Today was one of those days when I should have stayed in bed, pulled the covers tight over my head, and not gotten up until tomorrow. Unfortunately, I’m not that lucky, so I banged my head against the wall and failed over and over until I thought the next thing I touched would explode. Absolutely nothing has gone right. How is this possible? How is it possible that I managed to break, wreck, spoil, and ruin everything I tried to do today? There has got to be some talent in that, don’t you think.
I woke this morning thrilled the weather was perfect, elated the sun was shining, and I had more energy and ambition than I thought I’d ever be able to use in one day. I was wrong. When everything I did had to be done at least twice, you tend to extinguish any energy you might have had pretty quick.
One thing that I did manage to finish, without ruining, was canning a batch of Pina Colada Lemonade Concentrate. This was at the top of my agenda seeing as I needed to use up the last six of the first twelve pineapples I bought a week ago. Now I just have twelve left that are slowing ripening in the basement. The recipe turned out as predicted. The one problem was I don’t like it as written. However, I know canning is a learning process, so I immediately came up with a solution that will make the next batch perfect. Here is the recipe, with the change I’ll be making noted.
Pina Colada Lemonade Concentrate
7 Cups crushed pineapple with juice
4 Cups fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 Cups sugar
3 tsp. coconut extract
Core and scrape two pineapples, saving as much juice as possible. Puree pineapple in food processor till nearly smooth.
Combine pineapple, lemon juice, and sugar in large stock pot.
Bring liquid to boil and cook until it reaches 190°. Remove from heat.
**This is where I am making a change next time I make this. I did not like the texture of the drink with the pineapple in it. Once the mixture is boiled, I will run it through a food mill to remove all the pineapple pieces. Then continue as directed.
Add coconut extract. Ladle cooked mixture into jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.
Process in water bath for 15 minutes.
UPDATE 6/18/14 – Today I made another batch of this concentrate but removed most of the pulp using a food mill.
To make a Frozen Pina Colada: Mix one cup concentrate with one cup of ice in blender. Blend till slushy. Add one cup vanilla ice cream and blend until thick and evenly distributed. You might have to add a little water or pineapple juice if the mixture is too thick. Serve with pineapple garnish.
This is one of the kids and my favorite Family Movie Night beverages. Ice cream makes everything better and this is no exception.
Today was a frustrating day, but the nicest thing happened when hubby came home from work. He listened patiently to me vent about my day and after showing him a batch of jam I’d made that would not set he tasted it and said, “Well, I like it! This is really good. This will be perfect for pancakes and crepes. You should make those next week.” That little bit of support, picking me up when I felt I was at my lowest, made all the difference in the world today and for this I am — Simply Grateful.