I almost finished with the bushel of peaches on Saturday morning. I still have peach juice (from peels and pits) that can be turned into jelly or hard candy. On Saturday, i took the last two peaches and "canned" them, putting them into jars with ginger, lemon slices, cloves, and cinnamon, heavy syrup, and processed them in boiling water. I've got fruit floating above the syrup that is apparently safe, just likely to lead to discoloring (per this). The jars on the left in this photo are peaches in alcohol.
I'm glad to have developed these skills because the fig tree is loaded. I'm not sure there are enough apples in the one original apple tree to require any preservation thoughts. The tree is denuded of leaves due to the cedar apple rust, but there's at least six apples high in the branches. [At this point i went and found fig preserve recipes that do NOT require cups and cups of sugar.]
I've crammed some of the saucer magnolia buds into a 4 oz jar with vodka: that should make a nice extract. By Tuesday evening (My word, i've been lingering over this entry) the vodka has the pink tone.
On Sunday Christine was stampeded by elephants and hasn't been able to shake it. I've been depressed and teary: i don't know if there's a feedback with her state, or if mine is just the weight of all the family things plus work things. And just the (mild!) summer weather and the abundant growth of weeds. (Not enthusiastic about going out in the "Ugh!" to work.)
I did have therapy on Tuesday and listed the "family things" and then some of the "work things" and i see i am carrying a great deal. I felt very drained after therapy -- expressing the long list of worries that had accumulated (over the same time i'd been writing this) and a little rescued from myself.
Four tiny green tomatoes have formed on Matt’s Wild Cherry Tomato, so that's something to celebrate.
The cucamelon, Melothria scabra, is producing. There's a native in North Carolina, Melothria pendula, which also has edible tiny melons-cucumber fruits and which is perennial here. Deer and rabbits haven't done any damage to the M scabra, so i'm excited to have some seed for the native perennial. I need to consider a good site for it, where the vine won't be offensive. My native kidney bean, Phaseolus polystachios, also a rampant vining perennial, is thriving in the garden plot and also promises to have a large crop this second year.
I did make watermelon rind pickles a few weekends ago. Last night we had them on the side at dinner. The fizziness of fermentation is long gone but there is a little flavor note that indicates that happened. I hear it referred to as "funk." The clove note is clear and powerful; i am less aware of the cinnamon. Very sweet and very tart. As the okra roll in, i realize how easily they can get swept up in the pickling parade, but dehydrating them leaves them perfect for winter stews. Cucamelons though -- perhaps i'll ferment those. Or not - they sit in a berry bowl in the kitchen and i nibble on them all day.