Saturday, September 27, 2008
Yes, I know, you probably didn't want to hear it. Winter is on its way. In fact, the past two days have seen the peaks of the mountains glistening with that white stuff.
But back to those well-fed bears, they are drawn by the sweet smell of ripening fruit, but then usually after one or two bites leave the fruit to rot on the ground. I was simply rescuing what was left before the bears spoil any more.
I got the fruit from the back yard of a friend who's property backs up against what was once one of many orchards in this region. This region at one time boasted some of the best fruit in the province and probably the country. The cherries here were particularly prized until the trees were hit with a blight that devastated the industry. But that is another story entirely.
In any case, this old overgrown orchard backs up against the mountain and the forest providing easy access not just to the bears, but also deer. There aren't many trees left and they are old, but the fruit is still fabulously sweet. With much of it turning quickly...pears don't last for long once they start to ripen, I made pear winter jam. It's actually more like a pear butter. The warmth of the ginger does one good in the winter. The concoction is actually really good completely raw, but of course would not last for long, so most of it got cooked up and sealed in jars.
Ripe pears - 3 pounds, peeled and cored
Medium orange - 1 seeded
Medium lemon - 1 seeded
Crushed pineapple - 1 cup (canned in own juice)
Honey - 3/4 cup
Fresh ginger root - 1 inch, peeled and grated
Whole cloves - 6
Cinnamon sticks - 2, broken into 3 pieces
Salt - dash (optional)
Process fruit in food processor or blender. Place in a large pot, adding pineapple and juice. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until fruit is tender and mixture thick, stirring often. Skim and pour into hot, sterile pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch at top. Cap with hot, sterile lids. Process in boiling-water bath for 5 minutes after water returns to boil. If any jars fail to seal, refrigerate and use within ten days or freeze for later use.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I quickly glance around expecting to see the swinging doors of a saloon just a few steps away. Despite the odd dreamlike quality of the horse, the parked cars and grocery store down the street assure me that I am still in the twenty-first century. Being the first on the scene, I snap a few pics and make friends with Winnetou. Shortly thereafter a few others begin to gather obviously as taken by the situation as I am. Eventually a drunken cowboy comes stumbling onto the scene to collect his horse.
He poses for a few photos hamming up his instant celebrity status. The local sheriff arrives and assures us that riding a horse drunk is not a criminal offense. He tells us that the horse knows the way back home better than the cowboy and just to make sure that we know, that the cowboy is totally harmless, even drunk. Eventually the cowboy saddles up and rides off into the sunset as I play all possible soundtracks in my head.