When we first moved to Krasnodar from Moscow, we thought we had arrived in another country. It was balmy and bright and we saw flowers and fruit trees and even a palm tree here and there.
And the grapevines... at the entrance to every home.
Such a stark difference to the concrete and dark days of the north.
We thought we would never tire of free fruit at every turn...
Well, I can say after living in 4 different homes in this city and "harvesting" plums, cherries, apples, pears, peaches, apricots, gooseberries, and now grapes...
It is a blessing and a curse.
The excitement of making jam, sugar-free and oh! so sugary, for the first time ever... The guilt of doing nothing and seeing it rot on the ground or overeaten by my dogs...
I think the season is finally coming to an end and I just may have to stay inside to avoid the "tsk, tsk"of the neighbors.
I have done all I can.
My process got pretty messy when I realized that I did things a little out of order...
I needed the skins back after straining the juice since I didn't have any pectin for the jam.
Those pesky seeds really stick to everything!
It was fun to tell the girls how when I was young, grape jam was all you ever ate with your peanut butter. I honestly don't think they had ever tasted it before which helped when they awarded it the title of Best Grape Jam EVER!
Check out this Peanut Butter Bread to go along with it... a bubble-busting world-shattering thick creamy recipe so jammy it'll rock your socks off. A Purple Mayhem that will leave you hungover without sending you to the ER. Sounds like paradise, eh?
(Description compliments of newly returned camper, Madi Hayes)
To blog, or not to blog, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler to say whatever pops into my head, The slings and arrows of mindless thought, Or to take arms against a sea of mommy issues, And by opposing encapsulate them in pictures.
To watch the internet die — to sleep while waiting for them to upload, To sleep, perchance to dream — ay, there's the rub: For in that sleep of death what dreams may come...
Nothing as exciting as what is actually happening here, so... here I go... blogging again...
Two years have gone by... birthdays, camps, vacations, themed events, holidays,
more tooth fairy visits than I could ever count (though I can verify that she has
a real problem with punctuality)...
There is no way I could catch you all up and you've seen us around on Facebook
and even in person from time to time, so let's just begin again today, shall we?
Steve is on Elbrus and Madi is at camp. Both are enjoying themselves immensely and taking on challenges they never could have imagined when we first came to Southern Russia. Steve will climb to the peak after spending some time getting used to the thin air up there and Madi has been immersed in the Russian language for 20 days now. She has made great friends and been a huge help with her photography and videography (What?! No one was more surprised than she.) skills.
And we were able to spend 5 days on our beloved White River. It was a crazy busy time of running the games, sports and rafting for our church camp.
So much fun and just about as much rain.
We can't wait to do it again next month for Sam's birthday, but at a much slower pace.
Now I am going to go and for the second night in a row, show my kids how it is done...
I've never been one of those mothers who can let the kids win just because they are kids.
Okay, I may have manipulated a "Queen Frostine" or "Mr. Plumpy" a time or two,
but that was out of sheer exhaustion.
Good thing they are such good sports! ; ^)
Truth be told... this may be a close game... wish me luck!