Sunday, August 22, 2010

In a Jam, not a pickle

With the bounty of free fruit ripening up, I declared that this would be a canning weekend. I've been keeping my eyes open for a screaming deal on roma tomatoes but alas, no deals are to be had...yet. But the deal on blackberries and plums was too good to resist. Justin and I picked about 4 quarts of berries on Thursday and I went back out for another 2 quarts on Saturday and turned the whole lot into several half pints of jam.

Canned and ready to be eaten or given away as gifts! Half of the lot is plain blackberry and the other half is blackberry-cinnamon-cardamom jam.
On Sunday, we headed out for a little walk to my favorite plum tree that doesn't appear to be owned by anyone. The plums are small, about the size of large cherries but they have good flavor and they are plentiful. As, I write this, I'm simmering them down with some ginger root to make a tasty preserve. The canning will have to wait until the work week because the plum stew must cool so I can separate out the pits.

Mmmm....stewed plums.
We scoped out the cucumbers at our local fruit stand and they looked pretty picked over. My own cucumber vines in the garden have a lot of little gherkins but only one vegetable worthy of pickling. So, I'll be waiting until my cukes come in or I find a better selection elsewhere. In the meantime, I'll be searching for some *free* dill weed. There's an abundance of fennel around my neighborhood but I haven't stumbled on dill yet...and you call yourself a weed!

One other fruit I'm hoping to find a free source for is figs. We have a fig tree and it has yielded two ripe figs so far but it only has 5 figs on it total--it's pretty young. I'd like to make a fig jam since it makes a lovely hors d'oeuvre with goat cheese and bread. Let me know if you live on the hill and have more figs that you can handle.

And during all of this picking and simmering and processing, my lovely partner painted and painted and painted some more. He likes to zone out to his tunes with a paint brush in hand. Good thing because I've lost steam on the painting.

One more coat and some touch up and our garage is ready for her debut!

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