Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An unexpected harvest

While blackberry picking one evening last week, Brent noticed that among the brambles towering over our head, just out of our reach, were plums! Bonus! We got a few, but lamented those we couldn't quite reach.

We picked our nightly gallon of blackberries and heading home, I pointed out another plum tree, just around the corner.This is when my Dear Husband says "Stop!"

He jumped out  of the truck, over the ditch, braved the mosquitoes out hunting in the approaching dusk and quickly picked me 4.6 pounds of an unexpected harvest--all while wearing a full arm cast on his right arm!

The next day, while picking more blackberries after my morning drive to Lynden, I hatched my plot.

I brought my little household step ladder with me when I picked him up from work. We headed back to the first plum tree,  picked our way, carefully, through waist high grass full of thistles to the back side of the blackberry brambles and found not only one plum tree but a little grove of them. Unfortunately, most of the plums had already been found by other harvest-hands, as evidenced by the already trampled grass. We picked all we could reach, with our little ladder, and came home that time with 6.4 pounds of plump purple little plums!

Tiny but flavorful plums. (I added a washed quarter for size reference)
The next day I searched the internet for recipes using plums and came across several for Asian style plum sauce. Those recipes planted a seed, so I headed into the kitchen to get busy. Using the simularities between the different recipes I found as a base, I started cooking down the plums. With the taste-tester help of SonMySon, I kept adusting the spices and ingredients until we had it just perfect! The first three pounds of chopped plums netted me three pints of my new Aizian-style Plum Sauce. (At Aizia's request, the recipe will be titled using her spelling!)   The sauce was wonderful atop a bowl of jasmine rice and moist shredded pork! A big hit we will be enjoying regularly!

 All my begging for more plums on FreeCycle and Craigslist has let me empty handed so I am tickled that Jannie was able to find another source of plums for me!  At, of all places, a nursery in Eastern Washington that sells fruit tree stock to nurserymen.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Autumn approaches

The beautiful colors of fall are beginning to appear, tucked into the greens of our local scenery.

This tree is always the first one I notice is changing colors. This picture was taken the last week of August, and it just keeps getting prettier and prettier as the days shorten and our nights are getting colder.

I see this tree everytime I drive into town, it sits on the edge of the woods right next to the prettiest little homestead. There I see a big beautiful house that sits back off the road aways, with a flower filled garden  peeking out from behind a short white picket fence with a welcoming gate in the center. Buffering house and flower garden from the highway is a lovely expanse of green lawn that is bordered to the west by a neatly ordered garden, and fruit trees that line the drive on the east.

I bet the industrious gardener who minds this little piece of heaven, has no idea that I also enjoy his garden!