Category Archives: preserving

Fruit Haul

There’s a low-hanging cherry tree in the neighborhood.  Eily’s been visiting it in between service berry picking.  We made muffins with the harvest.

And later that day, this happened:

Ripe raspberries, the biggest service berries, and tons of sour cherries – all from the orchard at the local high school.


I feel like this is one of our hottest canning seasons ever.  Somehow these mitts  – the double for me and the single specially requested by and sized for B – didn’t fully combat it.  Nor did our new extra loud exhaust fan (aka the jet engine).  But they both helped.


Good Company

I’ve befriended tomatoes this past weekend. I admit i didn’t have much of a choice….if i didn’t, the fruit flies would have.

There are two boxes of san marzanos and granaderos waiting to be canned in the front hall, those rippened are filling up cookie sheets ready to be oven-roasted and the yellow and orange cherries are being brought in from the garden to soften in the fruit bowl.


I took one of these and topped a baguette and a slice of sauvagine and thanked the hot weather that finally came round.

But fresh is still best. Pinky-red rather than orange and heavily creased and folded like a true heirloom. Sliced and nestled together on sourdough.


Quite possibly the best tomato we’ve ever grown.


Our dill pickles just might be the prize of the fruit cellar. I restocked them yesterday, finishing the three jars that didn’t seal this morning, including the one that burst midway through, spewing a fountain of boiling pickling water across the kitchen. Yikes!


Dill Pickles
Soak cucumbers overnight in ice water. Drain and pat dry. Fill 1 Litre sterilized jars with a grapeleaf, a sprig of dill and a clove of garlic. Stuff in cucumbers. Boil the following and pour on top:
12 cups water
4 cups white vinegar
2/3 cup pickling salt
(This amount of liquid should be enough for 8 jars.)
Seal and process for 5 minutes.

Kiwi berries

Strawberry Kiwi Jam:
8 cups hardy/arctic kiwis
6 cups strawberries
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange
2 1/2 cups sugar

Combine all and cook until thickened, stirring frequently. Ladle in sterilized jars and process for 10 minutes.



Kitchen Recovery

After an overwhelming weekend, our kitchen (and ourselves) needed a little recovery. So i got to work. Sometimes it’s the best kind of therapy.

I turned the pile of tomatoes into salsa. The sovereign coronation grapes into pungent juice. The shriveled eggplant into baked perfection. And the softening barlett pears into sweet sorbet.



The bottom of the bushel basket is a splendid sight. I can’t find one more empty yogurt container to store freezer applesauce so the process ends here.


I did find a granola bar rendition (recipe) that called for a cup. In addition to squash purée. Blessed be such hearty bars.


So very travel-worthy.

As is this seatbelt pillow (inspiration found here).


Which is a good thing because we’re in for a looong trip.

Put up

Today i put up three jars of pickled beans and seven zucchini relishes. My sole accomplishment while the boys had their first ever simultaneous nap (which is, i suppose, what you get if you choose to have your kids nearly five years apart). Pretty much the moment i thought about sitting down, Gabe woke up.

Afterwards, i stole mourrnful glances at my book, its spine bent open and resting patiently on the desk, and wished for a cup of tea.

Then again, i wouldn’t have had these pretty things to look at all winter.


Onion confit

I left 2 pounds of onions roasting in the oven today (something i can’t do mid-summer), with some dried cherry tomatoes (leftover from a garden we had two houses ago) and some herbs. They turned out so sweet, i slathered them on italian bread and devoured it. Then, we grilled some chicken and vegetables and gathered it all together, including the confit, with freezer pesto, fresh arugula, and homemade tomato sauce, and topped it with caraffa olives (a recent delicious discovery from london ontario) and a few cheeses. It was pretty much a crowd pleaser.

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