My first memories of canning involve lots of tears. It wasn’t anything painful or traumatizing (well, maybe a little), it was the onions. You see, my mom only canned two things; strawberry jam and tomato sauce. It was the sauce that did me in. It wasn’t the sort of cheerful 1950’s sitcom experience you’d like it to be. It was an all day exhausting exercise in food preservation. The recipe didn’t call for mere cups of vegetables, rather the ingredients were measured in bushels. The tomatoes were halved and thrown in a pot to cook until squishy and then run through a hand-crank (my hand thank-you-very-much) food mill to remove the seeds and skin. The same happened with the onions and green peppers. We’d take turns chopping and running outside with tears burning our eyes from cutting pound after pound of onions. The house was hot and steamy and we all emerged limp and lightly coated with a sticky vegetable residue. I remember making the sauce much more than eating it.
Archives for September 2014
You probably know that autumn is a busy time of year. The overflowing garden and orchards are keeping us all busy with canning, pickling, freezing, fermenting, you name it.
Mike, Mary and I spent a very wet Saturday walking around the Little Falls Garlic Festival with a friend. We ended up with quite a variety to plant later this fall including 4 types of hardneck garlic, shallots and elephant garlic.
We stopped buying bread and pasta. Both of those are foods we tend to over eat so it seemed like a good idea. But life without bread is sad so I had to find some alternatives. With a full time job, a blog, a farm and a baby I rarely have time for hours of kneading and rising.
Every winter I look forward to the chicken catalogs. I love flipping through, looking at the pictures, reading the descriptions and figuring out what I’d get if I had infinite money and space. Sadly I find both of those things in short supply so I have to cut back on my list. If you’ve ever found yourself in the same position you know my pain. I know how confusing it can be to settle on one, or a few chicken breeds so I asked a few of my blogger buddies what their number one chicken pick would be and why.
Just for fun we’ll start with my favorite. I absolutely adore my Brahmas. They’re a heavy breed and they do fantastically through our harsh winters, they’re SO FLUFFY and they have small combs so frostbite isn’t much of a concern. My ‘main man’ is a large Brahma and judging from the fact that all the chicks we hatch out are at least 1/2 Brahma (despite there being multiple Orpington roosters) he’s doing his job. They’re all very friendly and curious, even my rooster is a sweetie pie. [Read more…]