I have failed to report much on my gardens this year. I haven't even weighed anything I've brought inside. I'm afraid my gardener club membership may be revoked if I don't shape up!
So, I thought I'd show you what I did today.
But not yet.
Saturday, Mr Farmer and I went out to the fence line and harvested a few wild grapes. I drove the tractor while he was raised up in the bucket and picked the bunches of tiny grapes. We didn't pick long and ended up with about 5 pounds before his back gave out.
I washed them and put them in the steam juicer. I love my steam juicer. Especially for small fruits with a lot of seeds or large pits. After juicing, I had 5 cups of gorgeous wild grape juice.
I knew I'd make wild grape jelly with it later and so I put it in the fridge.
Then, Sunday afternoon, we took the Ranger out for a ride around the countryside. This is one our favorite things to do. One of our favorite places to drive to is the "level B" road behind our property. It's quiet, secluded, has an old wooden bridge, and is always full of free roadside goodies. We've picked wild blackberries and raspberries there. But Sunday we found wild plums.
We have wild plums on our property, but they weren't quite ripe yet. While out driving, we found some plums that were very ripe and ready to be picked. We filled shirt fronts with the delicious little fruits. We ended up with about a coffee can full of plums.
We took them home, after sampling quite a few, and I washed them and left them to soak overnight.
Now, I'm back to what I did today.
We started school here at home, on the first of August, so while the kids were doing their work, I put the plums in the juicer and set the grape juice out to warm up a bit. The plums juiced rather quickly and gave the prettiest juice.
I measured out the sugar and pectin I needed and made the plum and grape juices into wonderful jellies. Wild plums have a sweet flesh, but a rather tart skin. This made for a perfect combination in the jelly of sweet and tart. I'm not sure I've tasted a better jelly!
The wild grape jelly is really good, too. The kids and I ate wild grape, pb&j sandwiches for lunch. Yum!
There's just something about harvesting wild edibles and making them into something delicious and almost free. I'm always amazed at how much free food there is out in the fence lines and ditches.
Mr Farmer would like to find some free steaks in the trees next. Fruit is all good and stuff, but he thinks he needs meat, too. I told him that we do have steaks in the area, but they run around in the fields and have antlers and have to be hunted in season. He's not a hunter, so I don't expect any steaks. :)
After all the jelly was done, I was left to clean up. I washed up most of the dishes and realized I had to get rid of the plum parts that were left after being steamed. I decided to remove the pits. I had a cup of grape juice left over, too. I took out my clear jel. I added sugar and mixed in the grape juice. Then, I chopped the plum left-overs and added them into the mix. I made a sweetened biscuit "pancake", cooled it, and spread the fruit mixture over the top. It chilled in the fridge until after supper.
Next, I filled out the paperwork needed by the school in order for me to homeschool our kids this year. This takes several hours and is a lot of filling out the same information over and over on different forms and making copies for the school district, the state, and my own records. Ugh!
I cleaned up my kitchen and decided to clean out the microwave and sweep the floors. Then, I cleaned the beans and sliced up a zucchini to steam for supper. (Check out the fancy dinner plate!)
Finally, I made six loaves of bread. It was a long day!
Tomorrow I think I will sleep for the day. Or make shampoo bars and put up more tomatoes. And deliver my school paperwork to the school office.