I decided after a fun week of learning how to pickle things, I would ease back into something I’m a little more familiar with. I had one last gallon of frozen blackberries from this summer and figured it was time to make preserves. So I did.
Last night was our first freeze. I woke up around 6 to the outside temperature reading 29 degrees. Momma loves her sleep, so I figured I had a few hours to plan the day. Got the fireplace going, did a little light cleaning in my kitchen. Bogey flits in first, clutching a warm blanket and a toy he slept with last night. Bear Bait staggers his pre-teen self out of bed about thirty minutes later, heads straight to his phone and disappears into the back playroom to do whatever it is 12-yr-old boys do on Saturday mornings.
Around 8:30, I figure I have a half-hour before she comes out for coffee. Throw some medium roast beans into the grinder and prep the coffee pot. So, here’s a good time to admit that I’m a cookbook junkie and have been longer than I’ve actually been able to cook. I have a new one that I’ve only (unsuccessfully) made one recipe from and decided it was time to try again.
100 Great Breads by Paul Hollywood. Pulled down the Kitchen Aide, filled up my favorite mug of coffee, and got to work. Baking is probably my weakest area in the kitchen. . . mostly because it requires such exact measures and I really don’t like to follow rules. Still, it is one of my favorite new additions to the cookbook library.
I decided that the recipe for scones fit my on-hand ingredients and time constraints quite nicely. (Momma gets cranky when she’s hungry. . I really needed a blackberry preserves delivery device that didn’t take too long to rise.)
She woke up just as I was putting on the first egg wash, turned on the coffee maker, and asked me what I was up to. Didn’t take much explaining before I knew I was racking up some high-value Good Husband points.
Thirty minutes in the fridge, one more egg wash, and about fifteen in the oven. Just enough time to arrange it all pretty. At the last minute, I braved the cold morning air to snip the last brave blossom of the season. Did a once-over on the raised bed and, yeah, the cold night ended the long run of my early girl tomatoes and that magnificent patch of okra. I’ll be cleaning that out later this afternoon once the sun warms it up.
Thanks. They tasted as good as they looked. The only fault was that I don’t think I let the preserves get hot enough to gel so it was more like. . well. . chunky blackberry syrup. But, hey, even failure can taste pretty sweet when you’re working with blackberries.