What to do when you have a lot of Rainier cherries

First I made Spiced Brandied Cherries as it was an easy way to preserve some without getting the kitchen too warm.  Here they are in the saucepan cooling down,

cherries in brandy sauce

and here they are in the jar.  I will know in a couple of days if they are any good.  

jarred cherries in brandy sauce

Then I made Cherry Jam Recipe with No Sugar Added.  I have a recipe I want to try that calls for cherry jam so I made this first.  I will see later how it tastes.

cherry jam

Then I made myself a Rainier Cherry Mojito.  I used Swerve instead of sugar.  I didn’t pit the cherries as the recipe didn’t mention it (and I had been pitting cherries half of my day).  I couldn’t really tell that the cherries were in there except when I actually got to a cherry chunk.  But it was tasty, and the cherries in it were pretty.


I have recipes for Pickled Rainier Cherries and Rainier Cherry Clafouti that I am hoping to make tomorrow.  I am actually making a dent on the pile of cherries.  

So the reason I bought the flat of local strawberries yesterday was in preparation for my Old Colony History Museum A Taste of Old Colony History that I try to do every month.  I love the history of the recipes that is provided with this zoom event and being able to cook along.  Here is the zoom happening in my kitchen (I used the portable dishwasher as my laptop stand).

old colony zoom

This month we made Strawberry Shortcake.  Apparently the history of the origins of this dessert are obscure.  The earliest recipe our fearless leader found was from 1845 from a newspaper and in 1846 in a cookbook (The Lady’s Receipt-Book).  The local New England tribes had a history of celebrating a thanksgiving when the strawberries ripened in the spring, the first fruit after a long winter.  There apparently is a history of them serving strawberries over corn cakes so this may contribute to the origin of this recipe.  The recipe we used came from Yankee Magazine, and here is how mine turned out.  

strawberry shortcake

It was really tasty.  Next month will be Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins.  We should have plenty of blueberries by then so I am looking forward to it!

Posted in Historic recipes, NYT Cooking recipe, Recipes- farm | Leave a comment

Our Crazy Fruit Year

began today with my picking some of our Rainier cherries.  Most years we do not get any because the birds get to them first.  We had one previous year where we had an abundance of cherries, and this is the second time.  And I left a lot of cherries on the tree for the birds.  Our orchard ladder came in handy (thanks Al!).  Now I need to figure out what I am going to do with them.

Rainier cherries

But while I was in the orchard I noticed all of the set fruit.



Asian pears

Asian pears


more apples






Even more apples


yet more apples





pie cherries

pie cherries









In addition, we have been buying flats of local strawberries.  They are so good.


We do have some strawberries of our own which are small but tasty.

Steve loves the orchard as it is cooler there.

Steve in orchard

Steve loves the orchard

We have over 100 fruit trees so will definitely have our work cut out for us this summer and fall.

On another topic, our laurel by the driveway is blossoming like crazy.  And it has such a lovely odor.


laurel blossoms

The bees love it.  Hopefully you can see and hear them.

In sad news, the eagles got another of our chickens.  We may have to confine them.

dead chicken

dead chicken remains

They are predicting some incredibly high temperatures here.  So we drug out the air conditioner that came with the house when we bought it 19 years ago.  It was old even then, but it works.  So we set it up in our bedroom window again, and it is cranking out cold air again.

air conditioner

air conditioner

Stay cool everyone!

Posted in Farm | 7 Comments

Flowers and Family on the Mountain

As promised, here are more photos from our trip.  These ones were taken with my camera (and not my phone).

First the flowers.


And then the family.

Ryeleigh at front doorWe listen to Marc Maron’s interview with David Hidalgo our first night there (Thursday) before everyone else arrived.

David Hidalgo interviewThursday sunsetThursday sunset_2Ryeleigh on deckThursday sunset2

Ryeleigh was concerned about Steve’s barking.  You can hear the interview as well.  Thursday sunset3fire

We actually had a fire in the stove the first evening.


Ryeleigh sleeping on couchSteve laying in dirtMount Rainier with dogshillsidesitehot Steve in shadetree

Friday afternoon and evening was when everyone arrived (except my brother who came Saturday).

Piper and William on quadsPiper and William on bike and quadWilliam on bikePiper and William and TomDad and William looking at motorcycleMount RainierDad playing laser tagmoon between pine treesFriday sunsetthe guysFriday sunset2Mount Rainier2


chipmunknest on tractor axle

Above is a bird’s nest on the tractor’s axle.tree trunk

Ryeleigh really used her nose a lot.eaten treehot tired beagleSteve and PiperWilliam on LutherWilliam driving Tom on quadbike and quadWilliam and Mo talkingRyeleigh on Tom's lapTom and RyeleighMo and WilliamSteve


the gang

the camp


grampa cardPiper and quadstump chairlittle trees


two treeshot beagleWillaim and Russ on quaddead tree

dead tree and Ryeleighcastle remains

Above is the site of the burnt castle.  Here is what it used to look like.  My brother built it.



Piper Tom and RyeleighMo and William_2


Greg workingWilliam on quadPiper sleeping

I got some knitting done while Piper slept and most of the gang went riding.


William on big quad

heading out for a ridesunshine on pine needlesbull walking up hill

Ryeleigh had to be kept on a leash.  Thankfully Mo and William helped with the walking duties.

William walking RyeleighTom William and PiperJaylene and Pipercrystal radio kit

I bought William and Tom a crystal radio kit.  Unfortunately it needs soldering so they will ahve to wait and assemble it at home.

Mount Rainier SundaySunday sunsetlight sticksWe had a truly wonderful time.  Memories made, for sure.  


Posted in Trips | 4 Comments