Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pilgrim's Farm Cherry Juice


The morning I made cherry juice started with a bright light of a cloud...
with just a whisper of a cool breeze


and the little birds of Pilgrim's Farm were busy among the tree branches...
catching breakfast...


and singing their songs


and in spite of picking a bucketful of cherries the day before...


the trees were still as full of these red jewels as though they hadn't been touched


and because it would be a silly thing to let these good fruit go to waste...


I picked as many as I could reach


leaving a few that were being feasted on by the spirobolid millipedes...
creatures found by many to be a nuisance...
but, they are great for getting rid of rotting produce


even the birds have not been able to make much of a dent in the amount of cherries in the trees


and there were quite a few that were too sky high for me to reach
no doubt, the critters will help themselves to those


and then it occurred to me that I didn't bring the bucket and my shirt got full


so, a bucket I got and in no time it started to fill and the cherries took a long time to pick...
but, the birds were singing, the chickens were clucking, the sun was shining...
and there wasn't any hurry for something else at the moment
just cherry picking therapy at my own pace



I love the cherry jewels that hang all by themselves from the lower branches of the tree...
as if they don't care for the crowd that jostle for room

the brown of the trunk and the red of the cherry seem to go well together 



and as if the red, red cherries weren't enough red...
the cashew fruit is giving competition a few feet away


of course, I cannot leave them all behind just for the birds and millipedes
it's only fair to have them share a few with others of us



let's not forget the wax apple fruit with it's sweet crunchiness...
and still coming along into it's own red hues
I did pick a few that turned out to be quite good in spite of their youngness



and did I mention that there are still more fruit in the color red?
this pretty little oval is called a plum here on the island...
but, am not sure exact name for it
it's small, sweet and juicy and of course...
most of these have been eaten by the birds
ah well, it isn't like we don't get enough fruits to eat



on my way back up to the cottage I collected a few eggs for the day
our hens are consistent egg layers year around as we have no winters here



there is no easy, fast way to make cherry juice
but, if one has the patience, it's well worth the effort
because, you see, the pit of the cherry has cyanide and you don't want to eat that
so, with time, every pit must be taken out
my patience, I'm sorry to say, isn't very remarkable


nonetheless, the cherry juice was made using the blender to process the pulp of the fruit...


and whirring the fruit until it is completely pureed into a liquid
no need to strain


the cherry pulp color won out over the skin color...
but, isn't it pretty


tangerine colored cherry juice


this is what happens when one is patient enough with...
picking, cleaning, pitting, blending a wonderful little fruit...
into a delicious, refreshing juice sweetened with raw honey
and no doubt, a little carbonated water would probably give it a sparkly kick


So that a man shall say,
Verily there is a reward for the righteous:
verily He is a God that judgeth in the earth.
Psalm 58:11

May your day or night be fruitful by the grace of God.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Project Homestead Postcard


It's a good time to plant some fruit trees with the rains coming along


Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance,
in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in,
in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.
The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.
Exodus 15:17-18

May your day or night be planted in the grace of the Lord.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cherries, Crabby Crab, and Repurposing an Old Hose



Is there anything prettier than seeing red, red cherries...


hanging from the tree branches?


I was watching the lovely pink blooms coming out not so long ago...


and now those blooms are giving us...


juicy, just a wee bit sweet, fruit
I have feeling we are going to be bombarded with more cherries than we can eat
cherry jam making is coming to mind, perhaps next week


it's not unusual to meet a little land crab down in the land where the fruit trees grow


but, this little crab didn't like my approach and gave a clear warning to stay back


the brave little fellow wasn't the one to back down...no, no...
he backed me down when he grabbed the nearest stick to show me what could happen...
should I stick my fingers a little too close for his comfort

I chose to keep my fingers


sometimes, an old item one would normally throw away when it's come to the end...
of it's normal use...
becomes an item for repurposing


instead of buying a collar for this little ram on Pilgrim's Farm...
or just using the rope which can be a choke hazard on it's own...


my husband cut up the hose into pieces long enough to go around the ram's neck...


and threaded a rope through it to use as a tether when needed

the hose is soft enough to be comfortable for the ram...
no chafing around the neck to make the ram miserable...
it is flexible enough to bend with the ram's motions...
and it keeps the rope from choking the ram should he get caught on a bush or branch


and it looks like we are sharing plenty of papayas with the little birds around Pilgrim's Farm


May your day or night find comfort in the grace of God.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Ackee Fruit, and Eggs on the Counter


Due to the dryer than normal season we had...
the ackee fruit isn't as pretty as it could be

however, it is still good and here is what one should know...
before reaching out to pick the fruit for eating


ackee fruit is very toxic while still in it's closed casing
click on this link to learn more of it's toxicity and why

the ackee fruit in the photo below is just starting to open up but...
it is not ready to eat at this point


while young, the ackee will be green and turn red (sometimes with some yellow) as it ripens

the fruit must be fully open as is shown in the photo below and must open on it's own...
while still on the tree
never pick an unopened ackee or try to force it open to consume it

here you can see the red pod...
the cream colored aril (the edible part)...
and the black seed (which is quite toxic)


once the fruit is fully open, it is ready to be picked and the cream colored aril taken out


the seed is not edible because it is toxic and the only edible part safe to eat is the cream colored aril
this part needs to be cleaned of any pinkish pieces left where the seed was clinging to...
this is the membrane that keeps the seed attached to the meat
the seed is black and shiny and reminds me of a beautiful black pearl


if you look closely at the cream colored aril in the photo below...
you will see a tiny piece of the pinkish membrane still attached to the inside of the meat
that needs to be cleaned off as that was part of the attachment for the seed and is toxic


once the aril pieces are all cleaned up...
they are then cooked for about five minutes in boiling water...
or they can be eaten raw, which is what we usually do
contrary to common belief, ackee fully ripened and properly cleaned is safe to eat raw


our favorite way of eating ackee is in salads as in the one I made here of our homegrown produce...
raw beets, moringa leaves, young cauliflower leaves and the ackee fruit
I mix in a little olive oil and add sea salt and pepper to season
or, in saltfish souse which I will make in a later post


one of the seeds from this ackee fruit was sprouting...
so, I planted it in a pot to see what will happen
if it grows, we will transplant it into the ground

for more info on the ackee fruit, click...



when I went out to sow the seed...
this little hen wanted to show me her new egg laying digs


obviously, she is teaching another hen this naughty little trick...


tsk, tsk


and I know this because those two eggs are different in coloring and shape...
and this is the hen who is always changing laying nests...
with a few followers who seem to think she knows what this business is all about

later, when I went back for the eggs...


lo and behold...
two more eggs had been laid there

ah well, at least, I know where they are



I do not refrigerate our eggs
fresh laid eggs straight from the homestead do not need to be...
and we sell and use them up fast enough

because most of the eggs are gathered clean...



the only cleaning I do with them is with a paper towel to gently buff off any dirt
this keeps the bloom on the eggs which helps prevent bacteria from entering the egg pores


a necessary thing the Lord did to protect the embryonic chick as it grows inside the egg


and really, I do so like the prettiness of eggs on the kitchen counter
it just looks homey and cozy


May your day or night be blessed in the grace of the Lord.