eastbound map

I was inspired by this map on flickr (click to see)
to do this

day one page

I've got the whole east bound portion of the trip in the book -- very easy to lay out eastbound travel -- route reads left to right. Not sure how to deal with the westbound leg... put maps upside down?

Here is the left side of the Day 1 spread all ready to go.


road trip journal prep

I started preparing a book to use on my October road trip

first I'm gluing AAA maps of the route into an 8 x 11" blank book
next, I'm painting the non-route portions of the map with gesso
there are portions of the trip I haven't yet figured out so it's a work in progress...

pepper jam -- XXXtra hot

The Hatch Chile Jam was not hot enough...

I took that recipe, and for the 1-1/2 cups of chopped pepper,
I used a mixture of serranos, jalapenos, yellow peppers and one habanero

it turned out so pretty:
It's super hot!


Raspberry Jam - Uncooked

When we were kids, our dad recruited us to go out in the woods behind our aunt's house to pick wild raspberries for jam. I now use frozen berries and make a low sugar freezer jam version. The perfect project for a hot summer afternoon.

Here are visuals of the ingredients and equipment:

I find raspberries too seedy and this Wear-Ever Berry Strainer is the perfect tool for mashing and filtering out some of the seeds. I bought mine at a 2nd hand place up in Portland OR.

3 12oz bags frozen berries
1-1/2 c cane sugar
1 pouch Ball Freezer Jam pectin*

mix sugar + pectin in a bowl -- eliminate any lumps
mash berries in a bigger bowl
add sugar mixture
stir constantly 3 minutes
pour into clean jars, cap
let sit for 30 min
freeze or refrigerate

* found with the other canning supplies at your grocer. They're always shifting around the location (sometimes near the sugar, sometimes near produce), so I always buy a bunch when I find it.
here's the jam atop some greek yogurt:


Another Batch of Chile Jam

I finally had some more NM chiles (from Deming this time, not Hatch) to experiment with and I tried the "Small Batch" recipe mentioned a couple of weeks ago. The chiles were rather mild + insipid, so I left all the seeds in. I'm hoping the jam will get hotter as it ages.
The recipe is called "Sparkling Sweet Pepper Jelly" and the results are very pretty -- it glows like a gem!

1-1/2 cups evenly diced peppers (= 3 NM chiles) can combine various types/colors*
3/4 c white wine vinegar (oops - just noticed the "wine" part -- I used plain white vinegar)
3 c granulated cane sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin

1. Prepare jars, lids, set up work area

2. Combine peppers, vinegar, and sugar in large stainless steel or enamel pot. Bring to full boil over high heat. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly (so won't boil over). Add pectin, return to boil, boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat.

3. Ladle into sterilized jars and seal. NOTE: jells up FAST!

yield: approx 3 cups

(adapted from "Small Batch Preserving" ISBN 1554072565)

*think I'll try it with jalapenos + serranos next time!