Monday, August 4, 2014

Putting up

The burning-the-candle-at-both-ends summering continues! Weekends are supposed to be restorative, but I feel like I did a triathlon. 

I did not watch Orange is the New Black. I did not drink a gin and tonic in bed. (I drank a mojito with my neighbor Zena in our backyard during which we both got tippled and started scheming a collective takeover of the general store.) I did go to the fair with friends and ride the bumper cars. I did attend a father-daughter cello performance and stay out until 11pm last night carousing with other friends. 

But during daylight hours, I worked. Patrick had an all-day festival on Saturday, and for about the first four hours I thoroughly enjoyed my This American Life-fueled canning and freezing marathon. I had raspberries, blueberries, peaches, zucchini, broccoli, herbs. Thank goodness the green beans are still in the process of rebounding from deer, otherwise I would've had to deal with them, too. 

I made five half-pints of blueberry jam, eight half-pints of raspberry jam, a blueberry coffee cake, eight half-pints of peach salsa, a gallon of peach slices for the freezer, a gallon of broccoli for the freezer, a quart each of dried sage and basil, a quart of hot sauce, and a batch of curry paste. (I use the paste method from this recipe, subbing in the zest of a lemon for the lemon grass, and a small onion for the shallot. It's one of my favorite things to make when I have fresh herbs, and it keeps so well in the freezer.)

With a freezer full of amazing produce, and a cellar full of condiments and tomato sauce and jams, all we need to buy at the grocery store is flour, sugar, salt, oats. Spices, of course, and cheese, and butter. Tortillas. Peanut butter. Yeast. Tofu. We probably spend about $60 a month on food. Is it enough in savings to pay me an hourly wage for the food preservation and garden growing work I do? Well, no. But having a hobby that saves us money feels terrific. 

This is the kind of setup I wanted before we moved to Gilbertsville, the kind of near-self-reliance, at least for food, on our land. And baby, we're doing it. Deer notwithstanding, we've arrived. I'm not sure the thrill of that will ever get old. 

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Becky said...

Congratulations! You have worked so hard for these rewards!

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