Saturday, July 11, 2015

Enjoying the summer harvest!

I love this time of year!  

There is so much to enjoy outside! - and by enjoy, i most definitely mean eat!

I wanted to just share some of what I have "enjoyed" lately...

My in-laws recently took a road trip to Washington state and were so gracious to bring us back some fresh cherries and apricots!  We had a gallon of cherries to consume!  Besides eating them straight out of the fridge our favorite has become sauteed cherries over ice cream!  You must try!

 - Cut cherries in half and remove the seed/pit and stem (the juice is bright red and will stain your clothes!)

 - Melt a tbsp of butter in small skillet

 - Put cherries in skillet and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar.

 - Cook cherries until the get soft and they start to put off a syrup.

 - Poor hot cherries over ice cream and ENJOY!!!

The handful of apricots weren't quite enough to make preserves, especially if I intended to take advantage of a fresh juicy apricot!  I had never done it before but decided to dry the remaining apricots before they got too over ripe!

 - Cut apricots in half along the "seam" or indention. (this makes removing the pit easy)

 - Remove the pits

 - Turn the apricot halves inside-out (this is difficult if the apricots are soft, as mine were)

- Arrange cots dome up, or inside up, on drying rack

 - Follow dehydrator instructions for temp and time 
(I did 135 deg for about 10+ hours) 

 - Store dried cots in cool dry place and you just added a couple weeks to their shelf-life!

Perhaps my FAVORITE thing about this time of the year is fresh Blackberries!!!  July 4th weekend was spent in the wild bushes hoping to get enough for a cobbler and some jam! (and yes, I pick one eat 3!)  With the help of good friends and a husband who likes blackberry cobbler almost as much as I do, we came home with a gallon!  -  Not only did I get a bag full of berries, but I also collected a few chiggers and a poison ivy rash that turned out to be the worst I have ever had.  But I still consider it a wonderful time and worth it!

However, my kitchen wasn't as prepared to make cobbler as I was.  Out of Sugar!  So I have picked up a 10# bag of sugar, but I haven't had time to make a cobbler or Jam yet!

Despite not making apricot preserves or blackberry jam, my canner has already been dusted off this year!  In a nearby town there is a produce stand that says "elbow drippin peaches."  This is the first year I have been able to catch someone there when I go by.  (my mom has bragged on these peaches for the last two years)  I wasn't optimistic about my upcoming available free time, so I only got a small basket, but I did get to enjoy an 'elbow drippin snack' and canned 3 quarts of peaches for some future cobblers!

I love getting to take advantage of all creation that God has given us!  Whether that be soaking up the sun, smelling the rain, or enjoying a plump juicy blackberry!

                          The earth has yielded it's produce; God, our God, blesses us.   Psalm 67:6

What are some of your favorite summer harvests!?