Sunday, July 7, 2013

Raspberry infusion vinegar recipe, broccoli, snow peas, green beans, waiting for PSE

We have broccoli! Lots of broccoli.  We have about five snow peas which means that next week we will have enough for a couple of meals.  The green beans are  on target as well.  This might not seem like something  to get excited about but, after  a year of eating  commercial produce, I'm so happy I could cry.  My only regret is that the garden isn't bigger.  It would have been  bigger this year  but, Jimmy had me by the back of the collar  slowing me down.  In between struggling to get away and screaming "lemmego lemmego!" I could  hear him saying  "wait til PSE gets done  so we can see what happens".    PSE is  changing the  power lines that run down the length of our property and we already signed off on the permission slips for them to top all the trees  that are wrapped around the power lines.  That was back in late February.  They are taking their sweet time about getting here!   I know it takes some planning to shut off the power for a whole neighborhood for a day but I just want them to get it done!  Then there is  the  driveway.  We don't know where the edges will end up. The fate of the hazelnut tree has not been settled either.  There is a pile of sawdust under this tree that the bugs  have eaten out of it.  This according to the tree guy is an indication that the tree is old and sick and the bugs are doing their job.  It will probably have to come down. ( So much for my home made nutella fantasies!).  By October I will know where all the newly  exposed sunspots are and next spring will be a frenzy  of  building  new raised beds and getting all kinds of  yummies in the ground.
This coming week, I will be building a  small integration coop  for the new girls coming on board.  The  problem of too many chickens may have been solved.  One of Jimmy's friends in Portland  might want them.  I will keep half of them.   The two old girls are   being  retired.  I did not make the decision lightly.  Since they have been penned up for the summer, their bullying  of the young girls has escalated to the point where action must be taken.  Last years  new girls  are scared to death and their feathers are poking out everywhere  they have been pecked. One of the sweetest  new girls is taking the brunt of the abuse.   Both of the ancient reds are doing the bullying but  'Long Lip'  is the meanest.  Old , useless and sweet? You get to live.  Old, useless and mean?  Well.... cant have that.  The deed needs to be done before the   babies get here.  They are all hand raised, sweet tempered breeds.  The transition from teen girls bedroom to  sky and dirt  is going to be hard enough on them without making them fear for their lives from  a  vicious inmate.

My freezer is full of raspberries  waiting for DD to come up for a couple of days.  I already set a gallon of them to infuse in white vinegar.  After the last infusions ran out, I tried to buy a bottle  of raspberry vinegar at the grocery store.  It seems that raspberry vinegar has fallen out of fashion. (who knew groceries were  bound up in popular opinion?).  I will probably make another one after this.  My chrisoween baskets this year will include a small jar of it for gifting. I will leave you with a simple recipe for your own raspberry vinegar.

Raspberry vinegar infusion recipe:

Fill a one gallon jar 3/4 full with raspberries
Pour one cup of  sugar over berries
Pour in distilled white vinegar  until jar is full
Stir contents well
Cover with lid or plastic wrap and let steep for at least one week.
Stir contents at least once a day.
When berries begin to look white-ish, strain through cheesecloth or very fine strainer to remove pulp and seeds.
Bottle and store.
(I choose to put mine in quart jars and water bath them just to be sure)