Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Whenever I Can

Why does it seem that with each passing year I am busier and busier?

There's a lot of work and logistical stuff coming up and it makes it harder for me to find time to can things, particularly if I want to get large quantities of pickles made or things like that. Foraging isn't really an option; last year was so good I think this year the trees are recovering. I'm not finding any mulberries, really, certainly not enough to make into jelly. Our tree is almost bare and none of them ripened before they fell. We might not have time to get blueberries this year, either. The only thing I see a lot of these days are elderberry flowers which hopefully means that there will be lots of berries this fall. I could use more jelly and syrup. However, my collection of things to enter in the Fair likely won't be that broad, I guess!

What I do have is the farm share and, today, I brought home 2 pounds of pickling cukes. As we had just opened my last jar of bread and butter pickles I decided to make some more. The cukes, plus a shallot and a small onion, made 3 pints of pickles. I use the basic recipe in The Joy of Pickling and it is the one I like best. As soon as I got back from the farm I sliced the cukes and onions, set them in salt and ice for four hours, and then made the brine and packed them into jars this evening. At least we'll have three pints for ourselves! We'll see what I get in the share next week that maybe I can turn into another batch.

Also in the share: one head of lettuce, 2.5 pounds of summer squash (I chose patty pans and zucchini), bok choy, escarole, kale, fava beans, shell peas, parsley, cilantro, and dill (I brought home the flowers but I'm not sure I'll get to use them. They're pretty, so they can just hang out in a vase). I skipped the sunflower, other herbs, and trying to find the last of the snow peas. Finding the shell peas was hard enough; this is certainly the last week for them.

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