"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back to Work



Beets


I haven't really taken any time off "work," of course - a homemaker with a farm and three kids during the first week of school? Take time off? Ha ha ha ha ha ha don't make me cry.

But I had slacked off the preserving a bit. Well, not if you count cheesemaking, I've been making cheese about twice a week, which is a lot. I guess I only slacked off the vegetable preserving. Wait a minute. This week I actually picked, processed and froze twenty pounds of blueberries. And we picked about the same amount of tomatoes from my tomato-for-eggs trade. I don't know what I'm talking about. I haven't stopped at all!

Blueberries in the chest freezer

Maybe I just mean it's been a while since I got out the canner. There we go.

Canning tomatoes is a big fat pain in the tuchus. And messy! After about three hours of work - not counting the picking - washing, chopping, stirring, and forcing the pulp through my food mill, I realized I was only going to get about two pints of tomato paste. That's just silly; it isn't worth it. So I added a quart of half and half and some chicken stock and we had the best tomato soup EVER. Still have lots of the orange sungolds to eat.


Today I canned beets. The ones I made last year were straight pickles, no sugar. Then I tasted some of my friend's canned beets and decided they were way better with sugar. Rowan got a lesson in canning - and also in improvising. After we had the beets all peeled and chopped and the jars sterilized, I realized we didn't have enough white vinegar to make the brine. So we went over our options: substitute another acidifier or go to pressure canning instead of water-bath. Our other available acidifiers were various other kinds of vinegars (balsamic? I don't think so. Sherry?) or lemon juice. We decided on lemon juice. I'll tell you how it turned out in four to six weeks.

6 comments:

AnyEdge said...

Beets aren't food. Pickled beets are actual poison.

Aimee said...

You really ought to keep your mouth shut on subjects you know nothing about; it's excruciatingly embarrassing to watch you flaunt your ignorance like this.

AnyEdge said...

Hey, where root vegetables are concerned, the heirarchy is clear:

Potato
Garlic
Carrot
Onion
Parsnip
Turnip
Rootibega
umm...buried squash
subterranean shame
pot stickers
beets (see: poison)

AnyEdge said...

I see that my root-logic is indefatigable!

Aimee said...

I turn my face away from your root-snobbery. However, "buried shame" was really funny. And I wonder if you spelled rutabaga that way on purpose, or if it is just another manifestation of your sad city-slickery.

AnyEdge said...

I agonized over including a hyphen in root-abega.