I haven't posted in forever and I'm sorry. I got back from L.A. and have been hunting for a job, getting the garden going (ooh, lots of winter squash coming soon!), blah blah...
I messed up when I planted my Three Sisters all at once. Apparently the corn needs a head start. I have two kinds of corn coming up nicely, but the pole beans are coming up much more quickly and now they're falling all over the place because the corn isn't tall enough for them to climb up. Oops. We live and we learn.
The weather has improved and it's beautiful summer out. Not too hot - a couple days in the 90's, a few in the 70's, most in the lower 80's - and a lovely sun in a brilliant blue sky. We still haven't seen the first tomato yet, but the farmers' market today was loaded with young summer squash, zucchini flowers, berries of all kinds, fresh local cherries, baby chard, lettuces... even if summer's off to a late start, we're doing all right.
I got some Bing cherries today that were just perfect. So I ate a few of them, but I preserved most of them for Thanksgiving or the holidays. I made a simple syrup with a little sugar and water, and simmered it with lemon juice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla beans; then I stirred in some brandy, packed the pitted cherries into a pint jar, and poured over the sweetened spiced brandy. That jar went into the fridge, where it will hang out until Thanksgiving, at which point we will have the most delicious spiced brandied cherries, and spiced cherry brandy too!
I'm sipping the leftover spiced brandy right now and it's delicious. The best part of canning is enjoying the leftovers while you look forward to the future.