Tuesday, August 6, 2013

the busy work of summer

I fear I have been rather neglectful of this space as of late. The last few weeks have found great deals of produce at small prices as late summer's bounty swings into my local farmer's market. These are the busy days of summer.  I remember these days as a child, keeping myself occupied as my parents spent long hours dealing with bushels of peaches, bags full of tomatoes, or, as on one occasion, an entire trunkful of corn (no small feat in the vast trunk of the Delta 88).

Last summer I tried freezing peaches for smoothies, instead of just canning them. Unfortunately, once the peaches froze into a solid mass of icy peaches, there was no separating just a few for smoothies so most of those peaches went into peach cobblers--not that I heard anyone complaining about that! This year I decided to freeze them on trays before placing them into bags. I also discovered that my Vitamix will easily blend the peach skins. Leaving the skins on the peaches makes quick work of freezing peaches.

I also acquired 7 dozen ears of corn, which were all blanched and frozen on the cob.  My children love their corn on the cob, and it's much more expensive (than off the cob) to buy in the off-season. Now we can have local Silver Queen corn in the autumn and winter.

I canned Dilly Beans again, while enjoying the last jar of last year's Dilly Beans. This pickle is one of our favorites. Food in Jars has a fabulous recipe for them, although I leave out the cayenne pepper for the heat-adverse members of our family.

Last but not least, I purchased 50 lbs of tomatoes to finish up the rest of my tomato canning for the season.  I'm nearly out of jars, which means the tomato canning must be nearly finished. Pictured below is diced tomatoes in the quart jars, pizza sauce and garden salsa (double the cilantro, please) in the pints.

And now my children, much like I did in my youth, are finding ways to pass the long, slow days of summer while I spend my days in the kitchen with my trusty canner. Finn has found joy in taking care of his stuffed friend, Fruffy, who is here eating a breakfast of fabric scraps while Finn enjoys homemade ketchup on his scrambled eggs.

Elizabeth has picked up a love of cross-stitching this summer, enabled by a kit she received for her last birthday.

1 comment:

  1. That picture of Finn and his Scruffy, "eating" the fabric scraps is so cute. I am inspired by all that you do in the the kitchen. I'm going to set a goal of learning how to can something by the end of this summer. Pickles will most likely be first.


I love to hear what you think!