1.24.2014

Guava Jam Recipe

Sheer ambrosia! Fantastic on plain yogurt.
Guava paste, jam or pastelitos
yield 6 8oz jars
(adapted from this recipe by Jen on Just a Pinch)

Ingredients
    •    20 medium sized ripe guavas
    •    3 c sugar
    •    1 pinch salt
    •    water as needed

Directions
    1.    Wash and remove stems off the guavas.
    2.    Scoop out the centers of the guavas and put in a strainer over a bowl.
    3.    Cut the guava pulp with skin into quarters and place in a blender to puree. Add enough water to help the mixture liquefy. Pour into
    4.    Strain the puree really well and discard the skin and pulp left behind. Unnecessary, IMHO. Blend it really well instead.
    5.    At this point you can get the seeds and strain those as well, this part will require a spatula or the back of a spoon to help you get the puree through the strainer. [I suggest pouring some water over them. You DON'T want any seeds in your jam. Jawbreakers.]
    6.    Combine both strained purees with the sugar into a pot. Cook on high until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly as to avoid sticking or burning.
    7.    Add the pinch of salt and Lower to medium heat. Continue to cook and stir occasionally for about 30 minutes.


1.03.2014

The Empty Shelf Reading Challenge

Jon Acuff, who I discovered yesterday in my internet perambulations, has come up with what looks like a fun challenge: the Empty Shelf Challenge. Empty out a shelf in your bookshelf, fill it with books that you've read during the year, and document the process. He suggests using it as a way to read more books. (Read the full instructions here) Personally, I have no need of encouragement in that department. My problem is remembering what I've read and what the book was about. I can't tell you how many times I've pulled a book from the Mar Vista Library shelves, stared at the cover, read the bookends, and thought "Have I read this already?"

My first challenge was to designate and clear a shelf. Maybe in my office -- the whole thing could use organizing!
As you can see, this is less a bookshelf and more an accessories shelf.
We are supposed to put a book on the shelf AFTER it's been read. That didn't fly.
That empty self is made me unsettled -- I can see it from my office chair.
3rd down on left is my new "empty" shelf
My first book [to our left], which I'm part-way through, is The Round House, by Louise Erdrich.
I'll tell you more after I get it finished.
To our right is my Surface Design Classes binder from the classes that I took with Stephen Sidelinger in 2005.
Keeping it visible, hoping to get inspired to get my Surface Design e-book/e-course in motion. 

I put some of my "To Read" books there too. Most of my books will be from the library, so they won't be staying on the shelf after I'm done with them. A clean, empty shelf is not part of my world.
I'll be sharing my reads in a cloud photo album, in case I stop posting here.
Let me know if you can see it at this link down in the comments below. Never shared a cloud photo album before!