The humidity is not letting up here in eastern Michigan and the temperatures are at or above 90° depending how many clouds block out the sun. My cucumbers are climbing the a-frame and some tomatoes are showing the first signs of orange.
The plum tree is so thick with leaves that finding any plums is a challenge, but they are in there and getting big. Hubby’s been eating them green, but I’m waiting for August when they’ll be ripe and purple.
It’s hard to believe that July is upon us and half the year is gone. In just a few months the winds will start to howl from the north and bring fall and all it’s beauty to our doorstep. With fall comes harvest, which based on the heat and humidity plaguing our days, should be bountiful. The sweet potatoes are spreading, the beets are flourishing, the peppers are blooming, and the kale is thick and lush.
Strawberry season is coming to an end far too soon. I wish the sweet ripe berries could last longer than a few glorious weeks.
Rhubarb, too is starting to wilt. Be it the heat, the humidity or just it’s time, I fear these two will soon be gone for another year. My rhubarb is still small and young and I have no idea what to do with it. Not having grown it before, I’m wondering if I should harvest the tiny stalks or leave them until next year. My plants are nothing like the huge plants I harvested out at the orchard. Do I cut them down to the ground or leave them be until next year?
With some of the rhubarb I picked a few weeks ago I made a luscious Rhubarb-Pineapple Jam that truly was the best of both worlds — tart yet sweet.
4 Cups Finely Chopped Rhubarb
1 Whole Pineapple Pureed
4 Cups Sugar
5 Tbsp. Clear Jel dissolved in 1/2 Cup Water
Combine rhubarb, pineapple, and sugar in large stock pot. Add Clear Jel dissolved in water. Bring to low boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often. Increase heat and boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space, seal and screw on bands. Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.
The end of the week should bring some relief from the heat and maybe once again we can bask in the glory of summer instead of hiding out in the air-conditioned house. There is much to be done before fall, many days to enjoy, activities to pursue, and places to go. As winter was unrelenting and confining, so too has summer become — but this too shall pass, I’m sure of it, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.