Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why Stop There?

Why stop with just jam when you can go completely crazy and can fresh fruit, too?
The prepared jars with cut nectarines:

 Then the sugar syrup goes in:

Sealed & boiled:

...and DONE!

The skins cooked off, but they give a nice flavor boost to the finished product.

Time to go pick more nectarines!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's Like Music!

The sound of the freshly canned jam jars as they cool and seal themselves with that unmistakable 'tink!'

Three more batches done today, with still enough cut up fruit for at least 1-2 more batches. I have to return to the store for more sugar & lids/bands first though--I cleaned them out yesterday when I went. Actually I'm going to hit up a different store, as I'm sure the one I went to yesterday hasn't restocked yet.

AND I still have to pick more nectarines today, they're ready...


Friday, July 25, 2008

TA DA--! Metamorphasis!

In case you've ever wondered what 35 pounds of nectarines looks like, here it is:

...that's about 1/3 of the total amount of fruit on the tree, so more of this is in our future.

It took all of yesterday to cut, pit & chop it to get all that fruit ready. Today it became THIS!

Well, part of it, anyway. This pic doesn't show it all, but today I got through about 5-6 batches; tomorrow and likely part of Sunday will be devoted to making nectarine jam as well.

I'm tired...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Harvest Time!

Snow Queen white nectarines from our back yard:

These were the first ripe nectarines of the season, and the tree is loaded with tons more. This coming weekend will be nectarine preserves canning time!

The back yard is positively perfumed right now with the scent of the fruit, and those dumb-as-a-rock green June Bugs are just beginning to zoom about--much to the delight of the 8 year old armed with an old badminton racquet and our personal chicken army.

They do such a thorough job that I only found ONE June Bug on this batch of nectarines that I picked tonight. One of my favorite summer sights is watching the chickens madly chase June Bugs.

Time to farm out home-grown nectarines to everyone I know!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Strange Creatures Creeping Through My Garden...!

Ol' King Lizard makes his way through the rose bushes...

While his buddy, OhmygodHUGESPIDER obligingly gives a lift to friends Squirtle and Walrus.

The kid leaves behind some really interesting play set-ups sometimes, you gotta wonder what fantastical story is behind all of this.

Also, that damned T Rex was RIGHT by the hose bib and scared the Hell out of me when I went to turn the hose on.