Monday, June 15, 2009

Pickle It & Finish It

Goodness me oh my, did we ever have a nesty weekend around here. First, there was cherry picking, er, scavenging. Which for us, is kind of the beginning of our wedding anniversary, because last year picking and pitting cherries was like sweet occupational relief from the holy shit of being less than a week away from getting hitched. This year we were all holy shit, we've almost been married an entire year. Woah. Anyway, we packed away many pies worth of cherries which makes us both feel very safe in the pie department and also is the official kick off of summer fruit stashing.

Also, there was pickling. I made another batch of my favorite pickled onions because I am completely sad whenever we don't have any, and then, hold on to your hats, I pickled carrots! From our garden! Flipping awesome. We had complete beginners' luck on our carrots this year, and damn, they are so good. Like melt in your mouth good. And being the garden hoarder than I am, pickling is a mighty fine way to get my hoard on. Anyway, I have no idea whether the are tasty since they are not ready right away, but they smelled awfully good and lots of pickling fiends out there think these carrots are mighty fine.

Ok, lastly in the food department, because I needed a small amount of buttermilk for something (why, why, why don't they sell a small container of this stuff????) I ended up making Buttermilk Panna Cotta, which was stupid easy to make and very, very yummy. Maybe a tad too much lemon and cutting back a bit on the gelatin would be good, but still: yum, served with fresh picked cherries and blueberries from the garden. Simple and cool and oven free.

In the finishing department: we are done with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We pretty much hit this series at a full tilt and aside from a lot of travel and house guests, this was what was going on at our house once the sun went down. What can I say? Fucking brilliant at turns, and I really mean that. Also kind of rough to have it head so precipitously downhill there at the end, which was completely unsatisfying emotionally but had a killer plot wrap up. Yes, I cried, and frankly I am still sad about it really being over. I might just have to write some fan fiction. Kidding.

Ok, also, I finished this book, which along with this article, will pretty much scare your pants off about the natural world getting its ass kicked. Honey bees, frogs, bats - all having a very rough go in very extreme ways. Grr. Fruitless Fall is full of jaw dropping tidbits about the mechanics of pollination, everything from bees that buzz around flowers vibrating them at specific frequencies in order to get their pollen to pop out to species that now require hand pollination because their natural pollinators are extinct (vanilla).

Also, I finished learning a tune that had been kicking my ass for quite some time. Sally in the Greencorn, you are all mine!

Ok, in the not finishing department: 2666. Someone out there please tell me to finish this, I am stalling after the first book and can't get going again.

The end.

P.S. It was my beautiful mum's birthday this weekend and she was out having so much fun that I had to settle for singing on her answering machine! Happy Birthday Mum, love you!


queenbeehoney said...

Whoa! Those carrots are the bomb. What up with that? I have never managed to grow a single edible carrot in my life!

I'm so jealous of your cherries. Last year Kate and Andy invited us to cherry pick just as we were leaving for your wedding. We picked, I put the 5 gal bucket in the downstairs fridge before we left and......well, you know the end of this tale.

I'm hoping for blueberries at the bash ~ I'd like to have blueberry oatmeal this winter and a pie or two. I can't believe your First Anniversary is almost here. I wish we were all at The Pride Motel celebrating together.

cake said...

i am excited about your pickled carrots. not sure if we will have a crop like yours, but i love the hot ones we used to find in the taquerias in houston. so, do you can your pickled things? a couple of those jars didn't look like canning jars, so i just wondered.

we only know of one tree in town that we can pick cherries from. last year, we picked 5 quarts, and froze them for pies. this year, we barely got 4 cups, from the same tree. i hear fruit and nut trees are like that, bumper crops, then scarce the following year...were any of the trees you hit like that?

cake said...

ps. i want to read that book about the bees. i just finished _all over creation_, a novel by ruth ozeki. i think you would love it. all about bio-diversity, and a wonderful read.

Heather said...

Hey Kayte!

First, I love Ruth Ozeki! My Year of Meats is a favorite quick read of mine, and I enjoyed All Over Creation too.

And no, so far none of the pickling I have done has been real canning - it small batch, eat 'em up pickling. Depending upon our cucumber harvest, I might try to really can those. Scary! I am terrified of poisoning someone. Have you done pickles?

Yes: we definitely saw quite a swing from productive to meager in the cherry department. I was really bummed when we went to the tree that last year kicked down almost 3/4 of our berries - hardly any. And then one that last year was just so-so was loaded with them.

Kelly (The Sorry Gardener) said...

Ah, there's the kindred connection between you who grows her own food and cooks and cans and pickles and me who absolutely does none of those things but enjoys your blog nonetheless: Buffy. Love Buffy. Buffy was very, very good to me and helped get me through a very, very crappy time in my life. Sorry you finished the series, but glad you got to experience it.

cake said...

canning is so much fun. the first time, it seems absurdly complicated. then, once you have done it, you will be hooked. i can totally see you and B canning up a storm this fall. if you follow established recipes for canning, you will not poison anyone.

we did two batches of pickled green beans last year. they turned out fabulous. we are still enjoying them.
take the plunge! with all that food you are growing--the hoarder in you will be so content to see all those jars on the pantry shelf.
you do need to invest in a canning bath, a jar lifter (fancy tongs) and some jars. but, it is minimal.
do it!