Our summer operates on a schedule. A schedule based on the progression of fruit seasons. It is as follows:
Until this year, pear and apple season were minimal at best. We planted apple and pear trees the year we moved in and it takes time for fruit trees to find their feet and get producing. Well. That is happening and I’m wondering what in the world I’ve gotten myself into.
We’ve been going to the same farm stand about an hour southwest of us since we moved here and have never been disapointed. The peaches we buy have been picked within a day or two and driven maybe a mile from orchard to stand. They are delicious fresh, in ice cream, as jam, or in smoothies or cobblers. The girls loved slipping the skins to help me make jam and we’ve been enjoying the peach syrup I made from those skins.
This was our first official pear year. Which means I could try a recipe I’ve been dying to try for 5 years…since we planted the pear trees! It involves making a dark, ginger infused syrup to can the halves and you end up with pear juice and left over syrup to boot! We also made apple pear sauce, which had all my fruit bat babies swooning. We’ve even been able to eat them fresh…and it still blows my mind, that I grew these beautiful and perfectly ripened things. [Fun Fact: if you let pears ripen on the tree, they
ripen rot from the inside out and you’ll never get to eat them. You pick them when they are hard, chill them in the fridge for a few days, then let them ripen on the counter for a few days more. At that point, they are glorious.]
As you can see…we are drowning in apples. I’ve put up 18 quarts of apple pie filling, and filled 3 gallon bags with freeze dried apple slices. That sorted a tiny fraction of what you see pictured, the invasion of my kitchen. I’ll be starting in on applesauce when I can marshal my forces. And on a completely un-related note, we will be auditioning recipes for applesauce pancakes and applesauce donuts this week. Ahem.
Figs are trickling in so there will be fig jam soon…and I will continue to try desperately to wrap my head around the fact that these trees will do this every year and progressively more so as they mature. [Deep, soothing breaths. Deep, calming breaths. I can totally handle this.]