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Peach Lilac tree…and the ensuing battle

A few years ago, I noticed a large branch growing from the middle of one of my lilac bushes.  I’d pass it now and again and wonder what it was, but let it grow. I was sure the squirrels left a seed that eventually sprouted into something new.

One year, this mysterious branch had blossoms different than the lilac, so again I watched to see what would happen. IMG_4909

Eventually small fruit began to form from the blossom and revealed itself as peaches.

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The peaches continued to grow and would soon be ripe.  I couldn’t wait to pick a peach fresh from my yard and enjoy every drippy, lucious bite.

UNTIL…the squirrels came back to claim their bounty. Most of the peaches ended up on the ground, partially eaten by the squirrels.  The least they could do is the eat the whole thing!

Peach with Squirrel damage

The squirrels were kind enough to leave a couple of peaches for me.

Peaches 2012

It’s a new year and the squirrels and I are plotting our strategies.  If peaches form, who will get there first?  The tale of the Peach Battle between Team Squirrel and Team Cathy continues.

Losers!

Grape Jalapeno Jelly…Maybe, Maybe Not!

Grape Jalapeno Jelly may not be the best idea!  Each year I have a small harvest of concord grapes, if the birds and squirrels decide they want to share.

In the past, I have made grape biscuits (to be shared another year), but this year I wanted to try something different.  I like grape jelly and I like jalapeno jelly…why not try a combo?  Sounded like a good idea.

Bowl of concord grapes

I searched the web and did not find ONE SINGLE recipe.  I adapted a blackberry jalapeno jelly but decided to cut back on the jalapeno so it wasn’t too hot.  Big mistake!  While the grape jelly is beautiful and tastes good, the slight jalapeno aftertaste is perplexing to my taste buds.

cooking grapes for jelly
Straining the juice from the grapes
Grape juice for the jelly
Cooking the grape juice with jalapeno for jelly
Grape Jalapeno Jelly

Not all of my great kitchen experiments are winners.  This is one of the losers.  I will not share the recipe but I’ll share photos. I’m hoping to salvage this disaster by using the jelly in a meatball sauce or perhaps mixing with a hot pepper jelly and serving over brie or cream cheese. I’ll keep you posted, but be aware…if a recipe isn’t posted anywhere on the internet, there may be a reason for it.

Lesson learned!