Oregon was a fantastic time. Getting too or from was less than ideal. My luggage never made it me at all. In fact, I hadn't seen it until yesterday. Good thing I am the same size as my sisters and that my littlest sister was VERY excited to dress me up. She chose excellently. But, there are some articles of clothing that ought not be shared, so, oh darn, you just have to send three sisters on shopping trips! The man at the make up counter (wearing false eyelashes and splendid eye make up. I mean phenomenal) truly understood my pain. His incredibly sincere gasp and utter dismay at having lost ALL my make up was just what I needed, and gave my sister a good laugh. United Airlines customer service may not understand how infuriated I was, but a MAC employee knows this pain, especially when I told him I was there for my sister's beauty pageant. Horror.
Having gotten a new dress and make up I was ready to go support the star of our family that night. My sweet-hearted sister was A-MAIZE-ING. (Um, yes, that was a not so inside joke. We all happen to laugh greatly at the movie Grown Ups). She sang and played the piano and was the only beauty queen not prancing around in next to no clothing, which as a big sister, I really appreciate! She had all the right attitudes about the pageant, and I'm very proud of her resolve after not winning "I'm no beauty queen, I'm just beautiful me." They're song lyrics, and to counter her I'll rearrange some other lyrics : Don't be a queen, just be a beauty. And that she is. Watching her sing and play piano for Taylor Swifts Back to December in a beautiful ball gown will always be a treasure memory of her.
The trip was wonderful, despite leaving me dead tired, after too many flight cancellations and delays, I wouldn't trade a moment of it. Well, I might trade the moment when my sister went to hit me with a pillow, lost her grip and socked me in the eye. No, not even that. It's too funny to tease her about! It was a wonderful time.
Cheers to my sisters and to some lovely comfort food after a long trip!
Five Spice Cider Jelly
1 quart apple cider
1 package (1-3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon five spice powder (cassia cinnamon, cloves, star anise, anise seed, and ginger)
7 half pint jars, lids, and rings
Preheat oven to 200. Place jars, lids and rings on a cookie sheet in the oven, and leave for at least 20 minutes.
In a large sauce pan combine the apple cider, pectin, and lemon juice, over high heat. Stir constantly. When the mixture boils, quickly stir in sugar. Continue stirring until the mixture boils for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Skim off any foam that may have formed on the top of the jelly. Stir in the five spice powder before you pour the hot jelly into sterilized jars. Be sure to leave a fourth of an inch from the top unfilled.
Put lids and rings onto the jars, wiping off any jelly that may have gotten on the sides. Seal firmly and invert, lid side down on the counter for one hour. Return to right-side-up and store. Once opened keep refrigerated.