Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fall Preview

I really am a simple person; it does not take much to keep me happy. All I ask for is the "right" kind of jelly for my morning toast and my afternoon PB&J. Is that too much to ask? No, it really isn't.

This morning I slept in. I hate to admit that when I got up is was time for a late brunch or slightly early lunchtime. Based on the time, either my usual toast and grapefruit breakfast or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich would have been equally acceptable. My dilemma did not come with choosing one over the other but that we had no jelly. Which of the two would I rather eat with no jelly?

My favorite kind of jelly is red plum. Knowing that we were low on jelly, but not realizing that we were completely out, I tried to buy some yesterday at the grocery store. The store where I now shop does not carry ANY brand of red plum jelly at all. What's up with that? In a moment of stubbornness, I did not even buy that grape that will always do in a pinch. Consequently, I was forced to eat naked toast this morning. Though the immediate problem of today's first meal had been addressed, the bigger problem of no jelly still had not.

I know, I will make jelly. I only had one problem, not enough of any one fruit to make the process worth it. Fruit salad did not sound like an appetizing flavor of jelly. But wait! I do have pumpkin. And BK is here. She can make pumpkin butter. This is Erin's favorite and she has been asking for it for . . .well, a long time. It is not the same as red plum jelly, but it is a close second. The only thing that could impede my plan was having no canning jars. A quick trip up the step stool to the top pantry shelf revealed a half dozen jars. That should do. Anything that doesn't fit in these jars we can just eat with a spoon!

One does not usually think of pumpkin in the 100 degree Texas summer; one probably does not think of canning either. Oh well, we did. Though pumpkin is usually considered a fall thing, at our house it is a staple. We eat it all year round. Brooke has a great vegan pumpkin pie recipe and muffin recipe. I have an awesome pumpkin bread recipe. I am not sure whether it is the pumpkin itself or the fact that every recipe that uses pumpkin also uses mega amounts of cinnamon, but in my mind, nothing bad comes from pumpkin - except maybe soup. Truthfully, I have never had pumpkin soup;however, it really does not sound good, especially compared to pie or muffins!

A little canned pumpkin (this is how you know it is summer), some sugar, just the right spices and in a few minutes you have pumpkin butter ready to be put in jars and then in a hot bath. Amazing!

Because my naked toast had not been truly satisfying, I had a peanut butter and pumpkin butter sandwich for lunch. BK joined me and Brooke and Erin had well-dressed toast. There is nothing that beats homemade jelly.

Don't think that I have forgotten about the red plum jelly. Tomorrow we are going to get a bunch of plums, more sugar, and a supply of canning jars. By this time tomorrow, the pumpkin butter will have to share its spot on the pantry shelf with a few jars of red plum jelly. These are not a compatible combination to the taste buds, but on the pantry shelf they are an awesome duo.