Category Archives: Fruit

Give Me A Hammer! by Valerie J. Patterson

I need a really big hammer–but not so big that I can’t lift it!  Must have a smooth, flat surface and be easy to swing with near-perfect accuracy.  I’m thinking I need Thor’s hammer!  Or perhaps Thor and his hammer!

You may be wondering why I would need such a hammer.  Have you ever heard of the video game Whack A Mole?  That’s why I need such a hammer.

You see, there seems to be a family of moles residing in my beautiful backyard.  I mean, it has to be an entire family, right?  Everywhere you walk there are holes evidencing their intricate subsurface tunnel system.  Everywhere you walk there is loose earth that gives way beneath your feet so that you sink into the lawn.

They’ve taken to tunneling beneath my beautiful stone patio and are leaving mounds of earth behind causing the stones to rock and shift.  They’re tunneling–apparently they’re very hungry while digging tunnels–and they’re eating healthy plants along the way because two of my Azalea bushes have bit the dust.  Among the other plant casualties is one of my thickest grape vines that they’ve managed to eat through and kill.  This does not make me happy.  I used to have a lovely apricot Azalea tree, too.  There are only a few remaining live branches left because they’ve eaten through the roots.

So, I need a very large hammer so that when they venture to stick their vile little heads above the surface of my once beautiful lawn I can whack them on the head!  It might sound a little drastic, but I’m frustrated and nothing else has worked!  Besides, unless you have better solutions to suggest, I can get a good workout whacking them on the head!

Until next time, I hope the only pests in your outdoor space are butterflies whose fluttering wings add grace and beauty to your world!

PS…no moles were harmed during the writing of this blog!

Thankful by Valerie J. Patterson

It’s that time of year when people everywhere seem to take more than a glance at their lives and count their blessings.  While I think that is important every day of our lives, I, too, find that I reflect more at this time of year.

Of course, I am thankful for the big things: my husband, my family, my job, a roof over my head, food on the table, and money in the bank.  But I am also thankful for the trees in our backyard and the beauty they add to my day.  I’m thankful that I have a garage to park my car in, and that it is always either warm or cool depending on the season.  I’m thankful for lunches with friends, warm hugs on Sundays after services, kind words from strangers, and the cool gel pillow top of our bed–I love a cold bed as opposed to a warm one!

I give thanks for slippers, robes, cold glasses of milk and homemade cookies.  Brilliant sunshine streaming into the living room, full moons in the evening sky, and salty, buttered popcorn.

I am incredibly thankful for each and every morning my feet hit the floor!

I’m sure my list could go on…and I hope while you read you are compiling a list of your own list.  It’s important that we give thanks for large and small blessings, not just now, but always.  We have so many good things in our lives, don’t we?

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The following is my very favorite fruit dip.  I promised to share it this summer, but only just remembered I had not done that.  It is very simple and so very good!  Enjoy!

8 ounces of Cool Whip

one 7 ounce jar of Marshmallow Creme

one 3 ounce package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Blend all ingredients in a bowl until smooth and silky.  Chill an hour and serve with fresh fruit of your choice.

This dip is incredibly easy, and so very delicious!  The perfect light appetizer, evening snack, or treat for work.

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I have been absent from Over the Backyard Fence for a little while, and I apologize for not being here to read and comment the past month.  I hope to return in a more regular way very soon.

Until next time, may your turkey be moist, your pies spicy, and your family gathered around you!  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Waiting on Peaches

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This is our lone little peach tree. It’s got a couple other fruit trees to keep it company (pear and plum and cherry) but we’ve only the one peach tree. And I love peaches. This one is called a Frost Peach and is supposed to grow well in our cooler area. It’s a hardy little tree and has been giving us peaches for about ten years now.

I’ve found out that peach yields are somewhat cyclical, with a three to four year cycle. Last year, we got enough peaches for two pies. The year before about the same. But the year before that, I made several pies, ate peaches for days on my cereal in the morning, and we canned 12 quarts to last through the winter.

I know you probably can’t see it well, if at all, from this picture, but our tree is totally full of little, baby peaches. It might be another summer of pie baking for me if they don’t cull themselves. And I am SO hopeful.

I’ve chatted in the past about how liquidy my peach pies turn out. Someone mentioned adding a little cornstarch, so I’m anxious to give it a whirl this year and hone my pie-making skills. Although, I don’t think I’ll ever make a pie as good as my mother’s apple pie. But it’s definitely passable. And I can hardly wait.

Grow, baby peaches. Grow!

White Chocolate Hot Chocolate- Angelinas

Jillian here.  Before I went to Paris, someone recommended Angelina’s, a pastry shop that has been in business since, I think, 1903. It’s a lovely place and I was told to try the white chocolate hot chocolate. They also have a signature pastry called Le Mont Blanc- it’s meringue, light whipped cream and chestnut cream vermicelli. It

seems they had a summer version with strawberry center and cream as well. I had that and it was so good. The vermicelli was a bit too sweet for me so I didn’t finish the treat but what I did eat, I enjoyed.

Now, about that white chocolate hot chocolate? It was divine and so yummy. I loved, loved it. They brought it out with a neat presentation as well. I got a cup and saucer placed before me then to either side of the cup, they added a small pot of whipped cream and a larger pot of the hot chocolate. I poured some of the chocolate into the cup, then added some cream. It was like heaven.

If you get to Paris, make your way to the Rue De Rivoli and enjoy!!

Pineapples – Product of Paradise.

DownloadedFileI knew when I did the last blog I wouldn’t want to stop the fruit theme. When I saw an article in this months Costco Connection I couldn’t resist writing about the exotic Pineapple.

The largest fresh fruit producer and distributor for the United States is Costa Rica. If I had been guessing I would have said Hawaii.

There are no seeds in pineapples, instead the leafy top is planted or sometimes the slips and suckers, offshoots of the plant that grow out of the base of the fruit and between the leaves. It takes from 12 to 20 months to produce mature fruit. It’s a wonder they are so affordable.

Unlike other fruit once a pineapple is picked it stops ripening. When you see one in a store it is as ripe as it will ever be.

Yummy, and good for you.
Pineapples nourish and protect our bodies. Bromelain is an enzyme found only in pineapple. Its anti-inflammatory properties are effective for sports injuries, swelling and as treatment of osteoarthritis. Ongoing research indicates it may possess cancer fighting qualities.

Vitamin C is also prevalent in pineapples and they have a high manganese content that promotes healthier skin and fights free radicals. Ummm fighting free radicals (aging) is a real good thing.

I’m on a role here so don’t be surprised if I shoot through the summer blogs with this fruit theme.

Summer — Fruit

exps121582_RDS2028401A11_29_3bCThis isn’t officially a recipe blog. It was just that I was trying to come up with something to blog about and I got this email with pictures of fruit recipe’s. Yes, they are advertising recipe’s, but it was like looking at a picture of summer. And, with this being June, the epitome of summer, I thought I’d share

When the kids were home, many many years ago, I had this fruit pizza I made. For that first year I made it for every occasion I could think of, and it was a favorite for potlucks. I’ve since lost the recipe, but with internet I’m not worried. Besides, now I tend to put my fruit in smoothies.

So some fruit history. Or as Jillian would say… “Fruit Facts.”

Each fruit has its own history so I am just taking a few of my favorites.

220px-Pokok_manggisMy favorite fruit is Mango. I recently tried a Mango Margarita with salt on the rim. OH MY GOSH so good.

Mangoes are native to southern Asia and India but today are also grown in Florida. If I lived in an area with the right weather I’d definitely plant one of these trees. I could write an entire blog on this fruit and may do it.

• Banana’s – just about the first fruit we feed babies and a staple around my house. I don’t like them too ripe. When they get that way I slice them, and put them in baggies to freeze for smoothies.

• Pineapple – Another favorite of mine. After having pineapples in Hawaii and bringing one back, I became a firm believer in fresh over canned. Or at least if I can get one like these were. Even though the exterior of this fruit is a bit formidable, they are considered a universal sigh of hospitality and friendship, and have been since they were first came to the Americas.

• Blueberries – I love every kind of berry and in everything you can possible put them in. I picked blueberries for this blog because it took me awhile to cultivate a taste for them. They were eaten by Native Americans (sometimes with meat) and were also used as a medicine.

I could keep going as there are so many fruits I deem my favorite. Maybe I will play with the fruit theme for a while. It’s fun to look up information on what I take for granted.