Of Jelly, Pen-Friends and Homestead Blessings

July 31, 2010 at 14:16 | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I have been waiting to write this post for a long time, but unfortunately my work committments along with a much-awaited visit from Canadian relatives helped in delaying the process.

My latest culinary/homemaking endeavour was Rose Jelly.
The inspiration for this project came from Mia at Aspiring Homemaker, who posted about her Honeysuckle Rose Jelly. I didn’t have any honeysuckle blossoms available, but in my grandmother’s garden I had plenty of rose bushes in full bloom, and I was granted permission to use some of the most-scented ones to try and make my own “version” of Rose Jelly.

After doing some basic research on which products are available here in Italy to make jelly, I found a nice flavourless jelly powder, which asks for 900 gr. worth of liquidand only 350 gr. of sugar. It worked wonders for me, as I was looking for enhancing the rose taste rather than having an overly-sweet product.

So, I ended up putting about 3 cups of rose petals in a bowl with 900 gr. of boiling water (about 1.2 litres) and letting it infuse overnight. The next morning, I discovered that the beautiful rose petals released all of their flavour, smell and color to the water! I then drained the petals and put the rosy liquid in a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with the jelly powder and the sugar. I let it come to a boil and made it simmer for about 5 minutes, before pouring the jelly into 3 small jars.

I turned the jars upside-down for 5 minutes to seal them, and then put them in our small cellar for 1 week before opening them.

“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.” (1 Thessalonians, 4:11)

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The other day, I was reflecting on how the fast-paced modern world has changed the way we communicate in a radical way.
I have relatives in Canada, South Africa and Australia. When my grandfather’s sister emigrated to Canada, there were no telephones available in our area and the only way she was able to let her family in Italy that she was ok was writing letters. It took months for these letters to arrive, but they were much loved and appreciated by the whole family. 

Nowadays, whenever we think about “writing”, it is usually an e-mail or a text on our mobile phone. So instant and efficient, and yet so utterly ordinary and impersonal.
Where is the lovely feeling of opening the real mailbox and find a real envelope, with a real letter waiting to be read? Or the feeling of getting to know a person and her/his feelings, emotions, bits and pieces of life by her/his handwriting? 

I have re-embraced the joys of letter-writing a couple of years ago when, after graduating from university, I went to South Africa for one year. Some of my closest friends and I were keeping in touch by “snail-mail”, and what a blessing it has been! The anticipation piling up when the mailman approached the house, the amazement at holding an envelope which traveled across one of the largest continents, the joys of reading and feeling the excitement in the words written by the hands of your dearest friends and family!

I have also strived to find new lady pen-friends from all over the world with whom to share the wonders that the Lord provides in my daily life. And it seems to be quite the challenge! 
Of course, modern-era ways of staying in touch bring along the reassuring feeling of anonimity: online we may become whomever we want and we do not necessarily need to be truthful or sincere. We do not need to disclose our real home address and thus we can feel a little more on the “safe” side.
Recently, I have found that Emily of A Beautiful Life  has started a Home Making Pen Friends Blog and today I’m going to try and join it! I cannot wait!

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On a lighter note, surfing the net I have found a range of wonderful DVDs that I would like to recommend to you all.
They are the Homestead Blessings DVDs, starring the West Ladies: a mother and her three daughters teaching practical homemaking skills and tips. I have just ordered the 10-pack DVD set! You can check all of their DVDs on the Franklin Springs Family Media website.

That’s all for now!

In Him,

Alice

 

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1 Comment »

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  1. Your rose jelly sounds lovely, have you tried any of it yet?

    I agree that exchanging real letters is such a treat! The texture of the paper, the colors, script and embellishments are such fun to the senses compared to the black and white electronic instant messengers….
    I find there to be much more description included when one writes a letter as opposed to a quick choppy instant note online or over the phone.

    I am looking for another pen friend if you are still interested. I sent you an E-mail earlier, then decided to visit your blog. I have been corresponding with Emily for some time now, and just started with Mrs. V too. It’s something that I enjoy, and is easy to carve out that bit of time for myself. =))

    I have enjoyed your blog thus far…

    Jenn


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