Abundant blessings of provision!
We have been picking strawberries for about a month now from our small patch in our backyard. Not enough to make jam or freeze, but enough to enjoy for lunches and an occasional snack. In recent years I haven’t been a huge strawberry fan. The strawberry varieties that I have picked have had a wonderful strawberry smell, but lacked in flavor. If I’m going to eat strawberries I want them to taste like they smell. So, I have been super happy with the little jewels coming from our patch. They aren’t big in size, but these berries definitely make up for it in flavor. They make me want to eat them and when I do, I truly enjoy them.
This past week and a half has kept us busy in the field beside our house. This year it is LOADED with black raspberries. Last year with the drought picking was minimal, I barely got enough for jam. This year is a bumper crop year and I am so thankful that the Lord is providing over and beyond. We have picked several times already and yesterday my middle son took the 3-wheeler back to pick. He came up to the house after an hour with a 4 qt bowl full of berries and asked for another dish. I gave him an ice cream pail and he filled that 3/4 of the way full. Needless to say black raspberry jam is done for the year and I have 16 cups of frozen berries in the freezer. Tomorrow we pick again!
I haven’t picked cherries since I was about 11 years old. Every June I say I am going to pick cherries, but I never quite make it. There aren’t any cherry orchards near where I live and so it is about a 1 1/2 hour drive to the nearest orchard. This year, however, I was able to pick at an orchard over by Lake Michigan while I was visiting my brother’s family. In half an hour my two youngest and I had around 13-14 pounds of cherries. It was as much fun as I remembered and they tasted even better!
With all the berries in our house I decided to make a fun, fruity drink for our most recent family gathering. Joel, turned his nose up at it when I told him what it was, since we tend not to be sweet tea drinkers I didn’t blame him. But, a couple of days later when I had the last glass of it sitting on the counter enjoying it after almost sweating to death out in the garden, he admitted to me that he had tasted it and it really wasn’t all that bad. HMMMM!
Peach Iced Tea Sangria (Non-Alcoholic)
4 cups boiling water
4 peach tea bags or any fruity tea ( I like red raspberry for this, too)
4 black tea bags
Steep tea bags in water for 20 minutes. Remove bags and place 1 1/2 gallon glass pitcher or drink dispenser. (A 1 gallon would work also just cut back on the Lemonade and possible the simple syrup, too. Just keep sipping at it until it tastes the way you want it to!)
Country Time powdered Lemonade mix enough to make 1 1/2 quarts
1-2 sliced peaches
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen sweet black cherries, pitted
Make a simple syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Place in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cool and add to the tea.
Fill your container the rest of the way with ice. Chill your tea and let sit in fridge for at least 4-6 hours, then enjoy!