Photo by Kelsey Langlois
Well, my first fir tip jelly venture nearly went up in flames—literally. A word to the wise: When making fir tip jelly (or any other jelly, for that matter), always use a larger pot than you think you’ll need. When you get to the part where you bring the pectin/sugar/lemon juice/fir tip infusion to a rolling boil it foams up—a lot.
If your pot isn’t big enough, this flammable concoction will overflow onto (and beneath) the hot stove element, where it catches fire. This can be somewhat alarming, as I discovered for myself, particularly when the flames climb several inches above the element and set off the smoke alarm.
Suffice it to say, I had to turn off the stove and remove the jelly before its one-minute boiling period was up. Fortunately, it still gelled, but I’m a little disappointed with the taste: The lemon juice overpowered the very subtle fir flavor. Hopefully, I can try it again with a stronger infusion before the fir tips mature too much.
Now, jumping onto a totally unrelated subject, I just found out that June is Adopt-a-Cat Month and figured I’d spread the word and make a plea on behalf of the myriad homeless felines out there: If you’re looking for a purring pal to share your home, why not consider adopting your new kitty from a shelter or rescue group?
I’m including a picture here of the undisputed King of Beasts in our household: 10-year-old Sunshine, who we adopted seven years ago from a local shelter. Curious, confident, and independent, Sunny rules over our other two indoor tabby cats: my sensitive soul mate kitty, Tiger, another former stray, and portly, playful Bastet, who we found starving and crying in a blackberry patch on our property as a tiny kitten. Every year, we also foster a never-ending procession of rescue cats and kittens—each one unique, and deserving of a loving home.
If you (like me) don’t have the time or room for another pet, you can still do something huge to help prevent the tragic deaths of so many wonderful felines in our nation’s shelters: Make sure your own cats are spayed or neutered, and spread the word that spaying and neutering pets saves lives.
(Editor’s Note: For more information on adopting a cat, visit our sister site, CatFancy.com.)