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Buddha Hand Harvest

This fascinating fruit always draws comment when newcomers visit my back yard. ‘What is it?’ and ‘How do you use it?’ are always asked. The short answers are that it is a citron and I primarily use it to candy, though I have plans to use it in jam. For more details, check out the explanations here.

And here are the bad boys I plucked from the tree this week:

Buddha's handEach one is between 7 and 8 inches long  and (left to right) they weigh 14 oz., 1 lb. 5 oz. and 9 oz. Hefty!

The largest one is the most ornate — a real stand alone.

Buddha's hand 1It’s almost a crime to cut it up and candy it. I said almost because that’s the next thing that will happen to this beautiful citron.

Visit my posting of last year to see the tree and fruit in various stages, including candied.

Buddha Hand Bonanza!

Spring officially arrives on the 21st of the month but my Buddha Hand tree doesn’t keep a calendar. It is loaded with blossoms and nearly every cluster has a fruit well on its way. See the small one developing just NE of the open blossom?

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This fruit is already about 5 inches long.

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A few days ago I noticed that the candied Buddha Hand in my cupboard was looking moist. Since moisture can create mold, I spread it on a drying rack and let it dry for several days.

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When dry — though still tacky to the touch — I rolled it in sugar.

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It’s now ready to store. This is destined for jam making this spring. Yum!

Another sketch

The Buddha Hand may have been a bit ambitious of me. Who am I kidding? It was very ambitious of me.

I’ll have other chances to come back to this fruit. For now, Jane is moving us on to lettuce. This has been a fast week!

Buddha Hand Harvest

My first harvest from the tree — so exciting! They are ripe and beautiful. They measure about 5″ long and the same width.  Don’t you just love the color? I wish you could smell them. YUM! They have their own distinctive aroma and taste. If you run across these at your local farmer’s market, be sure to pick one up and give it a good sniff. These will be delightful candied and served for dessert, used in jam-making or baking.

And right now the tree is loaded with blossoms and two more 1 1/2″ long fruits growing.

A Clean Slate

This is the time when so many make resolutions, only to set themselves up for disappointment. My friend Suzanne Kistler makes two lists at the beginning of a new year: the first list is of the quilts she completed in the previous year; the second is a list of goals for the new year. I think this is an incredibly healthy approach to the clean slate we’re all given on January 1st.

I’ve come to understand that my one-sentence journaling, and even this blog, are my attempts at living my primary goal: Staying in the moment.

“This — this was what made life: a moment of quiet, the water falling in the fountain, the girl’s voice. . . a moment of captured beauty. He who is truly wise will never permit such moments to escape.”  Louis L’Amour

Here are a couple of my recent moments. The Buddha Hand, almost ready to pick.

Some French ribbons turned into a fabric postcard.

What are your goals for 2012?

“Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.”  — Corita Kent

To success!

Buddha Progress

Here’s an update on the progress of the two large Buddha Hand fruits on my tree.

I should be harvesting them this month. They will be candied and used in future jam recipes.