nature Photography Challenge by Mary Kalpos. She is the master mind behind The Boondocks Blog. The challenge was to post a nature photo, past or present, each day for 7 days and nominate a new friend each day to do the same.
It was so much fun, I'd like to share the ones I chose to post on Facebook! I also have permission from my buddies that participated with me. If you would like to see all of them, please click below!
This is what I was doing last weekend. Another 5k plus obstacles. We had mild storms and gloomy drizzles all week leading up to the event, and it was a rainy morning. There were the man made muddy obstacles along with muck that just comes from having a wet week.
I was supposed to participate with one of my workout buddies, but at the last minute, something came up with her daughter and she couldn't play in the mud. It took quite a bit of courage to attend by myself, but I REALLY wanted to do this thing, so by golly, I did! Yay, me! That may have been the toughest challenge of all!
My rope swing was a thing of beauty! I made it all the way across that puddle AND landed sort of gracefully on the other side! I was so surprised!
I don't remember how many obstacles there were, but each held its own challenges. This event will definitely be on my To Do List again next year!
Had. A. Blast!
If you don't have a sense of humor, stop scrolling! If you don't enjoy reptiles, stop right here. No, really. Stop.
OK. Here we go!
After completing all those obstacles, I couldn't wait to see if any of the photos matched my athletic brilliance. ;-) The email came with the photo gallery link. I pounced on it. Well, the very first photo was this one!
I was there! Right there in that mud pit!
If you look closely, you can see it is a plastic snake, but DANG! Whoever staged this photo and put it in the gallery...