The only thing that could be better than a weekend with my children and grandchildren would be a full week with them (or longer!) I had a wonderful time.
And now ... I'm exhausted.
The 4:00am drive on Friday morning was peaceful. By starting that early, I was able to miss all the commuter traffic in southern and middle New England and get my fill of the morning news on the radio. I arrived in the north in mid-morning and spent some time with my youngest son, sitting on the lakefront and watching sailboats gliding swiftly across the glistening water. We chatted and caught up on our summer's activies. Times like that make me amazed at how quickly children become adults.
I made two quick stops on my eternal treasure hunt and turned up a cut of dark green corduroy (possibly large enough for a jumper?). The dollar rack at a consignment shop had a wonderful Evan Piccone wool jacket, silk pants with original tickets still attached, and a men's wool blazer that I bought with the intention of upcycling. The silk pants are a possibility for the company holiday party this winter.
I had a wonderful time playing and talking with my grandchildren. But my surprise was when my son asked if I remembered the old plum tree. I vividly remember when we discovered the plum tree on the property, and the disappointment when the birds got to the handful of plums before we did. The tree never produced more than two or three fruit, and succumbed to some disease, or so we thought. On the other side of a row of brush and trees are now a handful of plum trees, the next generation. And so loaded with fruit that I caught my breath when I saw them. Such beauty!
My first thought was to get them canned before anything happened to them so we gathered supplies and made two batches of plum jam. My eldest grandson wanted to make canned spiced apples from their apple trees. He found a recipe online, and the result was delicious. I'm sure they'll be making more over the next few weeks. My youngest grandson wanted to make apple crisp. I helped the little chef measure out the oatmeal, sugar and spice. My daughter-in-law made a double batch of zucchini bread (the equivalent of four loaves), to fill the freezer and our bellies. The kitchen was buzzing all evening, with apple peeling and canning and baking. The aromas were heavenly! Everyone helped and had fun. Families doing things together. And a nice stash of good eating as a result :) P.S. We used about 9 lbs of plums, and my guess is that there's another 50 -60 lbs left on the trees!
I brought home two jars of plum jam and one of spiced apples to share with my mother. And a piece of zucchini bread and some apple crisp for my lunch sack this week ... to remember this weekend.
Summer, good times, good people, good food.
Somehow, the clock spun faster for those 48 hours. It seemed I had just arrived and it was time to leave. Of course, the drive home was more tedious since there was so much more traffic. So many out of state families were heading home after their summer vacations. I hope they were as happy as I was during that drive.
It's still in the 90's here in southern New England. I think I'll take the bike out after work.
Happy Monday, folks!