April 30, 2012

Monkey Butter

Monkey Butter Ingredients

5 medium, perfectly ripe bananas (no brown spots), peeled and sliced
1/2 of a ripe pineapple
1/4 cup ground coconut
3tbsp lemon juice
3 cups organic white sugar

I chopped the pineapple and crushed it with the flat side of my knife.

Peel and slice the bananas and add it to the sugar, coconut, and lemon juice in a heavy pot.

Then I scraped the pineapple, juice and all, into the pot with the rest of the ingredients.

Bring it all to a boil and cook it until the bananas dissolve and the jam thickens.

Towards the end the Monkey Butter was as thick as I wanted it but the bananas were still chunky, so I used a potato masher to help them along.

Fill your jars leaving 1/4-1/2 inch headspace (sorry for blurry picture but you get the idea).

Process the jars in a waterbath for 15 minutes.

Monkey butter is delicious spread over whole wheat toast in the morning, mixed in with yogurt for an afternoon snack, or served on top of ice cream.

It's a very simple recipe that is great to practice your canning skills.


April 24, 2012

Strawberry Jam

Spring came early and the strawberries are perfectly ripe.

It's always more fun to pick with friends.

We picked around 60lbs of berries between the 3 families.

We went back to my place and set up to make jam all day. We set the campstove out on the front porch to give us more burners. This picture was taken after we were done. We did the water bath canning on the stove in the house and cooked the jam on the campstove.

Three people can make a lot of jam. The work was easier and there was only one mess to clean up.


April 19, 2012

Marriage Ammendment

In a few weeks I will be voting against the same-sex marriage amendment that will read:

"Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts."

This is where I steer left of my Libertarian friends. Since marriage is legally binding and ministers who perform ceremonies have to be licensed by the state, it should be governed by the state. How can we tell the government to "get out of the marriage business" when we hand the dissolution of it over to the courts to sort out? For legal purposes though, it should be called a "legal partnership" across the board. Religious ceremonies should be left up to the church you attend.

The state should not be in the business of making lifestyle or morality choices for it's citizens. This would rank us on level with Shari'a Law. Is there property damage? Does gay marriage infringe on the rights of others? Is there physical or emotional damage if we allow homosexual marriage to be recognized by the state? Of course not! Thus limits the power the state has over deciding who gets married to whom. We shouldn't add personal opinion or preference to either the State or Federal Constitution.

I'd rather fight against the freedom of "no fault" divorce. It's far more damaging to family dynamics and the security of our children, making marriage a temporary status until you get bored, unhappy, or find someone new.

Gay marriage is already illegal in the state of North Carolina. Adding this amendment to our state constitution is simply unneccessary and goes against the purpose of having a Constitution which is to protect the citizens from an overreaching government.