This weekend included a flurry of activity centered around preserving the bounty of the season for later use and enjoyment. Corn was blanched and frozen, while figs and jelly palm fruits were processed into preserves and jelly, making the house smell delicious and filling the freezer and pantry.
The weather cooperated by raining continuously throughout the day’s preserving activities, again assuaging any guilt over spending time inside while there is always so much to be done outside! Speaking of the weather, in case there was any doubt, data released from NOAA this week showed that the period from January-June was the warmest on record (since 1895) for Georgia, as well as for Florida, and North and South Carolina. June’s temperatures were actually below average for us, accentuating how warm the early months of the year really were.
This weekend we started picking the first of our heirloom Jackson Wonder lima beans (er, better known as butter beans in this part of the world. I’ve been training myself to call them butter beans, but occasionally slip and lapse back to their non-Southern name). These pretty beans can be used fresh or as dried beans and are mottled with purple at full maturity. There is obviously some skill involved in shelling butter beans, and it was clear that my hands are totally unfamiliar with the movements required to efficiently remove the beans from their pod. As I was working my way through the first batch, I kept thinking that if there isn’t a national butter bean shelling competition, there should be. Maybe I’ll get enough practice this summer to qualify!