Saturday, September 11, 2010

End of the Season

The fruit trees are finally spent.  We had a pretty good harvest this year, especially the plums (note to self:  next year, cull the fruit!).  Over 56 pounds of plums went into jam, several more pounds went into plum-raisin chutney, and when I couldn't take chopping another plum I tried making a few jars of whole plums in honey syrup.  When the weather gets cold, I'll try cooking these down into a compote to top steel-cut oatmeal; I've never canned whole fruit before, so it will be interesting to see how these work out.  Nectarines also became jam,  peaches became two types of chutney, and a swap with friends yielded some awesome apricots that turned into lovely jam as well.  Blackberries are in the freezer, waiting patiently to be turned into pies.  A neighbor brought by some figs, which combined with some rhubarb from the farmers' market are now another lovely jam.  Alas, our apple tree is not faring well and produced no apples this year, but a friend has promised a bagful, so I should be able to make apple chutney this year. 

As much as I love the process, I'm glad to be done.  Mother Nature has a warped sense of humor, and it's always over 100F degrees when I need to do the canning.  Nothing like getting the oven going and huge pots boiling on the stove on a hot and steamy August day.  The reward comes later, in the winter.  Homemade fruit jam is like summer in a jar.  And chutney served with good cheese and a glass of wine by the fireplace is one of my favorite simple winter meals.  By then, I'm reminded that it was all totally worth it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment