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Archive for August, 2011

Apple Jelly

Apple Jelly

Collect the unripe green fallen apples from the garden.

Wash them, cut out damaged parts, flowers and stem and cut them into small pieces including the core.

Fill large pot to ¾ with cut apples, cover with water and boil shortly until apples become soft but not jet mush. Let it stand about 12 hours, then fill into a strainer/cloth to separate the liquid from the apples. Fill the apple-water back into the pot and hang the cloth above it until it stops dropping.

Add spices (some fresh mint leaves or a cinnamon stick or pieces of finely chopped ginger or red rose petals) reheat the apple-water and let simmer until about half of it has evaporated.

Then take out the spices except ginger or rose petals and add sugar (about half or up to ¾ sugar to 1part water and let simmer until the liquid is of a more intense color and a drop of it put on a plate, becomes jelly.

Fill boiling hot into sterile marmalade glasses, close tight, turn them upside down for ten minutes, then turn upright again, cover with a towel to cool down slowly.

Label and be proud!

Lesson to learn: Enjoy the process as much as the result!

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One of my ‘wishes come true’ on our farm are the old apple trees. They’re spread across the property, close to hedges, in corners, four around our little lake, some amidst pastures…  They were blooming beautifully in spring as if they wanted to show us where we could find them. We set up two benches underneath the one apple tree close to the house to sit beneath his branches and to look through his leaves and flowers onto the lake, and then later the branches loaded with apples hung down almost to the ground…

Then there came the cow, chewed branches and apples as high as a cow can reach and left some cow dung as a thank you. I jumped up to the sky a couple of times, called Markus who is now the owner of that beast, and finally calmed down, what else could I do…? Just some words about the cow: She ran away when the sixty two head of cattle got loaded to go to their new owner. She’d lived a solitary life in our corn fields during winter, Trevor bought her, but never could catch her, she knows every corner of this land. In summer she got a calf.  Markus bought her from Trevor and bought also a steer to lure her to the stable with his mooing. The steer, weak and skinny as if he had escaped a concentration camp, does not say one moo. He’s happy, enjoys food space and peace and doesn’t say one moo!

I am making apple jelly from the fallen apples. The green unripe ones have the most pectin and the jelly tastes heavenly. The cow and I are now competing for the apples. She has all night, I have the day… but today I tought I could pick ’em up later … later they were gone!

Lesson to learn: Take the apples as they fall, otherwise the cow’ll eat ’em all!

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Garlic Harvest

We  have harvested plenty of garlic. Piet loosened them up from the ground with a fork I pulled them out and to get rid of the earth I banged them together until most of the earth came of. Later I read that you have to treat garlic like raw eggs, otherwise their toes get bruised … Well, too late, let’s see how bad they get. We took pictures, trimmed their roots, hung them up for their two weeks curing and soon we’ll take them down for storing.

Lesson to learn: don’t bang garlic!

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