|Nectarine Italian plum skillet jam from Food in Jars|
|Apple sauce with rhubarb preserves|
|Ryan's fresh bread|
I've been experimenting with different apple sauces (with apples from our tree) this year. I made apple/pear sauce and then apple/pear/raspberry sauce. This weekend, three of my friends came over to help me chop the remaining 10 lbs of apples (thank you Amy, Hana, and Will!) which made the whole process go SO much faster! We used most of the apples to make regular apple sauce with a little cinnamon and the rest were flavored with rhubarb.
In addition to the apple tree, we have an Italian plum tree. It produced tons of fruit the first year we lived in the house and then none last year. I was thrilled that it had plums this summer. I read a recipe for Italian plum jam with star anise and (having no idea what star anise was) was excited to try it. Of course I found star anise for next to nothing in Malaysia, so I bought two packages of it. When I got back from Malaysia the tree was loaded, but they weren't falling off yet so I figured I had a couple of days to get my life (and sleep cycle) together before I had to deal with them.
Ryan and I finally went out to pick the plums and apples and all of the plums were GONE except for one, which was totally out of reach. I was devastated. I think they were destroyed by the crows. There weren't even any laying on the ground around the tree. There were only tiny little shreds of skin. Ryan tried to comfort me by saying we could buy some at the farmer's market. Which we did, but it's not the same. I'm mostly mad at myself for not picking them as soon as I got home, but how could I have known the crows would devour them? That did not happen the first year we lived here; they fell onto the ground and even though a few were picked at by birds, most were still good. In any case, we did buy plums at the market and I did make the star anise jam and it was delicious. But I'm still sad we lost a tree full of our very own (free) plums.