Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 15th - Raspberries & Black Raspberries & some cabbage, too

Yesterday morning I went off to the local Farmer's Market to see what treasures were available.  It was a disappointing trip re: fruit, but I came home with green & wax beans, zucchini & corn.  We made 1 more stop at another stand & found raspberries.  I was all set for the morning's jam-making. 
I came home & made raspberry jam & then a batch of blueberry/raspberry jam (enough of each to mix, but not enough of either to make a full batch of either one).  While on my way home I'd received a message from DS asking what I was doing for the afternoon.  For the 2 of us that translates to, "are we going looking for local fruit?"  She's recently taken on jelly-making like she was born to it.  She even went to Williams Sonoma to pick up some supplies & there was a jam-making class scheduled.  Of course - she participated in the class & learned some new tricks [she's going to use powdered pectin vs Certo, but I was taught using Certo & like the results so I don't think I'll change]. 
At 2 p.m. I picked her up & off we went.  We chat the entire time we're riding along.  We've decided that we both want to be in book group, but haven't found one so we've started our own.  Our first book was Midwife of Venice (we didn't love it) & we're now reading Paris Wife & we both like it.  We headed up route 116 & over to 47 (thinking Hadley farms).  Every farmstand we saw was advertising corn, beans & tomatoes.  We were on a mission to find fruit!  We kept heading north (riding next to the CT River) & found our way to Sunderland.  There was a farmstand that seemed to have more product than some of the others.  We pulled in & hit the lottery.  We found red raspberries, black raspberries & blackberries (all local).  They also had bing cherries [not local] & native cabbages the size of basketballs.  I came home with black raspberries (now 9 beautiful jars of jam) & a cabbage.  DS bought cartons of fruit & 6 big cabbages.  I couldn't imagine what her plans were.  I knew that my cabbage was destined for golumpkis (up at 6 a.m. this a.m. to get the pan made before the heat was up in the high 80s).  Hers were for the chickens.  Who knew that chickens LOVE cabbage?  She said that the big head of cabbage can be chopped up & her chickens would be happy birds.  She has 1 chicken that's "broody" right now & she's trying all of the farmer's tricks that she knows of.  If the chicken continues to want to sit on the eggs & not lay any more she'll have to be removed from the others until she gets back with the program.  Yesterday the silly bird was sitting on an egg-shaped rock, but wasn't being very pleasant to the other hens.  Elvis (rooster) took charge & made it clear that the girls needed to behave.  It's funny to watch - but only from outside of the fence.
Today I'll go off to play with paper at noon.  Our local scrapbook store has make n takes (pre-planned, pre-cut card kits).  At $2 each it's a good way to build up a stash of cards & I get to see some friends.  I don't go very often because of my schedule, but I've planned for it today.
My travel journals safely arrived in California & will be off to Iceland soon.  I hope to hear how the recipients liked them.  They are so much fun to make.
Let me know how you're spending your summer days.

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