Rose Petal Jelly

Here is a deliciously simple recipe to use locally available produce! 

Rose petal jelly tastes like spring in full bloom. It has a sweet  light lemon flavor followed with a gentle floral note from the rose petals. It is quite simply one of the most delightful jellies I have tasted. I have been eating it straight out of the jar (with a spoon of course :p) until I can get around to using it in a cake. YUM!  
You will need to use organic roses that have not been sprayed with any chemicals. I found these in my friends yard. Use the most fragrant roses you can find for the best flavor.
This recipe will easily adapt to any herb or edible flower. Lemon balm, violets, or nasturtiums would be wonderful.
Rose Petal Jelly
3-4 cups of packed rose petals - free of bugs
4 cups of water
4 cups sugar
Juice of one lemon
 1 box of pectin
 Sterilized jars (I got 4 and 1/2 8oz jars)
1.  Place rose petals in a large sauce pan, cover with water. Bring to boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and cover with lid. Allow to steep for 60 minutes. .
2.  When rose water has steeped, strain and press out liquid.
3.  Add the juice of one lemon and watch the murky brownish-pink water turn bright pink Its Magic!
4.  Pour back into sauce pan and turn heat on high.  Stir in pectin and stir until dissolved.
5.  Add sugar to boiling mixture. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring continuously.
6.  Transfer the jelly to hot, sterilized glasses and seal according to manufacturer’s suggestions.

I use a water canner. Fill the canner with enough water to cover your jars of jelly by at least one inch and start heating the water. Place your sealed jars of jelly in the canner and bring to a boil, close the lid, and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the canner and place on a kitchen towel to cool. You should hear "PING" from each of the jars indicating a vacuum seal.  You can also press a finger on the lid to see if it gives to the pressure. If it does you can either reprocess the jar of put in the refrigerator. Theses should keep up to 2 years in a cabinet or up to two week refrigerated once opened.
This jelly would be great as the filling for a cake or macaron. You can also make a syrup by omitting the pectin and use that for a Rose Petal Martini - dressed up with sugared rose petals. For those of you who do not drink martinis the syrup can be used in carbonated water for a home made soda.

Chickens can fly!

I have some sad news to share today.
I lost one of my chickens- Amanda.
She escaped her chicken yard by flying over a 5 foot fence.
Scout was on hand and... well.
Chickens sound and look a lot like squeaky toys. 
Once she stopped squeaking he came and got me with a worried look.
After talking with a friend who has raised chickens I found out chickens can fly. She had chicks escaping a 10ft fence! 
Dewella and Ezmeralda marmalade are a little depressed. I clipped both of their wings this afternoon and gave lots of treats to cheer them up. I had no idea chickens could get so sad. They really have so much more personality than I expected.

Chicken update 7 weeks old.

Chickens go through a gawky teenage phase. Hen's are people too I guess! My birds have gotten so big so quickly. They were only little peeps for about 2 weeks then I moved them from my horse's 5 gallon water bucket to an old feed bin twice the size. The coop upgrade only lasted a week and they started jumping out giving my dog, scout, the thrill of his life! Luckily I was on hand to toss them back in before he recovered from his enthusiastic dance and got a  taste of fresh chicken. It was a close call.

So after searching around for a larger chicken containment system I decided on a small kiddie pool enclosed with cut up cardboard boxes about 4 feet high. This has worked until this morning when I went in to check on the ladies to find them all merrily perched on the cardboard wall.  At 7 weeks they have most of their feathers but, the night temps are still down in the 40's so they spend their days out in the chicken yard but, I bring them in at night. The buff orpington (Ezmerelda Marmalade) has not changed color.  She is mellow. If you pick her up and place her on your friends shoulder she sits contentedly and twitters.

The spotted Sussex (Dewella) has really changed color!  She is gorgeous with red, cream,gold,  and black colors and little white spots. She is easily motivated with worms and is always the first to run up for a treat. If no food is involved she is the most standoffish. She flaps her wings and squawks to no end when you try to cuddle her.

I am still hoping I have all hens. Time will tell.
Hopefully the nights will get warmer and I can get these chickens out of my spare room in the next week or so.
Did you know that chickens love cake? and cranberry scones ;)

And the winner is!

Thank you to everyone who entered the give away for my 100th blog post!
I used to generate the number 24 for Smitten Sugar!