bits and leftovers

I'm waiting out a frosty morning.  One more night of frost advisory ahead and supposedly a week in the 70s.  We'll see.  I picked most anything close to ripe, but my late green beans are *so* close to ready I am hopeful that they will make it through to next week.  So a few misc. things that never made it into posts this summer.

Serindipitous finds: I found this beauty at a garage sale riding home from the market this summer.  Thank goodness I had an extra side bag clipped to my bike! It's a le creuset (enamel over steel, not cast iron) and was only 3 bucks!  It immediately went to work blanching tomatoes for peeling, and making soup.  I even pressure canned my first-ever chicken stock!  Which, by the way, freaked me out.  Why this seems different than the jars of tomato products sitting on my shelf I don't know, but I still find it amazing they are storing happily at room temperature.  I suppose I felt the same way about my first jar of jam too.

Things not working out:  I have had three failed batches of yogurt in a row, and can't figure it out.  The first was just a runny batch, so I figured it was time for a fresh starter.  The next two were all-out failures with fresh yogurt culture (2 different brands, but the same milk and procedures as always).  Weird.  I did inadvertently learn to make ricotta cheese while trying to reheat and salvage the last batch.  So all was not a complete loss! 

Goaltending:  I feel pretty happy about reaching most of my preserving targets for the season.  I'm a bit short of tomato sauce, but there are still a lot of ripening tomatoes on my counter, so I think over the next few weeks I'll add enough to the freezer to last the winter. Our  tomato harvest this year was pretty underwhelming--I'm glad we got enough for basics, but was hoping for a bit more.  We're definitely down on fun stuff like dried tomatoes and roasted tomatoes in the freezer.

But maybe its for the best.  We're spending a fair amount of time the last few weeks looking back at the amount of projects we accomplished.  No wonder we are so tired at the end of this summer!  So maybe it's a good thing we didn't *ALSO* get overwhelmed by our harvests.  And, we keep telling ourselves, next year all we have to do is just  grow the food!

Other lessons learned.  I realized this summer that growing your own sometimes means missing out on some goodies of the season.  A few fruit gifts from friends and neighbors made me realize that I tend to skip the farmers market on the weeks that the fun stuff is there.   Donut peaches and plums!  Its a forest/trees thing:  Too much focus on using up and preserving what I have, too little time spent enjoying the season.  Next year:  more sailing, more adventures, more peaches!  I have to remember whilst being the ant, that sometimes its fun to be the grasshopper too.

Related Articles


  1. Nice score on the stockpot! I am always amazed at what people discard.

    The hoophouse is looking great. You will surely enjoying sitting in there with coffee in sunny days. The venting window looks great, we may have to modify ours one of these days...

  2. Me too! That univent on the window is from a garage sale too!

  3. Yes, canned stock seems a bit creepy, but then we have accustomed ourselves to seeing cans of meat or fish or even chicken noodle soup on store shelves: do we really trust companies more than we do our own abilities? (That said, I use my stock up within a year.)

    And great advice about taking a break, stepping back, doing things other than harvesting stuff. Somehow I don't ever step away...but then my garden IS my refuge.

    and wonderful stockpot!


I'd love to hear from you. I have moderation on for older posts, but as long as you're not spam I'll publish it shortly, thanks!

Powered by Blogger.