A friend and I both took advantage of the great deal Azure Standard offered on organic nectarines, and today she came over to can some of them in syrup. I was so inspired by what she did that I made a few jars of my own. Pretty, yes? Like jewels. For all my jam-making and pickle-making, I don't have a lot of experience canning fruit in syrup, but I'm inspired by the possibilities in such a simple way of saving fruit.
Last year I took advantage of this deal on nectarines, too, and D and I froze most of them. (We cut the nectarines in half and froze them on cookie sheets before bagging them -- perfect!) Tonight, I'm using a bunch more to make BBQ sauce, and I think we'll try to dry some, too. (I'm imagining making a special granola that has chunks of dried nectarine in it... can you imagine how great that could be?)
"...my son has heard from his infancy 'Not right now...we have to weed/harvest/plant/can this food so we can have it later.' ... I DEEPLY believe that his understanding that we work for food, that we inconvenience ourselves in order to have deep nutrition is actually good for him."
I think "I inconvenience myself in order to have deep nutrition" is my new mantra for the rest of the harvest season. This is big. It's not what we can grow in our gardens but how we can work with our gardens to sustain us.
I appreciate having a blog today. Yesterday, I felt helpless. There was something in what my mother said and how she said it (there were other bits that didn't make it into the blog post) that made me feel really icky.
I realized today what I wish my mother would say to me: "Wow, Cathy... this food preservation stuff is so important to you, and you're working so hard right now. Could I come over for an hour tomorrow and entertain E while you get a little more done?"
I'm 45, and she's 67. Every time I talk about something I'm doing that is challenging to me, she finds fault with my aspirations and my process. She also tries to scare me by telling me I'm ruining my marriage, my relationship within the family, and now my bond with my daughter. She has been doing this since I was E's age.
This week I have been working with:
- 40 pounds of nectarines
- 20 pounds of peaches
- 20 pounds of apricots
- 10 pounds of kale
- 10 pounds of figs
- 30 pounds of cucumbers
- 10 pounds of carrots
- a 4-and-a-half-year-old child
I kinda, sorta think that would challenge anyone. There is long-term value in what I'm doing. Tonight E and I cuddled and read a chapter in Beezus and Romona -- about what happens when Romona takes one bite out of each apple in the crate. E and I are still connected even though I sometimes ask her, "Why don't you do watercolors in the kitchen while I work on these nectarines?"