Saturday, September 2, 2017

Garden goodness and black cherry ice cream

Hi everybody! Mary Jane here with a repost from last year where we made black cherry ice cream! We thought we were over the heatwave, but then the triple digits came back. Ugh! We just returned from the county fair and we're all hot, sweaty, and dirty.... but with happy smiles and bellies full of fair food! 
But first, a silly picture. (I'm wondering if this will be the screen grab for the post, haha. That would be great!) Anyway, we walk along the river in the evenings and came upon this field of... toilets. 
Apparently, this retirement home is renovating, but the image was so funny, especially to our elementary aged boys. "Ahhh, summer, when toilets are finally ripe for the picking."
  I also have to share this funny picture of my seven year old reading. It's so "summer" to read in an inner tube with goggles. LOL
 So, our peaches are ripe!
For a while, every day he'd go out with a basket and come back with a few tomatoes and peaches. Now, we need about five grocery bags.
We leave them on the tree as long as possible so that friends can come and pick what they like.
 We had old friends from Idaho visit this past weekend and my fifteen year old made a peach cobbler...
 And a huckleberry one (that was my favorite!)...
 And a blueberry one. It looks like all the fruit sunk to the middle, but it was nicely distributed.
Oh, it was delicious. I forget how amazing huckleberries are. We have blueberries most of the time, but huckleberries have such a unique flavor.
 We also made pasta salad. Only sharing because it's sooo prettttyyyyyyy. We also made a roast chicken with potatoes, gravy, corn, fruit salad, etc. Good food and great friends over, can it get any better?
 Random pictures of the garden before I get to the ice cream. Black bell peppers! They tasted pretty good once they ripened. I had one before it was done and thought it was bitter. But they were actually okay.
 Purple tomatoes. They're really called "black beauties" or some such but they're not exactly black. :D
 The tomatillos are growing! This is the source of all our salsa verde and green chile pork stew through the winter. MMMMMM....
 I'm excited to pick these banana peppers and stuff them with herbed cream cheese, then fry!
 It's been a great year for cantaloupe. Not anything like Ruthy's farm but I'm proud of these little guys.
 I'm not actually sure what this is...
 Little guys wanted me to take this picture of a "beauty" hidden under a spider web.
 I can't remember what heirloom variety this is but it's getting interesting.
 And the sunflowers! I love these giant sunflowers that grow bigger than your head!
 OK... so finally to the recipe! And there was something awry with my camera so it's a bit fuzzy. This is the final photo and it was so hot the ice cream was melting as I took the picture. The recipe is a general ice cream recipe tweaked for maximum deliciousness!

one and a half cups chopped and pitted Bing or other sweet cherry
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 1/3 cup heavy cream (I used half and half, still good!)
1/2 cup sugar
dash of lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used chips)

Some add the chopped fruit directly to the cream, sugar, milk mixture, or they heat the cream and cherries altogether to make a dark purple ice cream (very pretty!). We've done it both ways, but I like this way the best: I like to make it into a syrup first. Add 1/4 cup sugar, cherries, and lemon juice to a sauce pan on medium heat (stirring constantly) until cherries are semi dissolved and the mixture is thick and bubbly. Let cool for about 30 minutes.
Mix the cream, milk, 1/2 cup sugar in a pan and heat on low until the sugar is combined. Pour into a form or mold. Place into the freezer for one hour or until lightly set. Fold the cherry mixture in, letting it fall gently into the ice cream. Let freeze overnight. Each slice should have a delicious ribbon of cherry goodness!

 That's all for now! A few last photos of my grandfather's typewriter. He was raised on the border of Arizona, the son of a border patrolman and fluent in Spanish from childhood. He knew from his teens that he wanted to be a veterinarian and to raise money for school, he wrote and translated letters for the illiterate city residents.
Note how there are the "enya" and upside down question mark keys! So wonderful to see this and remember how much he loved typing out stories. I have dozens of letters from him from my college years and early on in my marriage.

Everyone have a wonderful weekend and stop by my facebook author pages Mary Jane Hathaway, Virginia Carmichael, or my blog The Things That Last!


  1. So many fun photos! I'm glad you shared it again!

    I have been on a cherry craze this summer. Eating them like crazy. I can't keep them stocked in the house. I can tell they're about to go out of season because it's getting harder and harder to find them. It was a great year for them! I wish I had made your ice cream!

  2. I always love reading about what your family is doing. What a great garden! We're in a drought this year (ironic, isn't it, with all the flooding from Harvey?), so I'm glad I didn't try a garden. We're just hoping to keep the grass alive.

    I love that typewriter, too. I'm so spoiled with my ergonomic keyboard, even with all of its missing letters. I often wonder, if I was writing before the age of electric typewriters, would I use a manual typewriter, or write longhand?

    1. I'm soooo sorry you have a drought. That's just awful.