::checks calendar::

Daytime highs in the 20s and 30s of late, with the occasional flake falling from the sky. One hears rumors of Spring, but it feels more like late January. Crocuses and daffs had popped greenery–I hope it all survives.

Fingers crossed that Gaby is improving. I can get her to eat a mix of treats, dehydrated foods, and kibble. Not mad for the kibble, so I will try her old frozen raw food sometime during the coming week. I prefer it because it has no fillers but for a single-digit percentage of fruits and vegetables. Also, I have a bag and a half of the stuff and would hate to see it go to waste.

Anyway, the Adequan appears to be helping–Gaby’s walking well, and seems to have a decent amount of energy for an old girl. I know dogs tend to hide discomfort unless it’s really bad, but I’ve been able to tell in the past when she’s been off her game, so hoping what I’m seeing is reality.

frozen apple slices in a pot

Not a promising start, I grant you.



In other news, yesterday I saw I was running low on fruit spread while at the same time wondering what the heck to do with the 2 pounds of peeled/sliced apples that had been residing in the freezer chest since ::checks storage bag:: 14 October 2018. I’d had good luck making spiced beet jam using some roasted beets from the same stratum, so I decided what the hell and looked up recipes for apple jam. Found this small batch recipe for Easy French Apple Jam and adjusted to suit.


sliced apples etc cooking

Dried cranberries etc added.

As usual, I cut way back on sugar because 1) I have a sweet tooth like whoa and reduce when possible and 2) I eat a lot of fruit spread and find most store-bought brands to be flat sugar sweet with little if any fruit taste.  So, from 2 1/2 cups regular sugar to 1/3 cup coconut sugar, which I like for the caramel taste. Fewer cardamom pods–3, iirc. A teaspoon and a half of cinnamon because apples. Pinch of salt. A third of a cup of dried cranberries. My standby Pomona pectin–only half a teaspoon because apples have pectin enough.

Chunky apple jam in containers

A scant quart of finished product.



The result isn’t as pretty as the recipe photo as the apples had browned over time. Think “chunky apple butter.” But it has a clean apple taste. I like it.




cover of BSG Spring 2022 VeteransIn short story news, HEADS UP! I have a story coming out in the Spring 2022 issue of Boundary Shock Quarterly, which will be available the first week of April. The theme of this issue is Veterans and what happens when retirement comes along, the war is over, their time has passed. My story is entitled “Breakaway,” about a young pilot caught up in an unforgiving system. I’ll update the link once the issue goes live.

I fear it may have opened up new story possibilities because I really like these characters.

Until next time…