Lots O Fruit!

Every year I seem to write a post about making jam.  I think that part of why I do this is to keep track from year to year, the process and how much we make.  I can always go back to the blog entry to find out the specifics.


This year we had more fruit than in years past.  We made seven batches.  Yikes!

1. Strawberry, 2. Strawberry Rhubarb (3:2) , 3. Strawberry Blackberry (3:2), 4. Strawberry Blueberry (3:2), 5. Strawberry Rhubarb Blueberry (3:1:1), 6. Strawberry Rhubarb (4:1), 7. Strawberry Blackberry (4:2).  All total, we had 36 cups of fruit (the last batch had an extra cup),  and 49 cups of sugar.  We just use the recipe from the Sure-Jel package.

What’s nice about making the jam at this time of year, is it’s all ready to give as gifts for Christmas!

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Hard to Digest…

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around a news story.  I saw it on television on Thursday night.

A few posts back, I wrote about safety in school.  My mom had asked me about keeping mace in my desk.  In general, I do feel safe at school.  But you know that it could change on a dime.  That particular post reminded me of an incident outside of my school several years ago.

Apparently it has been about five years since the incident.  A 13-year-old girl was raped a few blocks away from school.  She was on her way to the bus stop.  I remember our principal on the PA system telling kids to walk in groups and beware of strangers.  There were increased police patrols in the neighborhood too.  You saw cop cars all the time.

I remember it as one of the worst neighborhood crimes that affected the school.  It was so close, and they never caught the guy.  I’ve always been concerned for the safety of students walking in the area, especially after that day.  On my way home from work, I drive by the scene of the crime from those years ago.  So it’s something that I am reminded of almost every day.

The news story that I saw on Thursday was one saying that they have someone in custody whose DNA is a match for that case.  He was arrested on another sexual assault charge last May.  The picture was flashed on the screen along with his name.  Hmm…  Looks familiar…  Sounds familiar…

Friday I looked at some old records.  He was in one of my classes.  It’s an uncomfortable feeling, knowing that this individual was in my classroom. Especially knowing the heinous things he’s [allegedly] done…


surly darkness

I’m definitely more of a wine person than a beer person.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like beer.  But I tend to buy and consume more wine.  I take wine classes.  My next one starts in another week.  This time it’s about wines of France.  I’ve taken enough classes so that this current one is half off the regular price!

On Friday I went out with friends.  We went to this lovely restaurant which was having a Friday night fish fry.  The food was excellent!  But one of the main reasons we were going was for the beer.  There is a local brewery with kind of cult following.  Each year they have some special brews.  Some are anniversary brews and some are seasonal brews.  Right around Halloween, Darkness is released.

I’m usually not a dark beer fan, but I think I may turn into one.  Darkness wasn’t at all like I expected.  It hardly seemed like beer.  It was an imperial stout with great flavor.  Here’s the description: This massive Russian Imperial Stout brings waves of flavors; chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, and toffee. We add a touch of hops to make this delicious brew even tastier.  We treated this glass as dessert.

I had a pint of Bender with my dinner.  That was another dark brew.  What’s the Bender like, you ask?  This oatmeal brown ale defies traditional categories. Bender begins crisp and lightly hoppy, complemented by the velvety sleekness oats deliver. Belgian and British malts usher in cascades of cocoa, coffee, caramel and hints of vanilla and cream. An easy-drinking ale with many layers of satisfaction.

I took the descriptions directly from the Surly Brewing site.  Feel free to check it out.  It was such a good experience, I have a feeling that there will be more dark beer in my future.