Cherry Picking

Jill and I picked cherries near her house yesterday – about 20 pounds worth.  We climbed way up on ladders (they made us sign waivers first) and picked for about 45 minutes.  Two varieties of sweet cherries; Lamberts and Rainiers.  Yum.

Lambert Cherries

It was perfect weather, not as hot as it’s been at Jill’s recently, and we finished up just before the rain started. Here’s the gorgeous view from the orchard.

View from the cherry orchard

I drove home in the afternoon (it’s about a 4 1/4 hour drive) and this morning I woke up to 20 pounds of cherries to deal with.  The first thing I did was search the internet for pitting techniques.  A cake decorating tip works well and I started with that, but eventually switched to a chop stick.  My fingers are all stained and shriveled now.  I had cherry juice spatter all over me, I looked like something out of a horror movie.

Cherry juice spatter

I protected my cell phone from the mess with a zipper baggy – so I could still send and receive texts from my sisters (who text constantly, by the way).

When I was looking for pitting techniques, I came across a recipe for cherry pit vinegar.  I was very excited that all those pits, with yummy cherry flesh still clinging to them, wouldn’t be put to waste!  And then I discovered that cleaned and dried pits can also be used to make microwaveable heating pads!  But first I had to figure out how to clean and dry the cherry stones.

Cherry stones soaking in water, waiting to be cleaned

Mom has two food dehydrators, so I begged to borrow one and the first thing I did was load that up.  I did two trays of each type of cherry.  It’s tedious slicing all the cherries in half and arranging them cut side up.  They better be yummy!

The Lambert cherries are about half-way dried

I made a batch of no-cook jam out of each kind of cherries, which I’ll put in the fridge.  If you ask nice, I might share some.  I also made two big jars of the cherry pit vinegar, one with apple cider vinegar and one with red wine vinegar.  Several trays of cherries went in the freezer for later.  And finally, I made a gluten-free cherry cobbler!

Lambert cherry pit vinegar (back right), Lambert cherry jam (front left), Rainier cherry jam (centre) and Gluten-free Ranier cherry cobbler (right).

I didn’t stop for lunch; I just snacked on cherries all day.  I hope I don’t regret that a bit later.  I have a few more cherries to pit and freeze tomorrow and that’s it!  So fun and rewarding.

Fairy Bath

Yesterday I had a play date with Isaac, my 5-year-old nephew, who’s practically perfect in every way.  Here’s our list of accomplishments:

  • Shopped at a nursery and only spent $6
  • Petted goats, a sheep and a bunny
  • Purchased a Tim Horton’s vanilla dip donut with sprinkles (sprinkles are incredibly important to 5-year-olds)
  • Made perler bead creations
  • Bowled, canoed and dueled with swords on the Wii
  • Made chicken salad sushi rolls (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it)
  • Played Candy Land (I won)
  • Geocached/walked/Isaac rode his bike
  • Made sloppy joes (during which he operated a food processor with great professionalism)

He also wrote a bunch of words and asked me what they said:

  • doxo
  • clo
  • iso
  • coxo
  • xod
  • oxo

He’s apparently fond of x’s right now.  Then he used a high-lighter to “light them up”.

As for photos – I’ll share with you a little something I created Sunday, in my yard.  I only had a small tray for the top level, so it’s for small birds and fairies to bathe themselves.

Fairy Bath Decoration Thingy

Fairy Bath in Context

I’m very eager to get back out there – lots more to do outside, but I don’t think I’m a rainy weather gardener.

 

Thank heavens for rain

So glad it rained today … I had an excuse for not gardening.  Phew.

Instead I cuddled my dog, went for a massage (which was 1/2 painful and 1/2 nice) and made up a yummy lentil stew for supper (inspired by Leah’s suggestion ).

Lentil Stew over Rice

Ingredients:  Red lentils, stewed tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, agave nectar, apple cider vinegar, curry powder, chili powder, salt.  Serve over rice.  Gobble.  The end.

The rain did eventually let up and I needed to escape from a certain someone (who might just be a teenage girl) who was driving me bonkers, so I hosed off the trampoline and the play structure with a very violent spray of water.  Great way to drown out the craziness.  Silas and Isaac, come quick before the spiders and mold comes back!

I purged magazines!  It was delightful.  I made a very weighty stack and Mr T has promised to carry it downstairs for me.

Sir W visits every Thursday evening, so we hung out and he told us about his plans to build a nuclear, hand-held weapon that shoots a kind of force field at the target.  I couldn’t figure out whether it’s lethal or not.  He said it does NOT have a safety.  Apparently he’s been researching atom splitting.

And I think that’s about it.  Leah mentioned popcorn on Facebook and now I’ve got a hankering, so I think that’s next on my agenda.  I may also see if I can find some more stacks of magazines to throw out!