Sunday, August 14, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Waiting for them to fall

 Another step in the year of food preservation... what excites me almost more than these blueberries? We got a deep freezer! translation = hand picked food for the winter & no more booby traps set as we open our months stuffed small indoor freezer. I recently brought back fish from my month up north and had just about pushed the three shelved wonder out of commission. but no more.

Often I'm asked "how do you like Corvallis?" my response 7 months ago was very different than it is today. It is like a bit of a treasure box. you have to keep your eyes open and that is when you start to find all the secrets. The day I got home T send me out back to our patio and told me to look around..... Nothing other than confusion. "take two steps forward and look down" still confusion. "look harder." what sat there but a small red round ball. "pick it up and eat it" T told me. It was a wee plum. Our tree out back had started to fruit these amazingly tasty little bits of yumminess. About twice a day we go out and are greeted by 10 new plums that are perfectly ripe and sweet which have made their way from the high branches. We look like monkeys outside collecting them. Even the dogs are getting down on the action. We joked last night that we have 5 competitors for the goods. I'm a pretty savvy one, I even monkeyed my way up the tree in my dress and shook the branches until I got so entangled I was forced back to the ground or would have donated my dress to the tree as a peace offering. I guess I'm impatient.

Saturday found C and I at a organic pick your own blueberry patch just a few miles from my house. I'd never seen it before. In 45 minutes we had managed something like 20 lbs of blueberries. The giant berries were literally falling off the bushes. We continued our weekend excursion to a few local wineries. Many out here are family owned and located on a farm of sorts. They are just lovely. We debated trying to visit all the Oregon ones in the next year to come but were quickly shut down by the realization that there are over 450. We'd really be lushes. C picked up a winery tour map and we've compromised our original plan to hitting up a few in each location. A more manageable endeavor. The day continued to a friends house to try their newest home brew experiment. "We gave this one a protein rest" they happily explained. Oh how I love living amongst fellow scientists!

C later helped me sort and clean the berries which Sunday operations turned them into freezer packs, dehydrated berries and jars of goodness. T even put up some heady jars of pickles. We've realized once the canner is up and going we best make the most of it. It turns into quite the kitchen process. The experimental batch; a blueberry, plum and honey compote. I have a gut feeling I will be happy with it come December on waffles. 

For my birthday last year my cousin gave me a book called "the complete book of home preserving." I LOVE this book. It has served as a great reference guide to modern canning. Not only does it cover the basics but it also offers new and fun ideas to putting up everyday fruits and vegis. Highly recommended to my fellow crunchy friends out there. I was blessed with growing up in a family that never put down this art. I can remember from a very young age "beet time." you could tell it was summer when the baskets were full of beets and zucchini from the garden and the kitchen smelled of fresh cut vegis and vinegar. This past time has now followed me into adulthood, my mother donating her canning pot to my Oregon efforts. to those who have a desire to learn- there is nothing better than opening up your own jar of jam on freezing cold day of winter and remembering how warm and lovely it was outside the day you put it up.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Sometimes order is Chaos but oh how I love it so.....