Sunday, June 7, 2009

The berries are becoming more cordial

Today was the first weekly shaking of the berry cordial. Spork and I pulled it out of the cabinet this afternoon and noted a few changes from last week: the vodka has become pinkish, the blackberries have turned red and the raspberries have turned white. The sugar at the bottom of the jar was almost completely dissolved, too. One shake down, seven more to go.

Before shaking

After shaking. Note the white raspberries.

We are harvesting more berries than we can eat right now, so Spork resorted to freezing some for future use. I broke with cobbler/pie tradition this week and baked a clafoutis (or flognarde, since it's made from berries). It is one of the best smelling things to have ever graced my oven. It was yummy, but I regretted not having some vanilla ice cream to go with it.

Crusty, oozy berry goodness

The garden is finally beginning to produce. It's been a strange spring - even the farmers' market produce is behind. I've only had one bird-pecked tomato so far, but lots of yellow wax beans, summer squash and eggplants.

Ichiban eggplant showing flea beetle damage on the leaves

My butterfly garden, while messy, is very bloomy. I can't get enough of the passionflowers, which I find to be almost hypnotic. I originally grew them only because they are larval host plants for gulf fritillary butterflies, but now I love their complex flowers.

Passiflora incarnata

Bee balm with one of the skipper butterflies

My sister, Terri, has two new puppies, Taz and Buckley. It's great for me because I get to play with puppies, but my shoes aren't destroyed in the process. The pups are 1/2 schnauzer and 1/2 catahoula. The rescue group Terri adopted them from told her these would be small dogs, but Buckley has the feet and legs of a Clydesdale. Mmmm-hmmmm. They are mighty cute, though.

Taz (front) and Buckley, with hand model

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