My New Friend

I have a new friend in the form of a kitchen gadget.
It’s my  oxo cherry pitter.

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I’ve been trying to get my hands on one for the past week, but they’ve been sold out everywhere.  (Of course every employee has reminded me gently that it is, after all, cherry season, and lots of people thought of this a couple of weeks ago.  I don’t tell them that I was at the beach thinking about sandcastles and water and sunscreen.)
Finally I thought of another store that might have one.
I called…. and raced in to buy the last one!
I wish I had three.

This thing takes care of cherry pits in a serious way.  I couldn’t believe how quickly I was able to remove all the pits from my cherries for a few more batches of jam and fruit leather.

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That’s a lot of pits!  And look at this beautiful pile of pitted cherries just waiting to be made into something yummy:

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I’m so thankful to have this handy little tool, especially with another tree that is almost to the dripping with juice stage.

Yep, life is good with a cherry pitter in hand.
If I could just keep it in hand!  My kids think it’s so cool that they suddenly need to use it every ten minutes.
That’s okay.  Helpers are good things.

Homegrown Cherries

Just a few months ago, I was celebrating the tiny bits of green that had appeared on my cherry trees.
In such a short period of time, we went from green to blossoms to cherries.

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We came home from vacation and our yummy cherries had turned into deep red,
dripping with sweetness, dribble juice all over you cherries.

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Beautiful cherries.

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We started picking.  Filling buckets and trays.

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But it didn’t even look like we’d picked.

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I’ve always enjoyed preserving fruit, making jams and sauces,
dehydrating and bottling.  But it’s never come from my own backyard.
I’m fortunate to live in an area where there are multiple orchards around me
and I can buy from the growers.  This time, to be harvesting from our own trees
is really a pleasure.

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I’ve been bottling cherries and making jam.
I’ve never had cherry jam before, but we’ve learned that it’s really tasty.
Freezer jam and cooked jam both.

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It’s a lot of work, but for me it’s work that brings a real feeling of satisfaction.
So much of what I do has to be redone several times a day.  But I love the feeling of lining up
the food I’ve preserved and knowing that because of my efforts my family will enjoy it in
months to come when the fresh food is no longer available.  And we’ve only harvested from one tree!
I still have another to take care of this week.

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I also find that working with fruit helps me slow down, relax, and notice more of the
simple joys of life.  I start looking at the lovely shades of color in the fruit, pondering life
in a day and time when work such as this meant survival.   Today I noticed the lovely color of the foam as I cooked some cherry jam.

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And how beautiful it was when it reached a full boil.

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I feel more grateful for the bounty that God has given us, marveling at the genius of a God who created trees that can bring us such delicious pleasure, and such blessings.  I am reminded that God’s economy is one of abundance.

Taking advantage of such abundance, expressing my appreciation for it by putting it to good use and sharing it with others, just feels right.  And that’s an awfully good feeling to carry around in your heart.

Jennifer

Red Doors

There are a lot of things I love about our yearly week at the beach.
Seeing my Grandpa would certainly top the list, along with taking pictures of my family playing.

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And it does my heart good to soak up  a lot of this.

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I love to watch the ocean.  It is continually changing, and I find that I learn many things about life while I watch the waves and allow my heart to be still.

I also love to look at the beach houses.  Many of them seem to have such personalities.  I love it.

This year my fascination was with doors.

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Let me be more accurate.  I loved many doors, but what I REALLY loved were the RED doors.

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Wow.  Red with blue trim.  Love it.

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This was taken from the car.  Not the best shot, but still a great door.

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This might have been my favorite, but the traffic wouldn’t allow me to cross the street and get a shot without the car.  Bummer.  I love the double doors and the blue awning.

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This one might be my favorite, too.  Red door, white trim, blue house.  Can’t get much better than that!
I love the windows on it.

There’s just something about red front doors.   Especially at the beach.
I might have to paint my own front door red.

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