Sunday, July 06, 2008

In a jam

I bought some peaches and apricots Saturday at the market. The peaches I wasn't so impressed with; even though they seemed pretty ripe, many of them actually were green with a few overripe spots.

The apricots weren't much better; I had to choose carefully at the store so that they wouldn't be rotten by today, but once again, I was fooled - they had some overripe spots, but overall, they weren't ripe. The quality of fruits and vegetables that aren't grown locally is a crapshoot, and usually, it takes almost a week (sometimes more) for them to ripen on the inside. But any overripe spots on the outside are moldy by that time. And I don't eat fruit with mold anywhere on it. So you have to choose carefully, and I was jonesing so badly for peaches and apricots that I didn't exercise my usual highly discriminating taste, instead opting for fruit that felt near-ripe. Bad call. But I still wound up with enough fruit for a pint jar of jam, so I made it up. The flavor was quite good - better than you'd buy in any store.

Let me just say that even though making a single pint of jam was a bit of a pain, making the single pint was a lot easier than making the sixteen pints I made a couple of weeks ago when we went strawberry picking. That was just crazy.

Here are the red astilbe that I bought at the half-price sale last week. I love them!

My beautiful Macarena gladiolas bloomed this week. They are a great deep shade of purple - this photo doesn't do them justice, really.

A nice accompaniment to the Macarena glads are these pink and white ones.

Here's a closer view.

These Gingerland caladium look great in the backyard.

These Florida Cardinal caladium were the perfect thing to complement the front walk to the house.

The tomatoes are coming along. These Mortgage Lifters have a few weeks to go before they are ripe, but the cherry tomatoes are ripening now and should be ready in a day or two.

These Big Beef tomatoes are looking nice, too.


At 9:31 AM, July 13, 2008, Blogger ATG said...

the jam looks so good!

i have the same problems with peaches and the nectarines in my area. it's too bad that factory type farming has to ruin everything! ;)

At 3:17 PM, July 13, 2008, Blogger CoffeeDog said...

You know you can ripen peaches by placing them in a brown paper bag for a 2-3 days. It makes them all soft and juicy!

At 10:55 PM, July 13, 2008, Blogger Marc said...

coffeedog; yes, I know. they were in a bag for 2 days but just too green. it would have taken a week or more for them to ripen in the bag and by then, the ripe spots would have molded. :(

At 11:26 AM, July 14, 2008, Blogger pinknest said...

oh jam! how lovely. would a cobbler have been possible?

At 1:23 PM, July 14, 2008, Blogger Greg said...

Oh, you've made me miss the peach tree I had to leave behind at that last garden. I would so enjoy a peach-blackberry pie about now; I guess I'll have to visit the produce section and hope for the best...but after having them right off the tree, the store peaches just seem a little...meh.

The new astilbes are just gorgeous...doubly so once I'd heard their price! I can't believe you've got glads already (and what beauties)! When did you plant them? Do you ever leave any in the ground to multiply?

At 6:40 PM, July 14, 2008, Blogger Marc said...

Anita: nope, not enough peaches for that. I wait on the Jersey peaches before I make cobbler...they are the best.

Greg: yeah, nothing beats peaches right off the tree. We have a peach tree, but it only produced five blooms this year (this is its third season) because of a problem last year with too much shade. So I only had three peaches form and none of them survived the squirrels. I have yet to get peaches from this tree. But I have wanted a peach tree ever since we had one in our backyard when I was growing up. We also had a sour cherry tree. Those trees produced the best fruit! We only lived in that house for a year before moving to the house next door, and it was heartbreaking when the neighbors didn't take care of the trees and eventually cut them down.

At 6:42 PM, July 14, 2008, Blogger Marc said...

Greg: re the glads: this is their second season, I planted them last year. I do leave them in the ground to multiply, and especially these beauties!

At 4:39 PM, July 22, 2008, Blogger Michelle Ann said...

Mark...I am so loving your pictures. They make me want to dance around your garden

At 3:23 PM, July 23, 2008, Blogger Will said...

Astilbe are among my very favorites--I had two of them at my house in Boston that were of a white so pure the flowers looked as if they were lit from inside--just gorgeous.

At 11:02 AM, July 25, 2008, Blogger Dantallion said...

Your garden (and your jam) look amazing!

At 8:44 PM, July 26, 2008, Blogger Marc said...

michelle ann - I wish you could dance in my garden!

will - hey! long time no see! come back again soon.

dan - thanks! so good to see you back@


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