Friday, July 22, 2016

Fruits from the garden...

Pictured, Einsheimer apple, from an ultra-dwarf fruit tree that we planted two seasons ago. First time apples have grown since planting. "Hallelujah!" a shout out from me. The tomatoes and peppers were harvested from my garden as well. When there is a good harvest, I take pictures, and now those pictures have become subjects for my paintings.

Family Pets in Watercolor; Sammy and Happy


My sister's two dogs, Sammy and Happy. As it turns out, Sammy is our dog Henry's best pal. They've known each other since Henry was just a young pup and that's about eight years ago and counting. Henry, who is an only child, adores Sammy and is happiest when he gets to hang out with these dogs. Happy is the newest adoptee in the Bikel household. She's a strange "cat" but I'm growing to know and understand her better.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Basil Jelly; Summer 2016

In the hot Temecula sun, I grow basil in the shade of a white paper umbrella.  Hubby's not big basil fan but still, I make pesto when basil grows. Having a bountiful harvest of healthy basil leaves, I wanted to do more. Herbal jellies came to mind, so I looked for a Basil Jelly recipe, gourmet stuff. This one comes from, posted by Maryland Jim. The basil flavor in this jelly is delicate, with just a hint of lemon. Success; this one is a keeper. Yummy!

1 cup fresh basil leaf, lightly packed
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups water
6-1/2 cups sugar
2 (3 ounce) envelopes Certo liquid pectin

1. Place basil leaves, lemon juice and vinegar in an 8-10 quart sauce pot
2. Let basil, lemon juice and vinegar stand while you are measuring the water and sugar
3. Add the water and heat almost to a boil, stirring to blend, then add sugar all at once
4. Stir to dissolve sugar
5. Bring to a hard boil
6. Add both pouches of Certo, stir to mix and return to a hard boil
7. Boil for 1 minute or until jelly point is reached
8. Remove from heat
9. Remove basil leaves with a slotted spoon
10. Pour immediately into hot sterilized 1/2 pint jars
11. Seal and process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath