Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Fruits

I am not a lover of summer. Anyone who knows me well knows this. The only thing that makes summer's heat tolerable to me is the garden. I know when I get to heaven, there will be no humidity, no flies, mosquitoes, hot flashes and perspiration. But until then, I will be wringing wet. We recently purchased a small room size a/c unit for the house. That will compliment the other on its last legs window unit. This house was built before anyone considered central air a necessity.
Okay, that vent is out of the way. Let's talk fun stuff - like flowers, fruits and veggies.
I haven't always been able to have a veggie garden. I didn't always want to have one. My granny always said that blood will tell. I reckon its in my DNA because I can think of no other reason besides the great flavor of fresh home grown than it is in my blood. Each year I plan a better garden. Sometimes it turns out that way, other times, it is just fair to mid'lin.

All the produce - the fruits of our labor are coming in. Some are more bountiful than others. This time of year the blueberries shine brightest. Since we are still in a moderate drought, they are not as large as they have normally been. gosh, folks, I am just THRILLED that we have blueberries this year. Last year with NO RAIN for months that was measurable, we didn't even get a pint of blueberries. They resembled wizened shriveled raisins. I was ashamed to leave them for the birds!
But this year ~ Woo Hoo! We're back in business. Luscious and I started picking blueberries Friday night. The branches are so full they are touching the ground. No Joke!

This picture is just of one of the blueberry bushes. There is much joy in being able to share our fruits and veggies with friends and kin. The blackberries I wrote of the other week are still coming in and we have frozen what we want for the next year while giving away all the surplus. We will do the same with the blueberries. I have standing orders for them each year and generally get a friend or two to come help me pick now that the kids are grown and gone.

Last week I went to a friends home and picked plums. I have several pint jars of plum jam put away for the winter. It is sooooo sweet with just a thin film over buttered toast from homemade bread.

Now although I despise of the heat, humidity, vampire mosquitos and those particularly nasty teensy little no-see-um type of varmits, I find it a delicious dichoetemy and rather ironic that I will sweat like a hawg in the kitchen canning, blanching and freezing.
When I was a child, I would sit in the garden and delight myself by eating a tomato right there in the dirt. Lawdy! Nothing finer than a big fat German Johnson all for me! As I grew older and more real work was required of me, I had to not only snap beans, but had to learn how to scald the skin on the tomatoes, and fill the jars without spilling and wasting the precious cargo. I have to admit to that I had a few years of hating this task. I thought my family was odd ~ what was wrong with canned good from the grocers or at least freezers veggies. Isn't that what God created freezers for? Once I was on my own, I discovered the difference. Canned and frozen green beans had no real flavor.
I am thankful each year for my family and their love of this land. How I miss both of my grannies, their wisdom and their culinary skills. I can understand the pride they took in their pantry. When I grow up, I want to be just like them. I couldn't always say that.


Countryfolk Keepsakes said...

I'll be expectin' my care package of these canned good eats real soon!!
Please stop over to my blog when you get a chance... :> )

Raggedy Angel said...

I know just what you mean, we had a big FAMILY garden and we all planted, weeded, picked, canned and froze, I comlpained then but I know how important those lessons were now. I still hate shucking corn though! Beth

Donna said...

Oh Goodness! Canned Green Beans! I shall have to learn how to Do this! Everything looks Wonderful! Happy day sweetie!hughugs

kat449 said...

Hey Blondie...
I am impressed & full of about Lucious...not him...your canned goodies. MMMM
Thank you for your prayers for my Mom, although the physical cancer is full throttle, the spiritual cancer we spoke of in the fam is healing...I know why too. Thank you my dear precious friend...I love ya & miss ya, I havent been online much with growin up & all. Hugs, Kat

KKJD1 said...

I havent always liked to garden either, I remember be made to pick this or that I guess thats why I went thru my dry spell. Now Im thankful for all the fruits of my labor that come from my garden. I know what you mean about the heat, my fav time of year is fall if the weather would stay like that all year Id be great. But guess God know what we need more than me. So I thank him for each season,just not always for the heat! Blessings, Karen

Katie said...

Your canned good look so pretty, I am sure your grannies would be so please to see you are carrying on their traditions

katie from Primitive Woolen by typepad

Tammy said...

Hey Blondie,
You have an award on my blog.

Karen said...

Your canning photo is absolutely beautiful, Blondie. I despise the heat as well, augh, horrible!

a portland granny said...

I'm totally impressed with your jars of goodies!! My! do they look good!

Your yard looks inviting. Sorry about the biting, flying insects you have to put up with. And I know the heat in your part of the country is humid, isn't it? That's hard to take. We have a dry heat here in Oregon, but its been HOT! Thankfully, I invested in central air in 1988 and couldn't live without it. As I get older, I appreciate it so much more.

I'm enjoying the little magnet I won when you were having the fun contest!

Don't work too hard. I know you will all enjoy the fruits of your labors. I remember all of the canning my Mom used to do--it was hard, hot work! But we enjoyed it all winter.

I'm so glad to be back blogging, altho with some routine and organization about it--trying not to spend too much time hanging around the computer!!

Blessings, my friend,

Bettsi said...

Dear Blondie, I love you and I wanna be like YOU when (if) I grow up!

Anonymous said...

One of my childhood memories is of going to my grandmother's at the end of the Summer hols and walking along the River Windrush to Minster Lovell ruins picking blackberries and chatting and just drinking in the valley (pure soul food place and dear to my heart). My Gran would then wash her fruit when we got back and make crumbles with apples and blackcurrants and pies and later jams. She was so industrious. Just reading your post brought it all back.

KKJD1 said...

Good mornin, I just wanted to let you know Im having a book giveaway over on my blog, come on over and check it out when you have time. Have a great weekend, Karen

Anonymous said...

mmmmm.... You are making me hungry, what beautiful photos...Thank you for stopping by my blog, I am pleased to meet you... Hugs, MO

Amy said...

A true and beautiful post. thanks for sharing news of your garden and family stories too!!

:) AMY

Primgal55 - Linda said...

Oh I too cannot stand the heat and humidity and bugs of summer but I have to put up with them for my garden's sake as well.

My mom was the one who canned and froze and made preserves and I want to do that when I grow up too!

Thanks for stopping by!

hugs, Linda

Cora from Nelia's Primitive Place said...

I hear ya about that summer heat, girl!!!! I HATE sweat and mosquitos, etc. Your list is MY list! But those blueberry bushes might just get me out the door!!!! Just beautiful. Looks like a pie is in order there --- with a dollop of ice cream!