Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jelly Success, Friends, Take Joy

This time around the crabapple jelly was a huge success. It tastes fantastic, too. Crabapples have enough natural pectin that I didn’t have to add any. It takes longer, but it uses less sugar and the results (if successfully jelled) is delicious and gorgeous.
I encourage anyone with a crabapple tree to try making jelly. It doesn’t take that much. I only filled a grocery bag a 1/4 of the way full and made 7 half-pints and 2-full pints of jelly. The redder the crabapples the prettier the jelly.
I’m so blessed to have so many interesting and talented re-enacting and non-re-enacting friends. I really should utilize their talents more. Through my friends I could learn:
1. Spinning

2. Fencing (with swords)

3. horseback riding

4. horse driving

5. gown draping (which I will learn shortly)

6. knitting

7. crocheting

8. tambour embroidery

9. lace making
And I’m sure many other things that I cannot think of right now.
On the Tasha Tudor front, I have been wondering if her longevity was due partly to her old-fashioned living. She worked hard without overdoing it. If it stressed her out, she didn’t bother with it anymore. She also ate very naturally with fresh ingredients. Not only did she live until she was 92, but she was healthy and active to the end. Her “take joy” philosophy must have had something to do with it.
I have a bench out in my kitchen porch that I purchased at a yard sale years ago. It’s a cute, simple wooden bench that was painted blue and covered a few times with a crazy-quilt-like fabric. The fabric is torn, worn and shredded in places and I’ve been meaning to cover it with a fine linen that I’d embroider. I couldn’t think of anything to embroider on it other than Failte which is Gaelic for Welcome. Instead, I have decided to embroider “Take Joy” on it.
There are so many Bible verses out that that lift me up and I’ve got beautiful promises of God tucked away in me that I can pull out when needing a reminder of His perfect love. However, there’s just something about Tasha Tudor’s “Take Joy” that really instills in me something that keeps me out of the depths of stress, anger and resentment that I’ve lately been too capable of falling into. I think it’s because it embraces God’s Grace as well as all the worldly blessings around me. It reminds me to look to Him because He is our ultimate Joy. It helps me on so many levels.
By the way, you can purchase the DVD format of Take Joy(pictured above) at I’m hoping to get it for Christmas or my birthday!

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