When life give you lemons …

make limoncello.  It took a lot longer to do than I had planned.  Making limoncello is actually easy.  You basically peel lemons and then scrape off all the pith and put the pithless rinds in a jar with some alcohol.  I chose vodka.  I made limoncello once before with Everclear; it tasted like rubbing alcohol.  Okay, well I’ve never actually tasted rubbing alcohol, but that’s what it smelled like and my limoncello was horrible.  It was a waste.  So this time, I took my time and really made sure all the pith was off which was pretty time consuming – hence the “it took longer than I had planned” part.  For those who don’t know the pith is the white stuff on the inside of a rind, and when making limoncello that pith will ruin your liqueur.  I followed a recipe just to insure I had the right proportions and used 10 Meyer lemons.   I choose vodka because I’ve had success making liqueurs with that before.  I made jelly out of the remaining parts of the lemon.  If the limoncello doesn’t come out, at least I have the jelly.  That tasted good, it takes like lemonade in a jar.

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I also finished making the pineapple liqueur.  It’s okay tasting, just a hint of pineapple.  I think I may have let it sit too long, which I didn’t know was possible.  My son said he had some made by someone else, and they only let it sit overnight and their’s was delicious.  Next time I’ll try it that way.  The lilikoi, however, I know tastes better sitting.  I tried it yesterday, it was okay.  I need to add more lilikoi, but we don’t have any currently, so I’m waiting.  You can see the pineapple liqueur in the top left corner of the picture.

For the limoncello, the recipe said let it sit for 3 days, so I will do that and see what happens.  Crossing my fingers it comes out okay because we have so many lemons, and this would make a really nice Christmas gift.  I bought some really pretty bottles at Ben Franklin the other day just for this purpose.

We should have plenty of coffee this year, so I’ll be making my coffee liqueur like I do each year.  For coffee liqueurs I usually use rum instead of vodka for the alcohol.  I like making liqueurs because it’s a different way of preserving what we grow, they’re easy to make, and they’re the perfect gift to bring when invited to a holiday party.

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Spring cleaning

Recent conversations with my sister and my best friend in Texas, I realize I too need to do spring cleaning.  I started this weekend, and got the bathrooms done, and mopped most of the floors and yes, the baseboards too.  I need to do the windows.  This is the chore I least like, because one, I think our home has more windows than actual walls, and two because of the weather and all our little critters who scratch at the doors and windows to be let in or let out, they just don’t stay clean that long.  It seems such a wasted effort for so little value.  But I will get to that too.

So the garden – things are blooming and growing everywhere.  Our clove tree is really taking off.  I pulled a bunch off this morning and put in our dry rack.  It’s been hot and dry here, so they will dry out within a few days.

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We have a lot of avocado trees and have a number of different varieties.  Many of the trees are just loaded.  We will have a bumper crop this year.  There are so many on the tree, some of them reminded of me of wind chimes hanging from the trees.

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We have lots of papayas.  We have a number of varieties of those too.  We have this one variety that is really big and long.  We planted those to make green papaya salad.  One papaya will make a large bowl of salad big enough to feed and entire family of 4.  We have  strawberry papayas which are really sweet.  We have this one papaya tree that is so low to the ground that the papayas actually touch the ground.IMG_0746

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I caught a picture of Angel today.  She literally stood there and posed.  As soon as I snapped the picture, she walked away.  We call her angel because of her white wings.  See the white spot on her side, well she has one on the other side of her body too, so it looks like she has wings.

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She’s a hair sheep.  Hair sheet have hair instead of wool.  She actually gets wooly looking, but the hair molts and comes off.  The sheep will sometimes rub against the fence to help the process.  She has completely molted, so she’s looking really pretty.  The sheep who haven’t completely molted, don’t look as pretty.  Angel’s hair will get longer and form a thick coat, and then she’ll molt again.  My sister is always asking me to send her the hair, but it just blows away.  It’s not like it falls off in big chunks; although sometimes there are larger pieces.  The only hair we usually see is the stuff that is stuck to the fences, but it’s not that much; way too little to spin into yarn.

On a sad note, we lost all our new baby ducklings to a mongoose.  I almost didn’t write about it, because it was just so sad.  But this is farm life, and while we have a beautiful piece of property, sometimes things happen. We are reinforcing all the remaining duck mama houses to help prevent this from happening again.  We also have a number of traps set up.  Another mama had 5 ducks, and they’re all doing well.  We have two more ducks sitting on eggs now.  We always lose a few ducks during the season, either because of mongoose or some other animal, but we’ve never lost that many so quickly.

And finally, I finished making the jaboticaba liqueur I started about a month ago.  It made a little over 3 bottles.  It’s got an almost wine-like quality to it.  I haven’t quite decided if I like it yet.  I think with a little club soda and lime, I can make it a nice refreshing drink for the summer.

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