Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

When it's your birthday, you want to do the things you enjoy, right?

The only thing I wanted to do was pick raspberries.  I checked out the raspberry farm website, learned they were opening for the season on the 23rd, and figured today would be a great day to pick.  Particularly as they are closed on Mondays.  I made a date with my family, including my visiting in-laws, and we planned to be there right when they open at 9.

They were closed.

Apparently it had cooled down enough that the raspberry ripening schedule was off so, after a disappointing first day, they decided to close for another week.  I hadn't rechecked their website so I didn't know this and it seems my email address never made it to their distribution list.  Well, I must have had quite the look of chagrin on my face that they let us go in and pick anyway.  5 pairs of hands picked over 9 pounds of raspberries in about an hour.  And the fields are just getting started!

Once we got home, I shooed everyone out of the kitchen and got to work with the food mill.  I pureed enough to get the 5 cups required for a batch of seedless jam.  I do expect to enter this one in the Fair, and, since I won that category last year, the pressure is on!  (Or not.  I plan to not stress too much.)  So, for future reference, 7 cups sugar and a package of powdered pectin.  After that I pureed another 6 cups and made 6 pints of raspberry syrup.  We haven't had that in ages. After all that we still had 2 quarts of berries left over!

Oh, did I mention that the day started with the doorbell ringing and there was our mason with more veggies, about to do a last little bit of work on our retaining wall?  He'd brought celery, eggplant, cucumbers and tomatoes.  Always welcome!

And, since I'm working Thursday, I picked up the farm share today.  And it was a LOT.  I came home with 1 quart sungold tomatoes, 1 quart plum tomatoes, 1 quart green beans, 8 banana peppers, dill, cilantro, 20 leaves of kale, 1 cabbage, 1 head of lettuce, 1 bunch of scallions, 2 head of garlic, 8 red onions, 12 other tomatoes, 2 pounds of cucumbers and 1 pound of patty pan squashes, 2 spaghetti squashes, 2 eggplant and 8 bell peppers, and I didn't even bother with the blackberries, husk cherries, flowers, parsley, or basil.

It was abundantly clear when I got home that if I didn't start canning immediately I would not be able to fit everything into my fridges.  So I made a batch of mild garden salsa:
2 quarts tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cups green peppers, chopped
2 cups scallions, chopped
2 poblano peppers, chopped
1/4 cup vinegar
1/6 cup sugar
2 T. Kosher salt
1 bunch cilantro
The cilantro was added after everything else was cooked and the immersion blender used to make it a little more thick and less chunky.  It was then canned immediately:  5 pints, 10 minutes in the canner.

Next I took some rainbow carrots which my parents had brought (from a farm near them we all adore) and the green beans and made Rainbow Pickles, which were the rainbow carrots and green beans prepared using the pickled carrots recipe from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving but without the hot peppers and using dill sprigs rather than the heads.

Lastly, I got the broccoli from last week and the potatoes and garlic from this week's share and have everything ready for dinner.  Which I shall not cook, it being my birthday.


1 comment:

  1. This jam won an Honorable Mention at the Topsfield Fair!

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