Cherries = Summer

Fresh Tart Cherries

And, cherries (the tart, Minnesota variety) = jam!

Tart Cherry Jam

I added a few cranberries (for pectin), and the jam is just on this side of tart. Tasty.

It’s nice to see the freezer and the pantry beginning to fill up with the bounty of the season. Winter may be cold here, but it’s much easier to go through it with little jars full of Summer.


For obvious reasons our gardening plans this season were thwarted. But, we are super fortunate to live close to a great farmers market. So, we’ve been taking advantage of the people who have been able to farm and garden this year, providing us with access to delicious, local produce.

In previous years, we made the market a regular part of our food buying, going once a week. This year, again for obvious reasons, we’ve only been able to go two or three times. Today was one of those times, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. For, you see, we had pickles on our minds, and there were cukes a plenty, dill and garlic, too.

We made a simple, but fantastic recipe last year, but ran out of them about half-way through. This year we hope to not make the same mistake.

Dill Pickles, year 2

Behold, 11 jars filled with over 13 pounds of pickled cucumber goodness. Of course, I should mention that my role in the process was greatly reduced due to low energy (thanks to my slow-to-recover hemoglobin), so I’m very glad Virginia was up to the task of washing, slicing, dicing and canning. (I did help a wee bit, though. I took some pictures.)

Dill Pickles, year 2

Pickles and (take a guess) Socks

Virginia, I’m sad to say, is not going to have a finished big project for the month of July. Life, right now, is taking the driver’s seat, and leaving the projects we’d like to be finishing, well, unfinished. But, such is life, with its many ups and downs. We take it all.

However, I wouldn’t just post to the site without leaving you with some actual scratchcrafty goodness. Even though the big projects are on hold, does not mean the smaller projects are not being completed. These two pairs of socks, for instance, were wrapped up in the last week.

Sock #10 (52 Sock Challenge)

Sock #11 (52 Sock Challenge)

This last one is Mountain Colors Bearfoot doubled up. That means twice the squish, and probably twice the warmth.

For my own distraction today, I decided to try my hand at some pickling. I picked up 6 pounds of organic cucumbers, a bunch of dill and some garlic from the farmer’s market today.

Pickles, part 1

After comparing a couple of different recipes from several locations, I decided on a vinegar/water/salt solution, with added dill and dill seeds, peppercorns, and garlic. The solution boiled and then, after pouring it over the stuffed jars, I processed it all in boiling water for 20 minutes. The results:

Pickles, part 2

I think we’ll be ready for a cold, crunchy pickle in a couple of weeks… very exciting.