Hello Sweet Friends!
Are you enjoying any fresh, spring produce yet? If you don't grown your own, the little markets should be peddling local goodies by now.
We have a few cherry trees here at the Hearth Room. Actually, I knew of 2 of them. Only just last week did we realize we have a few more along our back property line. Now, we do NOT have a large property by any means, but we do have a row of Leland Cypress trees that block the view of our back fence. A little exploring up there while picking cherries revealed a few little trees we didn't know about.
We love picking cherries from our trees. It's such a relaxing, yet exciting thing to do. The joy of seeing the ripened fruit and knowing it's just there outside your door. The kids especially love it. We are teaching Sweet P. to spit pits! Silly, I know, teaching a girl to spit - of all things.... But this time it's really necessary! Young Man is a pro at it, of course...
It's such a fun idea to have a fresh snack growing so handy right beside the garden. Work a while, snack from the tree, back to work...
Aren't they enticing? Each little cherry seems redder than the last, so you don't know when to stop picking! Just one more... OOoo... Look at that one, up there!
After lots of picking there is a lot of washing. This alone seems to be a fun, new game to some.
And lots of fresh munching, (and pit-spitting)...
Then we start baking with cherries. This was a cobbler recipe I came across, but it actually turned out to be more of a cake, if you ask me. It's a bit sweet and I look forward to tweaking this recipe the next time I make it. I will be glad to share that when I do it.
After the baking, we still have more cherries to preserve. I have prepared some to freeze as pie filling and some to use in smoothies, but I think it's time to learn to make jams or preserves. Especially before the blackberries come on.
And then there are the strawberries... Not that our little beds are producing much yet, but we have been given some plump, red berries that needed to be served up properly. So it was Very Necessary to make a shortcake. Now, if you know me at all, you know that Granny taught me (almost) everything good that I know! And part of all my Granny Goodness involves cooking. This shortcake is no exception, but are you ready for this?? She always used the Bisquick Shortcake recipe! And you know what? It never disappoints!
We don't use much that comes out of a box here at the Hearth Room, but we make an exception for this one!
Adding just a touch of cream from our local Homestead Creamery and it's just perfect!
Oh, and I also learned that if one is making a shortcake with sugared strawberries and one runs out of sugar, that brown sugar works Really well!
I have also been soooo excited over a magazine that is New To Me... It is MaryJane's Farm... And I just want to share it with you in case you've not yet discovered it yourself. I have some family members who have an organic farm, Woodland Harvest Farm, and my cousin recently sent some old magazines my way, ( which is always welcomed!). In the mix was the past years worth of MaryJane's Farm. This magazine is as beautiful as it is helpful. It's so chock full of gardening and organic living tips and ideas, but it is gorgeous and feminine! I LOVE it! I can't believe I've been missing out on this for so long. Now I look forward to afternoon tea time when the kids are having their quiet time, so I can really concentrate on some MaryJane Goodness. Yes, I know, it is competing with my crochet time!
Ahhh.... A whole year to enjoy catching up on. Lovely...
On a side note, the garden it growing lots of pretty, young things right now! I love the fresh, new green colors. This beet was pulled just in order to thin a bit more, but it was eaten rather quickly, as it didn't make it into the house.
Another thing that has been eaten fresh from the garden is our cabbage. Although, not by us! We have some slug or caterpillar critters having a great munch on the cabbages, so I have made some homemade, natural pesticide to try! This is my concoction of chopped garlic, water, cayenne pepper and natural dish washing liquid. I've been out and doused our bothered veggies, so I'll let you know how it goes!
p.s. I'm still studying the valance/apron!