Monday, August 10, 2009

Put it Up

Hoo boy. More fun this weekend than you can shake a stick at. More singing, this time with me singing the harmony part (mostly). More three part crooked tunes. Good grief I get squeaky about tricky tunes. More blueberry picking, which puts us at 12 gallons of blueberries. We are going to pick once more and then I believe we will be able to have a pie a week all winter long and then some. Like that's going to happen, but you know: just knowing it could is very happy making. We put up another four batches of pesto, two batches of peach sauce, and a batch of blueberry sauce. Ok so about the putting up of things: I don't know if I am a canner at heart. Last summer our house sitter made raspberry freezer jam (sauce) and B made plum freezer jam (sauce), and let me tell you, they were both insanely awesome. Key being, I suppose, that we ate them both up within six months. The other key being that we really like sauces over jams. The go-to treat around here is plain yogurt (Brown Cow) and whatever fruity sauce thing you can mix into it. Also we like fruit on waffles, which in the winter B makes just about every weekend. So we are punting big time on the fruit around here and either just freezing it straight up (cherries, raspberries, peaches, blueberries) or making a quick and dirty sauce (sugar, lemon juice, sometimes vanilla and oh man, put some nutmeg in your peach sauce) and freezing that. I am still really determined to can apple sauce, but beyond that I think we might be freezer dorks. For now anyway, maybe by next spring I will have realized that our freezer killed 50 gallons of fruit and we will reassess. Also I will admit that a defrosting pint jar of blueberry sauce is not nearly the gift that a lovely jar of jam is and it is fun to give this stuff away in seasons when most fresh fruit is from far away.

Right, that was a tangent. We also put in more of the fall garden, cleaned and moved the chicken coop, went to see Harry Potter (we left heretically sort of unimpressed even if we did enjoy ourselves and quite liked the fluttery imagery of memories and evil and such), and ate a bunch of cucumbers, tomatoes, and our first eggplant!! Here is how we ate the eggplant: thinly slice into rounds, lightly salt, let sweat, rinse and pat dry. Lightly sauté the eggplant in olive oil over high heat. Make some sort of ricotta, egg, garlic, chard, basil, walnut, parmesan kind of filling. Layer eggplant and filling, scatter halved sungolds, repeat. Bake until eggplant is tender. Yum!

Ok, so the zinnias have won me over. Mostly the red ones, they are such a bright and true red that they almost shock my eye, and this girl loves her some red. These were orphan seedlings, dumped at our house along with an inexcusable amount of eggplant, tomatillo, basil, and pepper starts. Seriously, I was spitting mad because it had already caused me great pain to cull my own starts into a manageable number, and there sitting on the porch from a friend were some "extra flower seedlings." I found spots for a few of the basils, but everything else went into the compost pile. Except for the zinnias. Which I have never liked and I have done a fair amount of smiling and nodding when other people wax poetic about how great they are. But these red zinnias are something. And the yellow ones are kind of something too. The pink ones can take a hike though. Maybe.

Hope the weekends were good out there.


cake said...

it is funny to hear your rant on freezing sauce, versus canning jam. it is all about what you want to eat most. if we thought we would eat fruit sauce, i suppose that is what we would make, but our jam is for sandwiches and toast for the little one, and, for gifting. we don't have a big enough freezer for everything we want to preserve, and that is how we got into canning. we have one jar of black raspberry sauce in our freezer, from last year, that we have never touched.
the other piece, for us, is that we just love the actual process of canning so much.

our landlord casually dusted a flowerbed with zinnia seeds before moving, and now they are in glorious full bloom. they look fabulous en mass.

Heather said...

You must post a zinnia picture!

It's true, if jam were our thing we would need to can. PB&J is considered emergency food around here, possibly because we both ate so many of them as kiddos!

Also, it's true: Ben's mum gave us a chest freezer for our wedding (we call it the bat freezer because it's black and in the basement) so we have a lot of space. And now that I think about it: we first turned it on because we ordered a big bunch of local beef and pork, but that didn't take up very much room so I have felt very motivated to fill it up! Freezer psychology, who knew?

Anyhoo, maybe I will can apple sauce and get the bug!!!

cake said...

btw, did you know that "put it up" is a palindrome?
the things you learn reading children's literature.

Heather said...

I did not know that! ; )