Saturday 9 July 2011

June 2011



DSCF0138 tinyAnd even more cherries.  The blue bucket full of black cherries was destined to become the first batch of glacĂ© cherries while the colander of the griottes made a second batch of cherry vodka.  Patches decided to oversee the proceedings.



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I had so many cherries, the only way to deal with them was to make cherry juice – that used up around two 10l bucketful's to fill the press and resulted in this collection of bottles of juice to put in the freezer.

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Hiding in the background are the cherries ready to be stoned for the glacé cherries and a bowl of large cherries with stalks that I had stoned and am marinating in brandy with the aim of turning them into a Christmas treat.

DSCF0145 tinyAt the end of last month I took my lawnmower and my rotovator in for repair/service.  as a result the new grass in the orchard took on a Monet-esque look.



DSCF0146 tinyAnd while wandering in amongst the poppies and the weeds I came across these.  They are hare droppings and later that evening I spotted 4 hares running round my soya field.





Not the best photograph in the world but I didn’t have time to change the camera default setting  so it insisted on using the flash to light up the foreground.  Thank goodness for photo manipulation programmes Smile





DSCF0152 tinyThe blueberries have done really well this year although I do need to find out how to prune the bush as the weight of the berries bent the branches right down to the ground.



DSCF0154 tinyA tour round the garden brought these two lots of caterpillars to light.  The first is a caterpillar of the Scarce Swallowtail which is on the bronze fennel, while the second is a group that I’ve yet to identify but I think might be saw fly caterpillars.

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Jewel is her usual mad self and decided to file herself beside me while I was working on the computer.





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The apricot tree outside the front door didn’t produce many fruits this year but made up for it in the size of the fruit it produced.




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The first batch of glace cherries being divided into 300g batches.





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Having drained the glace cherries from their poaching syrup I was then left with a large pan of fruit juice and sugar.  On the basis of ‘waste not, want not’ I decided to use this to make a jelly.



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The last of the cherries and the first of the greengages!








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And the last of the cherries processed.  I made 2 batches of glace cherries starting with around 4 kg for each batch.  This resulted in approximately 3.6 kg of glace cherries.  The first lot of poaching juice I spiced and bottled as a sauce to pour over ice cream, while the second lot I spiced in the same way and added a couple of small bottles of homemade pectin in an attempt to set the jelly.  The jelly on the spoon looked well set but that in the jars looks as fluid as the sauce batch!


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The extreme heat and drought left the gooseberries struggling this year but the blackberries seem to have not been too bothered.  The coin is a 2€ piece





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And the final day of the month was spent on a 1200 km round trip to collect my son A from university in Aix-en-Provence.  We stopped on the way back to take in the stunning view of Carcassonne in the evening sunshine.