Halved apricots

Blushing apples

Hand cranked ice cream maker

In goes the crushed apricots, milk, sugar and cream

Any nibbles for me?

Jordanne gets crankin'

Creamy, fruity ice cream!

Dig in!

Apricots and lavender

Apricot & lavender jam

Apples & apricots

Apricot and apple crumble

It’s been a tootie fruity week here on the urban homestead.  We have fruits coming out of ears.  If there’s one thing that is worth more than gold, it’s fruit.  To be rich in fresh, nourishing fruit is such a blessing.   Sorry veggies I love you just the same but fruit is my one weakness (a nod to Miss Lane)

The homestead kitchen is hopping- trays of desserts, jars of jams and bowls of ice cream are churning out from the nourishing center of our little universe.

We don’t eat much ice cream, but thanks to all the fruit and our little non electric ice cream maker Jordanne whipped up not just one but TWO batches of apricot ice cream.  That creamy fruity goodness was yummy.  Better than any ice cream from the store.     The recipe was simple:  2 cups of pureed fruit, 1 cup milk. 1 cup cream and 3/4 cup sugar.  Put the fruit, milk, sugar mixture in the little hand cranked machine and start turning.   In less than 30 minutes – homemade ice cream!

Our apple trees are loaded with blushing pink Anna Apples.  Last week made two batches of apple butter to put up and on Sunday did a bit of “batch baking.”  Figured this Apricot N Apple Crumble recipe sounded good so made three trays worth to cover this week’s worth of breakfast.

The little patch of English Lavender is blooming and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time!  Mix the intoxicating scent of the blossoms with fruit and you got yourself a delicious treat, or jam for that matter.

Like to break out of the ordinary jam mold?  Check out Tigress in a Jam for loads of new, exciting recipes for the serious jammer.

What’s in coming out of your kitchen these days?  What sorts of creative ways are you using to use and preserve the harvest?


  1. Bethany says:

    Loved the reference to Miss Lane! I’m a huge fan of that show. 🙂 And all your treats look so yummy!

    • Anais says:

      @Bethany: Can’t wait to see season three on Netflix! My second favorite character is Minnie – she cracks me up.

  2. Sandy says:

    First of all the peach ice cream looks devine.

    It’s also apple time at our place. We picked two huge baskets on Monday. Besides eating some right off the tree, we will be making apple sauce, apple butter, apple pie filling, and apple jelly. Yikes, I’m starting to feel like Bubba from Forest Gump.

    What other combinations would you recommend for fruit and lavender?

    • Anais says:

      @Sandy: LOL. Love the reference to Bubba, I know exactly how that is to have to come up with 101 different ways to use something.
      Peach and lavender is another combination. Today going to make peach and rose petal jam. It’s FUN to experiment!

  3. Cameo W. says:

    First of all, I’d like to say, “You guys rock! Keep up the Great Work!”

    Here in east-central Iowa we’ve got late peas, beets, baby carrots, swiss chard, broccoli, green onions, a green bean here and there, green tomatoes, basil, sage and summer squash coming in – oh! I recently spotted a couple of nasturtium blooms, too (the tomatoes were kind of laying on the nasturtiums until they were recently tied, oops)! So far only the onions and basil have been plentiful enough to preserve and those have been frozen. The past few weekends we’ve harvested/foraged several gallons of tasty currants/raspberries and gooseberries which have turned into delicious currant preserves and spiced gooseberry-currant jam. The raspberries are chilling out in the freezer; I haven’t decided if I want to make a pie or two or just can all of ’em… Any suggestions?

    Thank you, thank you for the time and effort it takes to share the wonderful things you are doing. The Dervaes family are such an inspiration. Peace profound 🙂

    • Anais says:

      @Cameo W.: Thanks! You readers ROCK for commenting! Keep them coming! MMM gooseberry-currant jam sounds delicious.
      As to what to do with those raspberries, here’s question that perhaps will help: do you want to enjoy them NOW or LATER? 😉
      Happy canning!

  4. Kj says:

    Hi! Everything sounds and looks so yummy!
    I picked lavender last week to dry and will pick some either today or tomorrow to infuse into honey – yum oh! I also have oregano, sage and basil drying. We are enjoying wonderful salads from the garden, I mixed several kinds of lettuce, spinach, beets, radishes, etc. together and put them in – our rows look beautiful with all the different textures and jewel tones. We’ve been enjoying the Walla Walla sweet onions as well, but nothing else yet although the tomatoes and potatoes are doing well, and the peppers are coming along. The weather has been 10-15 degrees cooler than normal and now this week we hit the 90’s! I’m afraid I will lose the lettuce 🙁 Local fruit, albeit late, are now ready – we are enjoying Bing and Rainier cherries, blueberries and received an order of strawberries which, along with the blueberries, were put in the freezer for smoothies but not until after we ate so many that we thought we would turn blue!
    Our apple trees have fruit coming on for the first time :)- but I am not sure what to use to spray them with to keep the bugs at bay – what do you use? Also, one has curly leaves, is this due to phosphorous deficiency?
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Anais says:

      @Kj: Oooh, yum! Going to do some infused honey when we get around doing our honey harvesting. Our weather has been COOL too. We are wearing sweaters – in JULY! But, like you I am afraid temps are going to skyrocket into the 100’s We don’t use any spray on our apples. I’ll have to ask Justin about the curly leaf stuff, could be a disease.

    • Deanna says:

      @Kj, It sounds like you live in my neck of the woods. I have apple trees as well. When the leaves on my apple trees curl it could be due to lack of water or I will open a curled leaf to see if there have been pests that have taken up residence there. I don’t always get rid of the pests because the beneficial insects won’t have anything to eat. However, I usually cover the apples with pantyhose and twisty ties to keep the apple maggots at bay that way there are no worms in the center of the apples when they are ripe. I hope this helps.

      • Kj says:

        Hi Deanna,
        Thank you so much for the advice, I don’t know anything about fruit trees (yet), other than knowing I like having my own fruit 🙂
        Does it matter what size the apples are before putting the pantyhose on them? (What a great idea that is!) Thanks again!

        • Deanna says:

          @Kj, Put the panty hose on when the apples are about 1″ in diameter. For my area ((next to Port Gardner Bay)it is usually around early July.

        • Kj says:

          Deanna – Thanks so much! I’ll be “hosing” my apples either tonight or in the morning – when it is much cooler 🙂

      • Anais says:

        @Deanna: Good tip, thanks for sharing!

  5. Deborah Lee says:

    What type of sugar are you using? Do you have a recipe for making jam without so much sugar. Most of what I see has more sugar than fruit.

  6. Carolemc says:

    That Apricot and Lavender Jam sounds really good – do you have a recipe?

    Love your blog by the way – especially the gorgeous photos….and am very envious of your aprons!

    • Anais says:

      @Carolemc: Not really. I just put a tablespoon or so of fresh blossoms in a metal tea infuser and dropped it into the fruit while I was boiling it down. Thanks for the positive comments. I enjoy taking pictures, so I am glad you like them. I’ll have to do a post on aprons sometimes. I love wearing them and they are so handy here on the homestead.

  7. Deanna says:

    Berries, berries, and more berries. I have been jamming lately using the strawberries from my garden and the raspberries from the CSA my family belongs, and cherries from the local farmers market. My property is quite small and on glacial till so I have to build up the soil, import it, or look at the native species to grow. Luckily in the PNW wild berries are abundant the black berries, Thimble berries, salal, and samon berries are growing everywhere, etc. These make for some interesting jams. Samon berries kind of taste like crab apples, salal berries taste like fruit punch, and Thimble berries are a spicy sweet. We are going to put up a retaining wall and plant all the natives on it because they do so well there. Next year it should be interesting to see what grows. I call it adventure jamming.

    • Anais says:

      @Deanna: Must be wonderful to have so many wonderful berries to eat and preserve. Happy jamming!

  8. Nancy says:

    You are growing a lot of different kinds of fruit. I’m just starting to plant fruit trees in my small yard. Do you have your trees in the ground or in containers? If in the ground, how closely are they planted to each other? I’m hoping to buy some trees this summer that are tolerant for Florida weather, but am not sure how to get them up and running. I figure the larger variety I can plant, the more independant I can be! Thank you for any advice you can give me.

    • Anais says:

      @Nancy: We’ve used this site PLANT YOUR OWN BACKYARD ORCHARD as a guide for our small orchard. Has some great advice for small spaces.

      • Nancy says:

        Great! Thank you very much.

    • CE says:

      @Nancy, Check out your local cooperative extension office. That is what they do. They have staff and volunteer master gardeners who can help you select the correct variety for your area and evaluate what size would not overgrow your lot. How you plan to use it is also important. Some fruits can or freeze better than others. Some can be stored for months and others must be eaten fairly quickly. Also as the extension office if there is a local fruit growers association. These people are usually not professional growers but they are very knowledgeable about what grows well in their area.

  9. Sarah says:

    Have you ever tried making ice cream with something other than cow’s milk and cream? My little guy has a dairy allergy, and drinks coconut milk. We’ve had coconut milk ice cream before and love it. I’m wondering if it would work here…

    Thanks for all you share with us.

    • Anais says:

      @Sarah: I am going to do some fruit sorbet soon so that won’t have dairy. Coconut milk sounds divine, would probably work but these days we are just sticking with staples that are locally grown/produced. Thanks for the tip though!

  10. Heidi says:

    I made some lavender lemonade with a neighbor’s lemons and my lavender. My 6 year old and I loved it, but it was a touch too floral for my scent sensitive husband. I love the idea of lavender in apricot jam. I’ll have to try that next year.

    P.S. We have the same ice cream maker! Picked it up at the local thrift store a few weeks ago. Haven’t been able to stop making ice cream ever since. Best buy this summer 🙂

    • Anais says:

      @Heidi: I love this little ice cream maker. We got our “used” from Ebay. What flavors are you making?

      • Heidi says:


        We’ve been doing cherry chocolate pistachio, strawberry, and vanilla. Today I’m going to do peach since we’ve got a load from the farmers market that need to get used up.

        Just made a batch of rose syrup from the roses in our yard that were getting eaten up by earwigs. am thinking that will taste yummy on vanilla.

        • Anais says:

          @Heidi: Sounds yummy, could I move in? 😉 Love rose syrup. Put up a bunch of bottles this year. Betcha it would taste lovely on vanilla. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Margy Porter says:

    In the Willamette Valley of Oregon we are in full berry season! Raspberries, strawberries, marionberries, and gooseberries are all going into jam or the freezer daily. I love Pomona’s pectin because I can use very little sugar and it still sets a good gel without long cooking. A few years ago some friends and I did a taste-test with the different types of gel and Pomona’s won unanimously. I also just blanched and froze the last of my shelling peas, and I’ve been using and giving away lots of chard and kale and lettuce. My favorite way to use up the greens has been making pasta. Arugula lasagna noodles with spinach lasagna was yummy… and a really effective way to get greens into my teenage children!
    Apples are a month or more off, even into Sept and Oct. We are members of a group that purchased an apple cider press together several years ago. So we’ll be making lots of sweet and hard cider along with applesauce, apple pie filling, applebutter, etc… Pears will be ripe in early September. Figs in August and late September. Prune plums in Sept, too. So much fruit, so little time!

    • Anais says:

      @Margy Porter: Yum, yum and yummy! One day I would love to have enough apples to then justify buying an APPLE PRESS. That would be so neat. Ah yes, you said it right “so much fruit, so little time!” Guess it’s time to PUT up or SHUT up. hehe 😉

  12. Vicky says:

    Made some pineapple vinegar and now I’m fermenting some sliced jalapenos and garlic in two jars of vinagre. Then I made some fermented pickles. After seeing your pics of apricot jam I’m thinking of making a trip to the store for some berries to make some strawberry jam!

    • Anais says:

      @Vicky: All sounds yummy, thanks for sharing. I love JALAPENOS, have to try fermenting them, thanks for the tip.

  13. Otto Yennard says:

    I’ve not tried it but, but correct after 2 years I’m going to change it

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