Welcome to One-Quarter Acres

Here's a chronicle of life on a plot of land right smack in the suburbs in Minnesota, whose owners would much prefer to be in the middle of nowhere.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A little jar o' sunshine

It's been a very, very long time since I've put up some food, but I managed a dozen jars of orange marmalade recently. The task kept shifting further down the to-do list until I realized that the oranges were starting to look a little weary and my lemons were threatening to turn to mush on the counter.

It's nothing fancy, just something from the Ball blue book. Since I live on the edge, though, I roughly doubled the recipe and didn't use quite as much sugar as called for, because I like a tiny little bit of bitter (or sour) with my sweet.

We had a rare day of sunshine and I had to take a photo of a few jars basking in it. The sun has been such a tease in Minnesota, hiding behind clouds in the morning only to pop out in the afternoon and then disappear again. The snow is finally melting, although temperatures are once again below freezing today and dirty bits of ice hang on still.

The weather has not been cooperative for sugaring, that's for sure. I've collected a few measly gallons so far, and half of that—four hard-earned gallons, precisely—fell victim to a 3.5-year-old boy as they sat on the back stoop. I'm sorry, sap, that you were fed to the driveway instead of boiled down to delicious, sticky syrup. The weather forecast looks ideal for collecting sap in the coming week, but since three of the five taps are barely producing, I'm not going to hold my breath.

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