Coffee, Chaos and Christ

The misadventures of a Mother and business owner.


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Lavender Jelly

Who doesn’t love lavender? The smell, the beautiful flowers and the benefits.

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We have a lavender plant that we bought from a farm in Virginia called White Oak Lavender Farm a couple of years ago and it is thriving. If you are ever nearby you should check it out. It is beautiful and everyone there was so nice and helpful. I hope to return next month while we are at Massanutten with family.

I recently started selling Young Living essential oils and lavender oil is very popular. Lavender has a scent that’s a wonderful blend of fresh, floral, clean, and calm. It’s this dynamic aroma that has made the flower a classic for perfumes, soaps, fresheners, and beauty products. Here are some of the many benefits of lavender:

  • Reduce anxiety and emotional stress
  • Protect against diabetes symptoms
  • Improve brain function
  • Help to heal burns and wounds
  • Improve sleep
  • Restore skin complexion and reduce acne
  • Slow aging with powerful antioxidants
  • Relieve pain
  • Alleviate headaches

It has always been a favorite scent of mine and I just love the flowers. My bees really like them as well. I use the oil on an almost daily basis because I love it so much.

I have used lavender in other jams and jellies in the past but decided to make it the star this year with its own jelly. It was really easy to make and the house smelled amazing for a couple of days. It only requires a couple very simple ingredients and does not require a lot of time, which makes it even better in my book. The recipe calls for dried flowers but I decided to use fresh flowers straight from my garden and it still worked really well.

The jelly turned out beautifully, it is always so rewarding to see the finished product. The lids popping to indicate that the jars are sealed is the best sound ever when you are canning. Very satisfying, we all listen for them once we remove the jars from the canner. Lavender Jelly Jar

 

This is the recipe that I used, I found it through Genius Kitchen and it is super easy to follow.

INGREDIENTS

3 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup dried edible lavender flowers

1 lemon, juice of

1 (1 3/4 ounce) boxes dry pectin or 1 (3 ounce) envelopes liquid pectin

4 cups sugar

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large saucepan over high heat bring water just to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in dried lavender flowers. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a deep kettle or pot, discarding the lavender flowers.
  • Stir in lemon juice and pectin; continue stirring until the pectin is thoroughly dissolved.
  • Over high heat, bring the mixture to a hard rolling boil (a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down).
  • Add sugar. When the jelly solution returns to a hard rolling boil, let it boil for 2 to 4 minutes (see below), stirring occasionally.
  • Boil Times:.
  • 2 minutes – soft gel.
  • 4 minutes – medium gel.
  • Testing for “jell” (thickness – I keep a metal tablespoon sitting in a glass of ice water, then take a half spoonful of the mix and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon. If it thickens up to the consistency I like, then I know the jelly is ready. If not, I mix in a little more pectin (about 1 teaspoon to 1/2 of another package) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute.
  • After boiling, transfer the jelly into hot sterilized jars. Fill them to within 1/4 inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.
  • Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars to wire rack and let cool before serving.
  • Makes five 1/2 pints

Recipe from Genius Kitchen, you can find the recipe here http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/lavender-jelly-412026

Would love to hear your comments if you decide to try this recipe. Hope you love it as much as I do.

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard (lavender), very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” (Gospel of John, 12:3)

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Basil Jelly

I tried an amazing new jelly recipe this year.
I always grow basil in the Summer because we love caprese salad. I just love the smell and taste of it. So I thought to myself, I wonder if there is such a thing as basil jelly. We all know how much I like making jams and jellies! So I did some searching online and I found a recipe by Taste of Home and tried it. It turned out wonderfully and it is now a favorite of mine. It is so unexpected and it turned out so pretty. I can’t wait to make more! 
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I have the recipe below or you can find it here  https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/basil-jelly/   
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Process: 15 min.YIELD: 6 half-pints.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 package (1-3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
  • 3 drops green food coloring, optional
  • 5 cups sugar

Directions

  • 1. In a large saucepan, bring water and basil to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 10 minutes. Strain and discard basil. Return 3-2/3 cups liquid to the pan. Stir in pectin and, if desired, food coloring. Return to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in sugar. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off foam.
  • 2. Ladle hot liquid into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. head space. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  • 3. Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have! Please let me know if you try it, would love to hear your comments.

Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.


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Honeysuckle is in bloom!

Honeysuckle in bloom

Honeysuckle in bloom

Honeysuckle is in bloom so that means it is once again time to make honeysuckle jelly. Time consuming process but oh so good. The flowers themselves are quite beautiful and the smell is one of my favorites. It brings back memories of childhood, standing around sucking the nectar out of the flowers. I wish the blooms lasted longer, but this jelly allows to enjoy it all year-long.

The original recipe that I followed says that it should yield 7 half pints of jelly but I have never gotten that many. The batch I made today yielded 4.5 half pints. I will just refrigerate the half pint that was not full to use right away.

The most time-consuming part of the process is picking the flowers and removing the small green base from the flowers, once that is done it is rather easy. It is a quick process once the infusion is ready.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. This is a jelly that you don’t see everyday, I find it tastes a lot like honey, it is one that will surely please.

Honeysuckle Jelly Recipe

 

 

 

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Who Knew Figs Were So Good?!?!

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Who knew figs were so good? They are nothing like I imagined. Growing up as a child I ate Fig Newtons, that was my only previous experience. I loved them, they are so good. When we bought our new house and found out that there was a fig tree in the backyard it was pretty exciting.

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This summer we went a bit crazzzy with the jam and jelly making. Strawberry jam, honeysuckle jelly, pear jam, blackberry jam and of course we couldn’t leave the figs out. I must say it is my favorite make from this year. It has such range and can be used with some many different things. It would be amazing with pork and it is awesome on a pb&j. It was also the easiest jam that I made this year, with was a nice surprise. It is a truly beautiful fruit as well. Can you tell I am in love? I hope to branch out and do more with them next season, but I am thrilled to be able to still enjoy them over the fall and winter months.

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This is the recipe that I used. I have become a canning diva! LOL

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I must be honest, mine didn’t take as long. Once the figs were washed and the stems removed they were really soft so I just threw them all in the blender at the same time. You can experiment and see what works best for you.

I hope to share more of my canning experiences with you as well. It has been an amazing learning experience and so much fun!


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My adventures in honeysuckle jelly

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Who knew you could take ordinary honeysuckle flowers and make such an amazing jelly? Over the weekend I did just that. I found an amazing recipe online at Lehman’s Country Life, http://countrylife.lehmans.com/2011/06/14/honeysuckle-jelly/. The most time consuming part is picking all the flowers we needed. After you get them all picked and all the green tips removed it moves along fairly quick.

Honeysuckle Flowers

Honeysuckle flowers before the green tips were removed.

 

It smells heavenly when you are steeping the flowers. I must say that it did do a number on our allergies, the flowers were covered with pollen. But it was well worth it, the jelly turned out amazing. It brings back so many wonderful memories of childhood. Picking the flowers and sucking the “honey” out of the flowers. We always looked forward to them blooming every year.

Honeysuckle Infused Water

Honeysuckle Infused Water

 

Honeysuckle Jelly
Yields 7 half-pints
4 cups honeysuckle flowers
4 cups boiling water
1/4 c. lemon juice
4 cups sugar
1 package liquid pectin

First you need to make an infusion to draw the flavor out of the flowers. It’s very simple. Prepare the flowers by removing the tiny green tip at the base of the petals.

Next, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, turn the heat off, then add the honeysuckle flowers you’ve gathered and allow them to steep for about 45 min., stirring occasionally.

Strain the flowers from the liquid. You need two cups of the infusion for this recipe.

In the same saucepan, stir together 2 cups flower infusion, the lemon juice, and the sugar; bring to a hard boil that won’t stir down. Add the pectin and boil for 2 min; reduce heat if necessary to avoid boiling over.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, and screw on lids. Allow to cool for 24 hours, then test the lids to make sure the jars are properly sealed.

I ended up adding mint leaf’s to one batch that I made and it was a nice variation. You may want to try it if you like mint. I will note that the recipe says you will yield 7 half pints but in all my batches I only yielded 4. I will be making more of this for sure, it is a new family favorite!

Honeysuckle jars