Monday, June 23, 2008

Cherry Jam

I finished the second batch of cherry jam today. It was much easier than the first batch.
I used a paring knife to remove the pits last week. What a mess! Red cherry juice ran down my arms and off my elbows. I looked like I got the worst end of a serious fight.
I ordered a cherry pitter from Amazon after searching the local stores and not finding any. The one I bought is made by OXO. It's really neat, the work goes much faster and is not messy.
I tried making the cherry fruit leather, but I had too many cherries pitted. It was only supposed to be 1/8 inch thick on the cookie sheet, but I think it was more than that. Oh well, I guess I can always make jam out of it. I had some on a pancake tonight. Very good.
I'll try the fruit leather again when the apricots are ripe.

Friday, June 20, 2008

First Day of Summer

Today is the first day of summer and I had my first peach, picked from the Flavorcrest tree, shown here in the picture. I am kind of bummed out!!
I DIDN'T THIN THEM ENOUGH!! Darn! I'm going to have these small peaches this year from my favorite tree. You can't see it in the picture, but the large branch on the left, goes out and is horizonal and loaded with peaches. I hope it doesn't break off. The second picture is also Flavorcrest, showing the large crop of peaches.
So, what did I do? I took my long-handled rake and knocked peaches off the later trees. I was mad and ruthless. I just hope the peaches left on the trees are not bruised.

That reminds me of the joke that was going around, about the man who painted the church, but being greedy, he thinned the paint to make it go farther. And when the rains came, the paint was washed off the church. In anguish, the man cried out, "God what should I do?" A voice from above said, "Repaint, Repaint and Thin No More."
Next year, my battle cry will be the opposite -- Repeat, Repeat and Thin Some More!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Photo Class

I'm taking an ROP class to learn how to use my digital camera. There are 20-plus students in the class and our cameras range from the very simple to the big monster SLRs. Mine is in between. Sure, it would be nice to have an SLR digital, with interchangeable lens, but how could I justify paying so much for a camera?
So, I am happy with mine.
This week, our homework was to bring in 4 color prints, 2 each of "before and after" pictures. The picture here is my "after". I like the dark shadow on the fence. It will be interesting to see what subjects the other students bring in.
Oh, another thing, one of the requirements is that we have a color printer, our pictures for class must be in color. I don't have a color printer and no desire to have one. (Am I just squeezing the nickel again?) I love my old laser printer that I bought when I retired 9 1/2 years ago. It was expensive at the time, but has proved to be very economical in the long run. If I want hardcopies of my pictures, I put the file on my Flash Drive and take it to Costco. Lucky for me, the instructor said that would be o.k. for class. I'm so happy I don't have to buy a color printer, there is no room for one, anyway.
August 18, 2008
I learned one thing today at Costco, (I think) usually when I had pictures to print, I asked them to 'turn off' correction, thinking that meant they would not "zoom & trim" well today, the man working the photo machine said "turn off correction only turns off color correction." He said they don't do a 'zoom & trim' but if your picture is cropped and it is not a perfect 4x6 image, part of it will be cut off.
So, I guess the bottom line is, when I crop a picture, I better be sure it is a perfect 4x6 image.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's the Pits

Well, here it is, cherry season is basically over in my backyard.
So, do you think I could find a cherry pitter?
Lots of them online, but it's a little late for that. Guess I need to plan ahead. Actually, I didn't know I was going to need a cherry pitter until recently. I was just going to eat them fresh and give away the rest. But then decided to try making some cherry jam.
I went all over today.
To the Mall, Downtown, Across Town; one place I went, he just sold the last cherry pitter a half-hour before I got there.
Guess it's back to the paring knife.
I found some recipes online for cherry fruit leather, I was going to try that too. But the cherry jam is the main thing. I want to take some with me when I visit my daughter this fall in the Netherlands.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Wedding

Stephanie and JR were married today. The bride's step-father performed the ceremony. Her father and brother walked her down the aisle. It was a very nice family affair. After the backyard wedding, a reception was held in the Winton Community Hall. Many relatives were present, including one aunt from Nevada and a great aunt from Georgia.
This blended family has many grandparents, all were there to congratulate the bride and groom. See more pictures posted at flickr.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cherry Pickin' Time

A friend came over to pick some cherries today. Her husband put up the tall ladder and picked from the higher branches. He said he's never seen so many cherries in all his life.
As soon as they left, Maggie noticed something new in her backyard and couldn't wait to climb to the very tip top to look at the neighbors back yards.

I picked more cherries and took them door-to-door. I learned one thing today -- EVERYBODY loves cherries.
Wednesday~ I was on the short ladder picking cherries again this morning. As I reached up to pick the cherries above my head, there was Maggie. She climbed the tree without me noticing and was right by my hand, wanting to know what I was doing.
She's quite a cat.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cactus Blooms

The flowers on this cactus are just beautiful. I got the mother plant from Mrs. Esau years ago. Last year the 'mother' plant looked like this, but I guess I killed it with kindness. Over-watered it. So, it died. I hope I don't make the same mistake with this one. I never know if I am giving it too much water or not enough.
Click here to see a picture of the mother plant on flickr.