Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Fruitful Bounty ......

Hello Dhaaarlings...

Roll up your sleeves and pop on your pinny I'm going to need all the help I can get!


Question?: What does one do with Excess Seasonal Fruits?

Answer: Give them to Princess..... of course!

Dear friends of mine recently purchased themselves a hobby farm full of wonderful mature fruit trees.
Cherry, Peach, Apricot, Apple, Pear and Plum. Red and White varieties of Grape, Pommegranet, Fig, Quince and did I mention Pear?

On my first visit I came home with a large bag of soour cherries which made a wonderful tangy sweet jam which is marvelous when mixed through natural youghurt or Icecream. It is also pretty good just spread on your toast for breakfast too I might add!

Anyway... this time I got a call to say that they had more fruit than they knew what to do with and would we like to pay a visit and collect ousrselves some 

Last week before all hell broke loose weather wise...
The Empress and I took a leisurely country drive out to "The Farm"

We spent a lovely afternoon picking bags of various types of Plums and Pears and ended up comming home with these...

And added to this lot lovely bag of peaches off our own tree in the garden

They are not quite ripe as yet so will be bottled later in the week as they start to ripen
(if they survive that long without being eaten fresh)

They were a mass of beautiful colours...

And tasted wonderful...

But far too much for us to consume fresh, despite giving away some to friends and neighbours so...

As we have had plenty of wet days recently... it gave us the perfect opportunity to preserve them by bottling/canning the fresh fruit in jars...

I turned some of the Plums into jam and some of the Pears made a wonderful pear paste.
 I'm about to have a  go at making some Spicy Plum sauce...
I'll let you know how it turns out... 

Fruits and jams preserved in recycled jars...

With some of the pears I added ground cinnamon  (I had run out of cinnamon sticks) slices of fresh ginger and a few drops of red food dye to give the syrup a pink colour. And we poached more of the pears in the leftover syrup and have frozen them... they tasted divine by the way...


The vege patch if you were wondering (I haven't posted about it in a while) is  cropping marvelously... Here is just a small portion of this weeks bounty.

 Pontiac Potatoes, Purple and Green Climbing Beans, "Black Jack" and "Italian" Zicchini, Peppers and Tomatoes and Button Squash harvested so far... Dhaaarlings
There are more potatoes ready but I'm not game to dig them just yet given the moisture in the ground. A week of dry days might be nice to have before attempting to dig them out.
I'll keep my fingers crossed but I don't like my chances.....


  1. Lovely!

    I've never tried to make jams before or preserving in general. Sounds difficult though. I make juice though. I have a lovely machine that makes the most divine (yet slightly sour) orange juice and the most sickeningly sweet apple juice.

    I discovered that Pink lady apples are too sweet for apple juice.

  2. Oh my what a wonderful bounty that is Princess! A dear friend of mine makes a lovely pear sandwich. She places sauteed pear slices on cinnamon bread. The a small bit of muenster, havarti and gruyere. Then just a quick pop in the microwave to soften the cheese. It's marvelous.

  3. Dear Pete

    Have you tried adding a little pureed mango flesh to your orange juice or some fresh ripened pineapple? It helps to sweeten it just a little. And might I suggest juicing some fresh ginger with your apple juice it decreases the sweetness and gives it a really nice zing... If you like ginger that is. Combine it with some juiced carots which will also decrease the sweetness, it looks a horrible colour but tastes divine...

    Dear Hayward

    That sound like a scrummy use for pears. The pear paste that I've made is very thick and almost sliceable. It is spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, star anise and vanilla bean. It is great combined with a cheese platter and black peppered water crackers... I could try it as a combo with a cheese melt though...
    You are giving me all sorts of ideas... Spread on a slice of cinnamon fruit toast with some melted tasty cream cheese might just be the next new thing!

  4. Wow, what a harvest! Well done on all the work.

    A very long time ago, I used to help with canning stuff like that. I was in charge of preparing the jars and lids. It was a lively kitchen and much fun!

  5. Have you ever tried making wine? Like peach wine or pear wine? It can be a bit lethal.

  6. hi XL
    The Empress and I were discussing while peeling and quatering a huge mountain of pears just how long it had been since we had "canned"... we call it "bottled" here in Oz... Fruit.
    While peeling away we worked out that it had been 40 years!
    I have great memories of coming home on the bus from the market with my nanna lugging boxes of peaches and other stone fruits. Every year in season we would preserve fruits picked from trees in the garden to use in the coming year. Great memorys of families sitting around together workng as a team...

    Hi Miss Scarlet

    I haven't tried to make a fruity wine. Tho i remember an aunt that would make her own ginger beer. Every so often on a visit there would be an explosion in the laundry cupboard from an over zealous yeast wart.
    I might have to find a recipe and give it a try. Plum wine sounds like a good option.
    Thanks for the suggestion XXX

  7. You can dehydrate the fruits. I was given a glut of home grown tomatoes last summer. I left them covered in the conservatory on a perforated tray, they dried out in no time and delicious they were too.

    I do the same in winter with shop bought blueberries etc, by resting a tin tray on a radiator, they taste better than fresh!

  8. I would suggest barricading your door should Beast find out about this bounty.

  9. Grreat! I love peaches! I think the potatoes will possibly be a bit rotten?
    Here some tavernes sell fruit wines ... they are not too strong, but really everybody I know who had some quarts of the stuff - regardless of the sort - complained about a hurting head of gigantic poportions the other day. They seemingly make it way too sweet and ad too much stuff, maybe sulphur. So the Franconians can make excellent wine from grapes (especially white ones), but the fruit wines here are for medical use only.

  10. Oh wow.

    Will you marry me and be my wife? Everything looks so yummy. I'm not a breakfast person, my stomach doesn't wake up til about mid-day, and it's early o'clock here in Norwich now. But mmm...that looks so good.

    I love peach jam on thick sliced bread, with lashings of butter. Mmmm. Especially if the peach jam is a bit tart.

    There's just something divine about eating the produce you picked or grew yourself. Mmmm....

  11. Oh, Princess, I am so jealous...
    I grew up on and around small family farms & the bulk of my given duties was gathering, cleaning, cooking and canning, ("Putting Up")... I've been thinking about it lately and how I miss it, now after seeing your beautiful post I miss it even more.
    I liked my life so much then that after doing all my chores, I would gather the rotten fruit from under the trees and make barrels of wine, (this was not for my family - it was mine and for my friends). I wonder how many ten-year-olds had a twenty gallon cask of wine in their bedroom....

    Please enjoy every bite!

  12. Dear Mitzi,

    Drying friut is a great idea. Im going to try some halved Plums and turn them in to prunes.

    I'll give your dried tomato a try too I think.
    Thanks for the inspiration...

    Dear MJ

    Apparently Mr Beastie does a marvelously unique banana smoothie... once they lose their firmness of course.

    Dear Roses
    I must admit that home grown fruit and vegies taste so much better than store bought.

    I made peach and pineapple jam last year... with peaches off our tree. unfortunately we dont have the climate for pineapples... otherwise i'd have a go at growng them too. The jam was yummy by the way....

  13. Dear Mago
    hopefully the potatoes will survive i'm of to dig them up today. The plot they are in was above the height ofmost of the water that came through the back yard.

    I've made a fruit "whine" before today....but never ffrom fresh fruits before. perhaps I will aspire to have ago at making one next season...

    Sticking to drinking quality spirits is the thing to avoid headaches. A glass of water between drinks tends to stop the hangover too. Well that works for me most of the time.

    Dear Wally

    Wonderful memories. And what a demonstration of enterprise and ingenuity for a 10 year old.
    Do you have your own label?
    Canning fruits and vegetables is an almost lost art but in recent times is regaining popularity, I've noticed how difficult it is to get preserve jars from the recycle/oppertunity shops these days.
    A couple of years ago they couldn't get rid of them. Now they are about as rare as hens teeth!...

  14. Oh my dear, You are quite the blessing.... Yes, I made labels for my things....

    I've now typed quite a lot that I have deleted. Suffice it to say that I will do a post about it soon, for you...

    (been a little cranky lately, but my heart remains in tact).

  15. Dear Wally

    Crankyness passes eventually...

    You might like to visit my other Blog where I display some of my more cretive work. Just Clickerate on Stitch'n Steve in my Blog roll to see some of my quilts. I was toying with establishing a business but things came a little unstuck for me through illness. But it's almost time for me to start considering a re launch for later in the year.