Sunday, September 20, 2009

The sweet stuff...

We have been picking nectarines this week. We have one semi-dwarf nectarine tree next to the garden. It hasn't really done much in the past, it is in a spot that doesn't get much water. This year, however, it over loaded itself with juicy little nectarines. We even lost a branch do to the amount of fruit this year. I think it is because when planting the garden we thought a pea patch next to the tree would be awesome- it was, in turn the tree actually got enough water.
I couldn't think of anything else to do with the fruit but jam 'em! I called Danielle ( my ever faithful sis-in-law), and Brooke (the violin teacher), they brought their supplies and we made JAM. We made 70 pints of nectarine raspberry jam. It turned out YUMMY! I was soooo grateful for their help- we had no idea it would take us so long, we were exhausted and a STICKY mess ( this was mostly thanks to Ian(3) who liked to measure the sugar for us)!! I went back to the nectarine tree to see how much fruit was left... SIGH... probably another bushel. Jaxon and I picked and sorted and left the fence side of the tree for the neighbors! We took the boxed fruit to a neighbor who was excited to have fresh fruit but was a bit concerned when I unloaded ALL the fruit, she had never made jam before and was looking a bit dazed. I wasn't about to take the fruit back, I hurried home and grabbed my food processor, water bath canner, jotted down the recipe and assured her she could do it! I might mention the next day Doug and I were leaving town and so this left her totally on her own- She did great and said her husband even helped and was so thrilled to have jam on the shelf!
It is a busy time of year when the fruit and veggies are ready to be put up. I am grateful to my Mommy who taught me how to do these things. This year we have put up, cherries, summer applesauce, apple pie filling, pears, tomatoes, salsa, corn, potatoes, pickles, nectarines and we still have all the squash,beets, carrots, the peach tree, a fall apple tree, and hopefully, one more bushel of tomatoes.

It is always hard work, but extremely satisfying. As I sit here and write, the bucket of windfall peaches aren't going to freeze themselves- better run!

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