Saturday, September 5, 2009
Late Summer Bounty
A few weeks ago, Dwight and I had intended to go blueberry picking with his mom but ended up picking various fruits at her house instead. The blueberry ranch had closed for the season, so we hit a local produce stand then went back to my mother-in-law's house to take some fruit off of her hands.
The first thing to meet us in the yard was Thomas, mother-in-law's outdoor stray cat. He's a sweetheart and loves to be scratched behind the ears, like all good kitties do.
After giving Thomas a good scratch, I started taking pictures while Dwight and Fairy (mother-in-law) started picking pears.
Fairy's pear tree was simply loaded with fruit. The branches were sagging under the weight of them. And they are the cutest pears you've ever seen. I didn't think they were ready because they're so small. Fairy handed me one to try and sure enough, sweet and ripe. We quickly filled up a large plastic grocery bag. "We" being Dwight and his mom. I added a few, but was mostly busy taking pictures.
Right next to the large pear tree are two arbors laden with grape vines. According to Dwight, these Concord grape vines are at least 25 years old. He remembers putting them in as a kid and is, to be honest, shocked the arbors are still standing. You have to fight the bees for the fruit when they start ripening, but they're worth it. We've already told Fairy to give us a call when they start coming on. We've got lofty dreams of making wine with them. It's more likely, though, they'll become the focal point of sweet focaccia and possibly jam. Years ago we made jars and jars of Concord grape jam, and it was heavenly.
Next up: tomatoes. Unfortunately, there have been a number of problems with tomatoes this year. I assume it's because of the weather, but one of the most common and widespread problem has been blossom end rot.
But they aren't all afflicted and we managed to gather a number of plump, red tomatoes.
I took a detour on the way to the next picking stop. Drawn to the sunflowers like the bees — bright, cheerful, flamboyant and showy.
Behind the sunflowers — BLACKBERRIES. Huge, glossy, bursting with bright fuchia juice.
Most were eaten on the spot, but we save a few for later.
It was a fine haul and a more than acceptable alternative to blueberry picking.
Aren't these the most adorable pears? Dwight turned them into pear sauce (like apple sauce but with pears). Delightfully delicious.