Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Late Summer Kitchen News

August is such a busy month.  There is so much happening in the garden, and so much transitioning happening with the start of school. It's overwhelming and exhausting at times - but gardening, processing and cooking is so much a part of the fabric of who I am.  I wouldn't want it any other way. Summer is just too busy for blogging.  It's hard to keep a record of our days- time seems to flow very quickly.  Late August is always a nesting sort of time for me.  I can see the storm  of our busy September and October calendar approaching - so I try to do what I can now in order to save myself time later.  This time of year I try to add at least two meals to the freezer for every meal I make.  It's less work to make one big mess with several meals to show for it.  I like to think of it as banking time.   So, on that note here's what I've been up to in the kitchen this summer. 
Here's what I've canned so far this year:
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam - 12 half pints
Rhubarb Cinnamon Jam - 11 half pints
Strawberry Jam - 9 half pints
Peaches -49 quarts
Summer Applesauce (Rambo and Ginger Gold) - 44 quarts
Nectarines - 7 quarts
Dill Pickles - 10 quarts, 4 pints
Salsa - 43 pints
Tomato Juice -6 pints
Whole Tomatoes - 9 quarts, 1 pint
The freezer is almost completely full of frozen vegis, fruit and ready made suppers and lunches.  I'm not as good about keeping track of what goes into the freezer - so here's an approximation.
Beans - 2 Gallons
Sliced Peaches - 5 Gallons
Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries) - 20 quarts
Broccoli - 1 quart
Zucchini - 1 quart - chopped
Zucchini Bread - 10 loaves
Chard Enchilladas - 2 pans
Cheeseburger Casserole - 2 pans
Quiche - a plethora of different kinds
Soups - too many to keep track of
Black Bean Pie - 2 pies
Corn Bread and Chili Casserole - 5 pans
Greens and Rice Casserole - 2 pans
Pizza Muffins and Corn Dog Muffins - for lunch boxes
I know there are more freezer meals, but I can't remember what I've made. 
 I've also been drying herbs (mostly basil) and doing a bit of fermenting (kim chee, sauerkraut and kosher dill pickles).
It gives me a warm cozy feeling to know that when students come next week, and when time becomes short on nights with practice and classes, the freezer and canning cupboard are full of meals in minutes.  I can't imagine the stress of trying to figure out what to make for dinner when I got home - or having to find the time to actually make dinner.  This way I'll be able to enjoy my family- and hopefully still get to bed at a decent hour.  What strategies do you use for surviving back to school?

Chard Enchiladas, Corn and Cucumber Salad

We've been eating a lot more meat this summer - pretty unusual for this mostly vegi family.  Reading Girl became a bit obsessed with Hebrew National Hot Dogs as evidenced by the hot dog face painting at the library reading party.  I love her quirky personality.

Chicken Cacciatore in the Crock pot

Finally, finally bringing in loads of tomatoes