Friday, July 31, 2009

Return of the Pluots

The Bag Lady went to town yesterday and ran some errands. Banking, bill paying, all the fun necessities of life. Then she did some shopping - milk, dog food, toilet paper.... you know the drill.

She hit her stride at Costco, though. Followed her usual routine - hit the bookshelves first, then headed for the bakery (whole wheat bread), the meat dept. (chicken and ribs) cruised through the deli section and slowed long enough to check out one of the freebies - a smoothie-type thing made with ruby red grapefruit juice, blackberries and yogurt. YUM! She only needed a few things (in fact, her list consisted of bread and coffee!) but when she reached the fruit aisle, she almost jumped for joy!

The Pluots are back, the Pluots are back!

Some of you may recall that she bought a flat of Pluots last year and was worried that she and the Rancher weren't eating them fast enough, so decided to make jam. The. Absolute. Best. Damned. Jam. EVER! The Rancher liked it so well, the Bag Lady had to hide a couple of jars in the back of the pantry so it would last the winter!

She was so happy to see them, she almost bought two flats. Until she looked at the price. Sanity returned, and she only bought one flat (15 pluots). She also bought a few veggies, then made her escape from town. She had almost reached the city limits when she saw the fruit truck sign.... screeched to a halt and pulled in to buy some fresh B.C. cherries. He also had pluots at his fruit stand (in fact, the cherries were the only fruit he had that was actually grown in Canada - everything else was from California) and his pluots were even more expensive than the ones at Costco!
His cherries weren't all that cheap, either, but he threw in a nectarine out of the goodness of his heart.

So the Bag Lady will be making jam, as soon as the pluots have ripened a bit more. And she will be freezing homegrown peas pretty soon, too, because they are producing like crazy (apparently the Bounce dryer sheets are working, because she hasn't seen any sign of deer in her garden, knock on wood.) The Rancher discovered the cherries, and the Bag Lady had some, too, so there aren't enough left to do anything with, except eat them!

She has carrots to deal with (pickled carrots with dill - yummy!) and should probably make some beet pickles, too. Let the games pickling and preserving begin!

This is a long weekend in Canada, and she and the Rancher may do something wild and crazy. Canning? Pickling? Camping? Drinking? It's all up in the air!! And the temperature is supposed to be up, too... forecast high for today is 29C (85F) and tomorrow will be hotter.

It's summertime, eh?


Sarah Anne said...

Sorry, but what's a pluot? And did I even spell it right?

Hilary said...

I had to go look that up.. hybrid of plum and apricot is what I read. They sound delicious! And of course there isn't anything better to do with fresh cherries than eat them!

Sarah Anne said...

Gotcha. Thanks, Hilary.

Miz said...

wait why is it a long weekend?
(insert joke here about how every weekend is long with the heatheat and a three year old) :)

happy pea freezing.

and no need to share.

Im set with regards to my pea'age.

Miz, who still "chows down" in ANY KIND OF PEA using lots of water.

messymimi said...

Canning and pickling -- I need to learn to do those someday. Maybe someday you can have a recipe section on your blog, with tips and tricks for these things.

Leah J. Utas said...

Pluot is such a fun word. When I saw the bit about the price and the amount in a flat I thought for a moment we had a new monetary unity (15 plouts!) They sound scrumptious. No wonder you had to hide the jam.

Scrumpy said...

Oh I love pluots! They are such a nice little size, have an interesting texture, and just pop in your mouth.

the Bag Lady said...

Georgie - that was exactly my reaction the first time I saw them, which happened to be a day I was in an adventurous mood, thank heavens! As Hilary said, they are a hybrid of plum and apricot, and they ARE delicious.

Hilary - fresh cherries are my absolute favourite.... until the wild raspberries mature!

Miz - it's a long weekend because we wanted one. It's a civic holiday. I think it has something to do with wanting one long weekend in every month....

Messymimi - I shall try to post some recipes and tips for canning as I go along this year. I did post some last year, but I'm too computer-illiterate to figure out how to put them all together in a different 'section'. (Perhaps I should work on that!)

dfLeah - I know - not only is the fruit delicious, but the word is so cool!! Perhaps pluots could be used as some kind of trading/bartering unit.... :)

the Bag Lady said...

Scrumpy - they are scrumptious, aren't they? And make such good jam!

Charlotte said...

Mmm... I love pluots! And I love pickled beets. And now I want to try carrots with dill. Can I just move in with you??

the Bag Lady said...

Charlotte - sure! You can motivate me to work out and I'll introduce you to pickled carrots.... it would be fun!

Crabby McSlacker said...

Pluots are wonderful and i bet your jam is to die for.

And that's a really healthy costco shopping list! There are so many evil temptations there. I always do myself in with the free sample, too, on the theory that free food has no calories. But even your sample was healthy!

the Bag Lady said...

Crabby - oh, yes, pluots are so good, and the jam is lovely!

I do save my healthy shopping for Costco (the potato chips are cheaper at WalMart!! *snort*)

Melissa said...

Dadgum it...there was a big article in the Times this morning about $5 pizza slices made from topnotch ingredients imported from Italy and it made me so damn hungry and I didn't have time for breakfast...

And now this....:-P And lunch is an hour and a half away.

the Bag Lady said...

Melissa - oops, sorry.... but now that you mention pizza, I haven't had breakfast yet, either....

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Yay! I'll have to check for pluots at my grocery store, too!

Marianne said...

I find that our Costco does have a lot of healthy and organic options. I also find the candy and snack food aisle... LOL. Yes, please, recipes. The pickled carrots sound so fab.

the Bag Lady said...

BG - they are SO good!!

Marianne - you do pickled carrots pretty much the same way you make dilled cucumber pickles. Raw pack with garlic, onion and dill, cover with hot brine and seal. Simple and delicious.
I'll try to post about it soon.

Geosomin said...

Mmmm...carrot and beet pickles.

My Mum astopped making pickles last year...I'm going thru withdrawal. I think I'm going to break down this fall and try my hand at it.

What's a pluot?

JavaChick said...

You have peas to freeze? I have had exactly 2 sugar snap pea pods. I think my garden is drowning in all this rain... :(

the Bag Lady said...

Geo - a pluot is a hybrid plum and apricot. They are delicious, so if you see any in the grocery store, try them! Want me to send you some pickles (if I ever get them made!)??

JavaChick - I have tons of peas! They were barely knee-high to a grasshopper before we got rain, but after the rain and with the heat? The vines are over my head now, and they are loaded!!!
In fact, I should get off my ever-expanding butt and go pick some more!

Reb said...

Hm, it really sucks that the only fruit he had from Canada were the Cherries! What's up with that?

Sounds like you are going to be busy soon.

the Bag Lady said...

Reb - I think fruit production might be a little slow this year... no idea why. He said the Taber corn would be here mid-August!!

Hilary said...

Just got back from grocery shopping and found what they called Plumicots.. same thing, I suppose.. and yes, they're delicious!

the Bag Lady said...

Hilary - they probably are very similar, and aren't they gooooood!!?

The Fifth Sparrow said...

Well, you have made my day!

Thanks for the lovely comments.

I feel like my boy Adam Lambert...except I came "òut" to you, not the Rolling Stone.

Plouts...mmmm. Gonna have to give those a try. I'll come shell peas.

the Bag Lady said...

Hi, Sparrow - you have to help pick the peas, too, you know! You aren't getting off that easy! :)

The Fifth Sparrow said...

Awwww. Can't we train these brilliant dogs of ours to do it?
I mean, they can train a dog to pull a wheelchair, fetch dropped items,predict epileptic seizures, sniff out bombs, drugs and tumours, as well as guide the visually impaired.
How hard can it be to pick a few bushels of peas?!
And twist some bottle tops?

I currently do have a handi-cap of my own, y'know. *sniff*

Sagan said...

Oooh have a great weekend, weather will be perfect! Unfortunately it's still spring in Winnipeg (seriously. Rainy ALL THE TIME. You'd think I'm living in Vancouver).

Your grocery finds sound excellent, it will be so much fun to make jam!

PS I second messymimi :D

the Bag Lady said...

Sparrow - I have tried to get the dog to pick peas, but she can't reach the high ones..... yours might be able to though - I understand she can jump pretty high! :)

Sagan - I will try to do some recipe posts/tutorials for pickling and canning! Hope summer comes to Winnipeg soon!

Cheryl Kohan said...

Have never heard of this fruit before! I'm going to see if I can find some because they sound yummy! How do you pronounce pluot, btw??

the Bag Lady said...

Hi CherylK - I've been pronouncing it ploo-aht... don't know if that's correct or not. They are really good, regardless of how it's pronounced!
And I discovered the wild raspberries are ready to pick!! Did you make your sauce yet?

The Fifth Sparrow said...

I've discussed it with Tikki and picking peas is on his to-do list. I was going to dye him green this week but would be scared I'd never find him again. Although, after last night, that may not be a bad thing.

I do have a couple great tricks for cleaning toilets with hard water.
1) we use RingMaster from Zep chemicals. It has hydrocloric and muriatic acid.
2) we use a fine pumice stone to remove the mineral buildup. You can get them at that that gardening supply place whose name escapes me at the moment. Earth? Ground? Camp?

Forgive me, I baked out my brains at Calaway park. Cousin actually got sick after a couple good rides. Poor guy. W.D. has teased him unmercifully. Dar is happy to have the teasing onus off him.

Lil Nana

carla said...

hope you had a good weekend.

it was good here merely because it was routine and nothing out of the ordinary.

Lucas said...

Thank goodness someone already asked my question. I wonder if they have Pluots in Minnesota?

The Fifth Sparrow said...

Lee Valley! You gedt the pumice stones at Lee Valley.
It took me a nearly a day to remember.
One of our employees used a fine pumice she bought at Lee Valley.

Or, was it her great knee pads??

We loved her, she carried a small screwdriver in her kit and would actually remove bathroom taps and toilet seats to get them properly clean.

Too bad she eneded up stealing nearly 60% of our company last summer. (Clients, staff, etc.)

She sure could clean! :)

Amy Mullis said...

I didn't know what pluots are, either, but I know if you're making jam, it's gonna be good. Have an extra helping for me!

Anonymous said...

Pluots are so yummy!!
My kiddos love to go to Costco with me so they can eat all of the freebies and talk me into something they really liked.

I was wondering what a "civic holiday" meant when I saw it on the dentist's calendar. (I've been spending a lot of time & money there.)

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks for the tips, Lil' Nana - I'll look for pumice stone at my local hardware store (we don't have a Lee Valley here)

Carla - had a great weekend, thanks! Slipped away for a couple of days camping, after we finished the haying.

Lucas - I hope you can find some Pluots - they are so good!

Amy - pluot jam is terrific - I'll definitely have some for you!

kcinnova - your kids have good taste! And I think a civic holiday is just an excuse... now we have a long weekend in every month of the year!