Sunday, November 1, 2009

Post-Workday Food Preservation: Harvest Can't be Put on Hold

Summer's long since over...

Yet I'm still barely out from underneath the looming responsibility of harvest preservation. Putting up food took much time this late summer/autumn...but it was worth it!~ What a kick to have row after row of cheery jars up in my cupboards, and to have a freezer stocked with easy access weeknight meal ingredients...

My post-workday, late-night canning efforts weren't quite picture perfect. I still don't have the keeping-the-kitchen-tidy-while-you-go nailed. Ted came home from his once a week evening shift to find the kitchen absolutely trashed...and me standing there at 11pm, beaming over my little pints of applesauce. (And once, not-so-beaming over a few jars of gooseberry jam that came out a little...questionable. But, how else do you learn?)

Batch after batch (...after batch) of roasted pasta sauce have passed through my little oven over the course of the past handful of weeks. A late tomato season kept me going clear through October! I finally sealed and labeled the last few portions and put them in the freezer. Maybe you'd enjoy a little peek into the process?

I'm sorry to say, I didn't quite get to my truly green tomatoes in time. Despite my best efforts at digging up interesting sounding chutney recipes and sauces, the production efforts didn't quite materialize and instead I had to compost rotten tomatoes and clean up a few mold patches in the bowls. (True confessions from a real-life kitchen.)

However, on the more successful side, motivated by my new stock of SE Asian spices and seasonal ingredients fresh from my CSA (parsnips), my inlaws (delicious pears), and my little brother Jesse's garden (plenty and plenty of squash), I've gone www-stumbling and come upon a few recent pleasures: Curried Pear & Parsnip Soup and Curry Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpeas. The roasted squash in particular was delectable ~ complimented very nicely by the cilantro lemon yogurt sauce. I whipped both recipes up with ingredients I already had around the house (in fact, I supplemented a few carrots for parsnips since I didn't have quite enough on hand.)

I really am so grateful for how many learning opportunities came my way this past year, and for the encouragement and conversation from friends with experience and inspiration to share.

I"ll leave you today with a post by Lindsay Edmonds: Baby Steps to Nutritious Eating: 12 Steps to a Real Food Diet. Follow your kitchen curiosities, and follow your senses to a delicious tomorrow...


My youngest brother, Jesse, and his bounty from the garden.

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