I have just finished making two batches of strawberry jam and one of blueberry jam. Neat stuff, this: it’s boiled briefly on the stove, then spread out on trays to dry in the sun for three days. At the end, you get the most amazing, intense, wonderful strawberry preserves. And it’s fun, too. I think I’m going to make another batch. (Heaven only knows what I’m going to do with all those preserves, but that’s where friends can help. I’m sure they will suffer.) It would be interesting to try the same technique with raspberry and boysenberry preserves, too. Every year I make a batch of raspberry jam just to put into chocolate truffles…if I can get that intensity in a sun-dried raspberry jam, it will make hella fantastic raspberry truffles. I’m already eagerly anticipating strawberry truffles. I haven’t in the past because I never really felt strawberries were “strong” enough to stand up to chocolate, but maybe this year…
The preserves also go great with yogurt. I made a batch of yogurt yesterday (which is less “creative” than you might think: I’m lactose-intolerant and have to make my own yogurt if I want any), and a few tablespoons mixed in gave a great blueberry yogurt. Still not as good as yogurt over fresh blueberries, but maybe in the wintertime.
I’ve also tied/sewn a bunch of pieces of white muslin in preparation for tie-dyeing. I want to make mandala patterns–which I’ve tried unsuccessfully in the past–and they do best if stitched tightly, so I ran them through my sewing machine. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find urea today, so it will have to wait until I can get to an (open) art store. I have soda ash and everything else. I’m really looking forward to that experiment.
I’m also nearly done with the first pentagonal piece of the pentagonal shawl from the book on knitting Japanese lace. It’s lovely, but until I manage to stretch it out I won’t know for sure what it looks like. I do plan to analyze it to see exactly how they’re making it a pentagon. For the second “tile”, I plan to concentrate on understanding the structure and the different textures they’re using–after that, I may (?) design my own.
I have one other project right now which is taking up much of my time/energy, but I can’t discuss it yet. Maybe in a week or two, when I finish.