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Chemo, Preschool and Pears
Tuesday October 11th, 2005 12:38 AM
I've been busy to say the least. My mother-in-law's chemo is in full swing and probably will be for the next year. She's doing a lot better than I thought she would, considering how bad her general health was supposed to be. It makes me wonder if she has a touch of hypochondria. Either way, I'm thankful she's doing so well.

I get to shuttle her to the Dr. for this and that about once a week. It's not far out of the way for me since I work near her house. I'm usually almost as tired as she is, since I'm a teacher's aide in a toddler room. I love my kiddoes but now I know why my mom used to take a nap with me when I was little.

My parents pear tree broke a few limbs this year due to an overly bountiful harvest. I've taken at least twenty pounds off their hands to make jelly and preserves. I finally tweaked a recipe to the point of ultimate yumminess (as far as you can get with "baking" pears). I'll include the recipe below, but first:
You must promise me that if you read this blog you will try the following. Make the sound "er" and remember that "er" goes on the end of most adjectives for comparison. Harder, softer, taller, shorter, and yes, Kirstie Alley, Jenny Craig is yummi-er not more yummy. I'm so tired of people saying "more" when they should say "er". Please spread the word. Only exceptions to the rule use "more".

As a reward for putting up with my grammar rant, I give you pear jelly.

Pear Jelly

8 cups peeled, cored, chopped pears
1 cup water
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 package (1.75 oz) powdered fruit pectin
6 cups white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup brown sugar

Sterilize jars and lids. Simmer covered pears, water and lemon juice for 20 minutes. Stir in pectin and bring to a rolling boil. Slowly stir in the white sugar, a little at a time, and keep boiling for 1 minute until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and amond extract, stirring until dissolved. With slotted spoon, remove pieces of pears and set aside for another use (I suggest pie filling). Pour rest of jelly into clean jars leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Wipe the rims and top with lids. Screw the lids on as tightly as you can. Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Let cool overnight. If the lids pop when you press the middle down, boil the jelly for a few minutes and try again. Once the lid no longer pops when you press it, your jelly is set and is good for at least a year, perhaps more.

Note about boiling water processing: I use a large stew pot and let the water heat to boiling while making the jelly. Make sure the water covers the tops of your jars and they should be fine.

For those of you with hay-fever induced sinus headaches, I feel your pain, especially on the right side. For the rest of you, Happy Autumn and good luck picking out costumes!

comment by Sewlittletime
Tuesday October 11th, 2005 03:00 AM
Hey there! Good to see you back! Glad your mom-in-law is doing better. It's great that you're able to take her where she needs to go.
Your pear jelly reminds me of when I was little. We had a pear tree in our little back yard, and once in a while my mom would get the itch to make pear butter. Well, I didn't like pears then and I still don't. But, boy was that a great tree to climb into with my dolls and play house!
comment by happyhats
Tuesday October 11th, 2005 11:51 PM
You're a more nice daughter in law that most women could dream of. Heh. Sorry had to do it.
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