Posts Tagged ‘blueberries’

Jammy Memories

June 12, 2016

Eddie and I were in Bartell’s the other day and I saw some Apricot-Pineapple jam from Smuckers.  It immediately reminded me of the jam Mom used to make from scratch – I loved her apricot-pineapple the best.  I had to buy it and then Eddie and I started talking about it because he loved the apricot jam his Mom made.

Smuckers

Sunday we had it for breakfast and talked about our Moms because they both enjoyed cooking and trying new things.  My Mom made a lot of jam, this is how I remember her Apricot-Pineapple:

jam apricot:pineapple

She often collect peanut butter jars, small mayo jars and often a collection of miscellaneous jars for jam.  She would cook it on the stove and add pectin and sugar – Mom and Dad were on a tight budget, so Mom did a lot of canning and preserving.  Then she would sterilize the jars and add the jam.  when it was cool, she poured a layer of paraffin on the top, then later a second layer to seal the jar.  She often had lids to put on to seal it even more.  I remember some of it was the devil to get off, it would split into pieces and then we had to dig them out.  Other times, the paraffin popped out in one piece – no delay in enjoying the jam.

We used to pick the little blackberries and sometimes we had enough for blackberry jam – often it was more likely a pie.  We had blueberries by the back porch – still do and they have a bumper crop this year – for blueberry pie and sometimes jam.  There were raspberry bushes along the side of the property and we had lots of raspberry jam.  I would go out in the morning and pick a big bowl, then late after I could do another big bowl.  We also ate berries fresh for breakfast and occasional blueberry pancakes.

Mom did a lot of canning – all three of us girls helped her.  The most uncomfortable was peaches – yes,, Mom would pour boiling on the peaches and the skins would come off easily.  The cut them in half and remove the pit and into the jar.  The problem was the peach fuzz, it got all over me and was itchy and scratchy – how could a lovely, soft and delicious peach be so uncomfortable afterward?  Tomatoes  were also done with boiling water, but no scratchy fuzz. Mom would get flats of tomatoes because she used them a lot in cooking, so it seemed there were more tomatoes than anything else.   Apricots were cut in half with pit removed and put in the jars.  The Royal Anne cherries were washed, stems removed and put into jars with syrup.The fruits had syrup added to the jars when there wasn’t any room for more fruit – I think she put a little salt and tomato juice in with the tomatoes, not sure if there was anything else.  I’m trying to remember if she tried her hand at dill pickles – that’s the trouble getting older, there are more and more memories and my mind often feels as if it is a room with over stuffed file drawers with memories spilling on to the floor.

King Kelly

This is another jammy memory.  This reminds me so much of my aunt and also when I met Eddie.  My Dad’s older sister lived in San Francisco Bay Area and I had been visiting a couple of times with Mom and Dad.  Every morning she and my uncle would have fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee and English muffins with King Kelly Orange Marmalade.  When I went down to spend a couple of weeks holiday with her in May of 1968, that was what we had for breakfast.  I met Eddie a couple of days after I arrived and we went out a lot – I remember the room I stayed in and a lot of different places in Burlingame.

It was an enjoyable time, though I had no idea it would end in going to Australia to marry him.  My life has been very interesting and educational since I married Eddie, I have learned so much, traveled to places I always wanted to go and some I am glad I went but have no desire to return.  I remember when we moved to New Jersey I couldn’t find King Kelly jam, nor any other place in the Eastern half of the U.S.   I had to buy it here when I came to see Mom and Dad and take it back with me.  Every time I have it on my toast, I think of my aunt and uncle and the times I spent with them.  It also reminds me so much of meeting Eddie for the first time and learning about him – I had never heard of an Armenian before and in 48 years, I have learned quite a lot about them.

Funny (peculiar) how something so simple can generate so many wonderful memories.

Blessed Relief!

July 12, 2015

I am not a hot weather gal – 75, maybe even 80 is my limit.  So almost 10 days of 90’s was really difficult.  I figured it would not last forever and it didn’t.  It is in the 70’s and so much better for all of us.  We didn’t do too badly – it is the early evening until around 3 or 4 in the morning before it cools down that are the most uncomfortable times.

We put the furnace fan on at night, it circulates the cool air in the basement around the rest of the house.  We bought a fan back in May when we thought we would have the floors done.  It was tucked away in Mom’s room and we forgot about it.  Eddie brought it out to the living room and that helped as well.  We kept the windows and doors open – some days we had a breeze, some days it was still.

I found myself sweating in the evening, usually around the time I was ready for bed.  I spent a lot of time wearing a t-shirt and panties when I was home all day – also the minute I came home.  It was not always easy to go to sleep and after a while, I felt worn down.  Now I know we don’t have the really miserably hot weather that other parts of the country are experiencing.  This is what I’ve been experiencing right here.

One reason I haven’t done any posts is because all I wanted to do was whinge about how uncomfortable I was.  I also have been feeling either like a bump on a log or just downright sleepy.  So many are just as uncomfortable or even more , who wants to read my post just  whingeing.  I also haven’t been doing much, this is a time of rest after all the things for Mom and getting the living room done.  Eddie has really been clearing boxes – so many things look strange to us.

Since I have been having knee trouble, I haven’t been down stairs for quite a while – time to check out what Eddie has been doing and what needs to be given away.  I know he has put quite a few boxes out for recycle the past few times – as soon as they empty the wheely bin, it is filled up quite quickly.

I am amazed at the bumper crop of blueberries – the birds have also noticed.  We put the net over the bushes, unfortunately there have been some birds who got trapped inside.  I went to buy 6 more yards of nylon net to put around the bottom and some wooden clothes pins to hold the whole set up together.  Eddie found bricks and a few stones to put around the bottom to keep them out – so far, so good.  Eddie picked a soup bowl full of blueberries and we had a delight bowl each for breakfast this morning.  there are some left that I will put in my yogurt tomorrow morning.

As you see, this is a rather short post – there isn’t a whole lot to report that is of interest.  I have times when I feel more human, then suddenly I am back to just wanting to sleep.  I see that is progress and look forward to more times when I feel I have some energy.

Stay as cool as you can through the hot days – this too will past.

Back to the Warm Stuff!

July 29, 2014

I know we don’t have very hot weather compared to a lot of places – I spent a lot of time living in the Eastern half of the country so I know hot and humid.  I don’t do that well with hot weather and when I found central air conditioning, I knew I had found the solution to being comfortable at home.  Then it was only going out somewhere that was very uncomfortable.  Plus I never knew how cold the air conditioning would be in shops, restaurants or hotels.  it would be cold inside the grocery sore and coming outside to the heat and humidity was as if I had been hit by a wet gauze curtain.

As a result, I am so happy to be back here in Seattle, not only the weather but also a large body of salt water and proper mountains.  Yes, I am probably a wuss, but I like to be comfortable. Our idea of hot weather is different.  We were close to 90 yesterday and will no doubt be about that again today – glad to have a day to myself at home with the windows open and the furnace fan circulating air from one floor to another.  It definitely makes sleeping at night more comfortable.   We have lovely breezes but for some reason they die down after dark – just when we need the cool air.  That’s why I am glad I checked out the fan so we could have the breeze whether Mother Nature sent it or not.

I went to visit Mom yesterday morning – she was very feisty and grumpy.  She didn’t want anyone to touch her – even me.  So I said “Not even your daughter Elizabeth’?  She wasn’t sure who I was, so I gave chocolate and cookies which she enjoyed and read for a bit.  I asked if she would like a back rub, but that wasn’t accepted.  I was surprised to find I wasn’t really upset because it isn’t the first time.  I suspect as time goes on she will know me less and less.  I find I have to put the chocolate or cookie in her hand – Didi says someone has to be with her at mealtime to redirect her when she gets distracted.  I know she will slowly forget how to do the things she can do right now.

Fern – who is 102 – was at the table and she seems to enjoy hearing the book even when I put Mom to sleep.  I’m glad I can do something to entertain her, it is so hard for her because she thinks no one ever comes to visit.  Her son and his family do come, but it is in the evening after work.  Didi now has an opening because Monique left – she was a bit in another world but when she got on the bus and made it all the way to SeaTac, that was a big problem.  As far as I know Monique went to hospital but not sure what happened after that.

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I have most of the blueberry bushes covered

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The two branches that need tying up

The blueberries are ripening and the birds are having a field day.  There is a huge Stellard Blue Jay eating his fill.  On the way home yesterday, I stopped at Joann’s for nylon net.  I bought 2 3 yard pieces and sewed them together – unfortunately the blueberries extend farther than I thought.  So I need to make another trip for more and also some clips to hold it together.  They will get under the net anyway, but it will be a little harder.

Eddie picked some ripe ones last night and they were wonderful  He also found a ripe fig on the tree, so we split it – out of this world!  The apples are starting fall on the ground, probably time to check out the pears to see if any are ready to pick.  I didn’t realize pears are picked unripe and then they are left to ripen.  If they stay on the tree, they may rot.  The red ones are doing well, don’t think we have many on the other pear tree.

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How about those pears!

Maybe Spring Is Really Here

April 13, 2014

Sometimes my body tells me when it is going to rain – usually if it has been a long time since the last storm.  I start to notice it in my hip – just about where my leg and hip come together.  Essentially it feels as if my leg is being torn out of the socket; it comes suddenly and hurts like the dickens.  It starts to rain and suddenly the pain is gone – boy, am I glad to see the rain come.  Not so much this last time, it was both hips and it was a day or two after the rain and about to start in again.  I saw my chiropractor and she did some adjustments which helped, but it was still very uncomfortable.  I was with a friend at lunch and I suddenly remembered something my Occupational Therapist in Connecticut told me – “You don’t do change of seasons very well”.  Maybe it’s true.

I started looking at what I was doing at the time, was I moving in a different way or did I remember an unusual movement.  I couldn’t think of anything but then as I was getting up from the chair at the computer, I noticed I was bracing myself a little differently – maybe that was it.  I put the chair a little higher so it was easier to get up – though it can’t be too high or it hurts my neck and shoulders.  Some days life feels like a delicate balance.  So far, with the chair a little higher, I am doing better.  I am also sleeping well.

Last Monday it was warm and sunny, so nice I went out in my bare feet to do some “earthing” in the grass.  I also took out my bottle of bubbles and blew bubbles in the sunshine.  That was fun!  They were so pretty shiny in the sunlight, I’m waiting for it to be warm again.  Yes, we have had sunshine and it is usually very pleasant in the sun.  In the shade it is chilly with a north wind – still nippy.   I am wearing turtlenecks and sweaters to keep warm while so many people are out in shorts and tees.  Am I out of step?  It is working its way up into the 60’s today and maybe into 70 tomorrow.  As for the garden, it is doing very well.

Thanks to Eddie who did it for me, the fruit trees have fertilizer stakes and we also had a bit of rain afterwards.  never did get to spray the trees for all the lichen and fuzzy stuff, maybe I will just have to pick it off.  Anyway, the pear trees are in full bloom and gorgeous – if the rain and windy don’t come too harshly, we may have pears this year.  The Gravenstein is just beginning to bloom, not fully out like the pear trees.

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We also did the blue berries and they are also blooming, plus we did the fig tree – not sure if it has recovered from pruning or not.  Eddie thinks we made a mistake pruning it, I am willing to wait and see.  I am so glad we gave them fertilizer this year, it hasn’t been done for 2 or 3 years.

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You can’t really see the Scillas, but they are there and blooming.

The grape hyacinths are still blooming and now the Scillas have finally begun to bloom.  So we have purple in the beds and it is lovely.   The camellias are still blooming, though they make a mess on the sidewalk.  I need to check the rhodos, Delores brought over some red buds for me to take to Mom, unfortunately I left before she came.  So I have them in a vase on the kitchen window sill and they are beginning to open up.  I will see how ours are doing and take some to Mom.

It feels as if everything has burst into bloom.  I have seem rhodos blooming, magnolias and azaleas – it is such a glorious time of year.  The trees have a lot more leaves and it is truly amazing.

My sister Ellen has some of her photos online – just click her name and see what beautiful pictures she has taken.  I’m so very proud of her, she is an amazing talent.  My sister Candy is too, she also has many facets and talents.  They have both captured spring – in Nashville and the Jersey shore.

The first flowering fruit trees have lost their blossoms, almost like a snow storm.  Now it is the puffy cherry trees, like balls of pink fluff.  It is such a pleasure to drive places and see colors and beauty all around.  Hmm, am I starting to wax poetical?

I need to get dressed now, I cleaned the bathroom this morning, Eddie vacuumed and the laundry is almost done.  He didn’t have to go to the Museum of Flight today and since we went to service his car yesterday, Saturday chores were spread between both days.  It is certainly a lot more fun to be out in the sunshine than the rain and wind.  We will all be wanting rain if it is too dry for too long, it’s a Seattle thing.  If you wait for a nice day to do things, you wouldn’t be going out very much.  Unless it is a gale and hard rain, you just go and do.  I remember a January day in L.A. when I went to renew my driver’s license.  It was a rainy day and there was hardly anyone at the DMV.  One of the advantages of growing up here.

The wisteria will soon be out, but I will have to enjoy my neighbors because we had it dug out last year.  It’s so lovely when it blooms, but the rest of the time it does a really good job of taking over everything, no matter how much I trimmed it back.  I am not going to miss it.


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