"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sweat of my Brow


August. I'm a slave to the bounty of nature. Translation: I spent all day yesterday picking and processing food. I had so many green beans that I canned seven pints (all the wide mouth pint jars I had) and still had beans left over. These are spicy dilly beans, my favorite.

Then I picked blackberries. It is officially blackberry season; my legs and arms are so scratched up I look like I was dipped in a barrel of cats. Either I used to be more delicate, graceful, and careful when I was a kid, or I had a higher pain threshold, or perhaps I'm just remembering wrong, but I don't remember experiencing quite so much pain and blood and screeching while picking berries as a teenager. I picked enough for a pie, but I didn't bake the pie because I was too damn tired. Then the kids ate all the blackberries I bled for. Little leeches.

The last hot job I did yesterday is make cajeta. That involves boiling a kettle of milk for about three hours, stirring nearly constantly. I hope cajeta and dilly beans in winter are worth the heatstroke I am suffering from now.

5 comments:

AnyEdge said...

I don't think you're supposed to can the beans in brow sweat. Of course, I confess I know virtually NOTHING about canning. And 99% of what I do know, I learned on your blog. (The other 1% is that if you can cherries in sugar and bourbon until they float [about 6 mos] and then put them on ice cream it tastes great and gets you BOMBED.)

But I don't think sweat is sanitary for canning.

AnyEdge said...

Cooking Cherries!!! That's critical.

Olive said...

Try a long piece of wire, the stiff type, double it over and twist it around a few times, shape one end like a hook and drag the branches down toward you for picking. The best berries are ALWAYS out of reach and thats when the most scratches occur. You will need a piece of wire abouts 4-5 yards long to start. Or if you dont have any wire laying around your farm, (show me a farm that doesn't) a long broom handle (wooden) with a large hook screwed into the end will do the same trick. Still will get scratches but not so many.

Aimee said...

Olive you are a queen! Why on earth didn't I think of that? You are SO right that injuries occur when I see a bunch of berries that are just...out...of...reach....
This is going to make a big difference.

Olive said...

Another thought Aimee, I remember taking an old pair of scissors and holding the bunch of berries (that I pulled down with my wire hook) over the basket and cut it off, so when you get home all you have to do is pull the fruit from the bunch. Much easier to do it sitting at the kitchen table.