May 31, 2013

Today is Friday - And I'm Talking About Food!

And aren't you excited?!

I am swimming in produce!

Yesterday my grandmother texted me (my over 70 year old grandmother texts. It makes me giggle) and said they were picking the cherries and did I want some?

Umm, YES! I love cherries. They are my absolute favorite fruit. Even more than strawberries. So I was very excited when she asked, and I we rushed right over.

When I got there her and Poppi had gotten the tree about halfway picked, leaving the stuff that couldn't really be reached from the ladder. With a little thinking we were able to bend the limbs over and Poppi held them down standing on one ladder while I climbed a ladder a few feet away and picked the branches clean. It worked great! And the only one we couldn't get was the limb in the middle.

They also have an apricot tree that is so full of fruit it's ridiculous. So many apricots!

So I brought home 14 pounds of apricots and about 8 pounds of cherries. I have two trays of apricot puree drying in the oven to make fruit leather.

I just stuffed my food processor of pitted apricots, added a little lemon juice to keep the color, and pureed. Then I added honey until it tasted right then poured it into a baking sheet that I lined with plastic. The oven is supposed to be at 140* for drying, but mine only goes to 170* so I crack the door to let out the extra heat and any steam that might come off the fruit.

I also made 5 half pints of apricot jam this morning after breakfast. I've had one single pouch of liquid pectin and I have been saving it for something that really needed it. This was the thing! Now I just need to get more pectin for the berries, heh.

I was naughty though, and only used half the sugar. I don't like my jams overly sweet, and wanted to be able to taste the fruit. I figure if it doesn't set all the way, oh well I'll just have apricot syrup. 

Last night I made some stewed cherries to serve over ice cream. I just pitted them, put them in a saucepan with a little bit of water and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Covered them until they came to a boil, then took the lid off and let them simmer until they became soft and saucy. Oh my goodness. They were so good. I love warm fruit over vanilla ice cream, and these were especially good.

The rest of the cherries and apricots will probably be halved and dried to snack on.

Mimi also gave me a few very large zucchinis, so I guess I will be making zucchini bread today!

Last night I picked our first cabbage! They've taken insanely long to grow, but it was finally big enough last night to pick. It wasn't huge - maybe 2 pounds at the most - but it was delicious!

I also picked my first two garlic scapes. I've heard of how good they are, but I have never had them. I sauteed them in a little butter and we just ate them like that. They are really good! They tasted like roasted garlic - that soft, sweet, lightly garlic taste.

I also got my first three tiny cherry tomatoes last weekend and I made them into a delicious bruschetta on toasted french bread. Now I am waiting for my other tomatoes to ripen so that I can have more.

I'm so excited that summer - and all of it's bountiful goodness - is finally here!



Kessie said...

Look at all those goodies! So much snackage! I've been woefully negligent in introducing my kids to different kinds of produce, so every time I go to the store, I get something new for them to try. The girls love everything and my guy curls his nose at them. But we're working on it!

Farm Girl said...

That is fantastic!!!! What great produce and you have been so incredibly productive. I love all of the goodies you have made.
I am so glad you got all of it.
You are quite resourceful. :)
I of course am still in book land. So many books. :) I almost have all of your books now for school and I am sorry to say, quite a few extra. Books I think B. will love to look at during school.
I think you are going to have a really fun year. I watched him on Sunday and he really, really likes books. :)

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Oh my, that is some good looking fruit! I love cherries so I would have been so excited with that haul. I love that your grandma texts, too cute!

gypsyelves said...

I am new to your blog! Thanks for participating in the How We Homestead series, I am enjoying it. What part of the country do you live in that you (and your grams) already have fruit and veggies ripe? Where I live (northern NV) we are just getting plants in the ground! Thanks!

daisy said...

Yum! Those cherries look luscious! You are loaded down with good stuff! Enjoy!

MarmePurl said...

Oh look at those Cherries and Apricots.
Garlic scapes make a great pesto if you can gather up a bunch. I freeze it in ice cube trays and then use it for pasta, salad dressing base, etc.

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Good for you! I feel the same - absolutely love my strawberries but fresh cherries....swoon! Everything looks delicious. A little jealous on my end as we are still just in the beginning stages of ripened fruit and veggies.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I have to say I'm a tad jealous looking at all your wonderful produce. The apricots look so gorgeous.

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