"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back to Work


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.


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:

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.