May 31, 2013
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!