Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fast and Furious

Everything is ripening on schedule this year which means all at once.

This morning I dashed off to a friend's house to pick her grapes. She has Concord and Zinfandel grapes growing on a fence and they are well established and do very well. Sadly, she is selling this wonderful house and yard! Knowing this was going to be our last year to enjoy these grapes, I picked over 6 pounds. We'll see how much juice they give me; right now they're in the freezer. I have too many other projects and they do well if you freeze them first.

After that, I immediately went to the raspberry farm and picked 3 quarts of berries in about 30 minutes. There are plenty more, and I do plan to go back next Wednesday with someone from work, but I wanted to get a batch of jam done as it's going to rain tomorrow. Three quarts was enough for a batch of jam, I left the seeds in for one of the quarts and strained out the rest so it's not too seedy but certainly not seedless. It is too late, however, to enter this in the fair, so I can't test my theory that the judges like their jam with seeds. Anyway, I was able to get 9 cups of jam (7 half-pint jars and 4 half-cup jars).

Yesterday's farm share was even more out of control than usual: blackberries and raspberries (eaten), a cantaloupe (also eaten), watermelon, 3 quarts of cherry tomatoes, 20 field tomatoes, 3 pounds of regular tomatoes, kale, collards, tat soi, parsley, 8 tomatillos, onions, garlic, 3 pounds of zucchini, golden beets, broccoli (eaten), a delicata and a spaghetti squash, and 10 hot peppers. I skipped the flowers, herbs, and husk cherries. After making the raspberry jam today I peeled and canned the 20 little tomatoes (I got the ones that you see in the store labelled "Campari tomatoes" so they were small and all about the same size). I was able to cram them into one quart jar. The other 3 pounds of tomatoes are in the freezer so they can be made into sauce eventually.

The mason stopped by tonight with gifts from his garden: celery, chard, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Yum! I can make more caponata soon!

Also on the agenda this week: tomatillo salsa, once I get some cilantro, chocolate zucchini bread, seeing how the hops and black walnuts are doing, and taking my once-every-10-years board recertification exam. Oh, and working the weekend. My husband will take my fair entries up this Saturday as I won't be able to get out in time. I've entered 7 classes this year: Dill Pickles, Bread & Butter Pickles, Sweet Relish, Strawberry Jam, Blueberry Jam, Apple Jelly and Other Jelly (Mulberry this year). The fair opens October 2.

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