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

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hygge: One More Reason I Love Winter

I'm a big winter lover.  I love everything about the season:  the cold temps, the snow, the crackling fires, the wool socks and sweaters, the sunny brisk days when we're able to get out and ski or hike in the winter world.  But, I especially love when weather cancels events and you are forced to stay home.  It gives me time to practice Hygge.  I'm pretty sure if you dug deeply into my heritage somewhere there's a Scandanavian grandma who has influenced me.

I'm a typical type A first born that generally enjoys being busy.  However, having the gift of meetings and events cancelled because of winter weather is one of my top reasons to love this season.  Today is one of those days.  The weather called for freezing rain - and even though I drive a Subaru with Ice Grip Tires and grew up driving in the snow - I don't mess with freezing rain.  The girl and I were scheduled to work ski school, and the boy and The Woodsman had a synod youth retreat planning meeting.  Both were cancelled because of the impending weather.  This meant that I slept in this morning, drank my coffee while it was hot and I may spend most of the day in my robe.  Dinner was already planned for the crock pot (Taco Soup) and laundry and cleaning was mostly done earlier in the week in anticipation of a busy weekend.   It's good to have some forced rest.

A quiet winter's day seems like a good time to reflect on the summer's harvest.

First, what I didn't can - jelly!  It was a terrible fruit year.  I managed to freeze a small amount of strawberries and blackberries for smoothies, but there wasn't enough to make jelly.  The peach crop was small so there weren't seconds available for jelly making either.  There was just enough rhubarb to make one small batch of jelly - but I gave all of that away for Christmas.  It is very odd to have store bought jelly in the house.  I don't think that's happened since I got married.

I also decided not to can whole tomatoes.  I felt like I had a lot in the pantry, and the tomato harvest was sparse so I concentrated on salsa, juice and sauce.  Now it's mid January and I'm out of tomatoes.  I definitely regret that decision.  I forgot how many, many winter dishes call for tomatoes.  Lesson learned.

Here's the final canning tally:

green beans:  23 pints
peaches:  4 quarts
tomato juce:  24 quarts
applesauce:  60 quarts
salsa:  20 quarts
spaghetti sauce:  34 quarts
green tomato curry:  5 pints
hot sauce:  10 half pints
apple butter:  33 pints
roasted tomatoes 2 quarts
pinto and kidney beans  - 16 pints
soup:  venison stew, ham and bean, garden chowder, minestrone - 16 quarts

Overall - not too bad.  

I had an abundance of frozen tomatoes from my Mother's garden.  It all got cooked down and turned into spaghetti sauce.

I had to use the stove top, the oven and the crock pots to get it all heating and cooking down.

Listening to audio books makes canning much more enjoyable.
Tomato sauce was accomapined by the true story behind Moby Dick.  

I hate Green Tomato Curry - but the Woodsman loves it.  Eli helped me make the hot sauce - he's a frequent consumer.  I don't know why I didn't make it before.  I didn't peel anything - just used the Vita Mix to puree it all.  It worked great.

My 93 year old grandmother helped with the apple butter.  It's so good to spend time with her.

We did apple dumplings that day too - October smells like cinnamon.

No comments:

Post a Comment