Feb 10, 2017

Perserverance Pays Off

Here we are... almost halfway through February.... and another month closer to Spring... warmer weather.  Ahh!  I cannot wait.  Even though, my area has not had much snow this year (thank goodness)....

In addition to having the perseverance year after year to deal with the cold and snow, over the past few months I've been dealing with a challenge of my own stupidity making.  I came across a recipe that called for apple molasses.  I'd never heard of it before, so of course I Google'd it.  Ten dollars for a small jar... are they crazy?  In retrospect, it may have been cheaper if I'd just paid the $10.  Why you ask?  Read on:
Long time readers know how I'm into DIY.  Again, Google was my friend.  I found out I could make my own apple molasses by boiling down apple cider. Growing up, my Dad and uncle made maple syrup by tapping maple trees and boiling it down so I knew what was involved.  Piece of cake.  This journey started last fall.
As I was boiling down the cider on the stove, my brother called me and said he had time to replace the brakes on my car.  When bro calls and says he has time, I have to go.  I decided to put the cider in the crockpot and let it boil down -- safe enough and I didn't have to "babysit".  The next day was a Monday, so I had to go to work.  The cider was soooo close to being done, but not quite.  Since I had a doctor's appointment that day, the plan was to let it cook in the crock and stop at home on my way back to work to shut it off.  Well..... I forgot.  When I got home that night, I found this:
What surprised me was that when I left the house in the morning, there was only about 3" of liquid in the bottom of the crockpot.  When I got home, there was an expansion of crusty, crunchy, sponge-like blob in the crockpot!  Ewww.
It was all I could do to get the solid part out of the crockpot. Then I soaked it. Guess what?  No amount of soaking will remove burnt on apple cider!  Barkeeper's Friend... Nope.  Softscrub... Nope.  I tried all the obvious cleansers to get the stuff off to no avail.  I Google'd burnt crockpot and found a blog... Yes, a blog! Vinegar and baking soda.  It took a long, long, LONG time (perserverance) to get all the burnt out of my crockpot, but it worked!  Big thanks to The Acid Truth

What else have I been up to?  I've been stitching, but there isn't anything I can show since both projects are for exchanges.  What I can show is my finished "masterpiece" watercolor painting.  I kind of chuckle when I say masterpiece because it's far from, but that's what the instructor for the class I took referred to our project as.

This painting is based off a photograph I took in 2002 of the Pecatonica River near where I live.  I don't think I did the photograph justice, but I'm pretty happy with how the painting turned out seeing as I'm still a newbie.  I'm a much better photographer, lol.

Until next time....