Food Processing Monday

Hay Bales

Hay Bales

LAKE MACBRIDE— By 10 a.m. this morning I had cooked and cut sweet corn from the cob and made a large batch of hot sauce using five different types of peppers, onion, garlic and tomatoes from our garden. Waiting for the water to boil, I have one of five crates of tomatoes cored and ready to skin— the ones with bad spots are cut up and in another pot, to be processed into tomato sauce. That’s not to mention the buckets and buckets of apples ready to be made into something: apple butter first, then apple sauce, then more juice to can, and along the way some apple desserts. It has been and will be a busy day.

It is always a race against time and decay when preserving fruit and vegetables. Everything seems to come in from the garden at the same time and can intimidate. The secret is not to get wigged out, but do what one can to process the ones needing it first. That’s why I’m working tomatoes now. They were seconds when I started, and there are so many apples, they can wait and go to the farm.

In addition to the kitchen work, I delivered apples not good enough for recipes but great for livestock, and traded them for chicken eggs. Then off to the CSA to load the truck for tonight’s deliveries.

By the time I got home with the CSA share, it was time to clean up the kitchen so our house guest could prepare for a work potluck tomorrow. We made a simple dinner of corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, steamed broccoli and freshly made apple juice. If your bones are weary at the end of a day, it isn’t all bad that they are weary from securing delicious local food for the dinner plate, made with your own hands and labor.

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