Thursday, June 26, 2014

Love this Season!

Remember a couple weeks ago when we had a farewell BBQ for friends, and I said I had no pictures? Turns out, I lied! I went to upload photos for today's post and found this. Oh, my Nellie Bellie.

Awesome outdoor weather is one reason to love this season, but my title was getting at something else. The beauty of harvest! Yesterday I pulled weeds in our garden for nearly an hour, and I hardly made a dent. Mostly, we have grass -- lots and lots of crab grass growing in our garden. Subsequently, we have lots of weeds growing in our Kentucky blue grass. I was telling a friend that my yard weeds support the wildlife. When the dandelions turned to seed, I'd wake up each morning and find several gold finches in my yard. Now that the clovers are in bloom, we wake up each morning and find a little bunny eating breakfast right outside our back deck. The kids love him (or her?). I'm certain my neighbors -- mostly retired folks with beautifully manicured lawns, despise my back yard, but I'm hardly motivated to pay big bucks to kill weeds when the weeds bring us so many fun critters. 

Anyway, third times the charm -- maybe now that I've mentioned two side stories that were not intended to be part of this post -- maybe now I'll share what has brought me joy so early this morning. 

Six, 1-1/2 cups of strawberry-blueberry freezer jam, keeping my fingers crossed that they set right. Twelve more hours and I'll know. I use Sure Jell, Certo Fruit Pectin. I've rarely had a batch fail to set, and when that happens I just turn it into syrup. I made these containers last night while watching Friends. Oh how I love the whit of Chandler Bing (Pheobe and Monica are close runner-ups).  

Also, two trays of homemade fruit roll ups, or as Reid calls them "strawberry jammies."  I love, love, love our food dehydrator. It is absolutely one of the most worth while purchases we have ever made. I highly recommend one, and specifically this brand. I have little tray inserts (two came with the original purchase and then I bought three more at a local big box store, Fleet Farm). The inserts hold a thin layer of pureed fruit mix while it drys. I usually use strawberries and bananas. Sometimes I'll do strawberries and blueberries. I've used frozen fruit as well as fresh. I do spray a little pam on the bottom of the tray. Reid always helps cut the fruit, together we puree it in the blender and then I pour it into the trays. Five hours later we have the healthiest, yummiest little snack that will keep for weeks. Reid could eat an entire tray each day. He seriously loves them. 

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