No, not the joy of putting out. . .That would take us in a completely different direction. A direction I dare say Of Woods and Words has never been before.
Nope, today is much more Laura Ingalls Wilder than it is Carrie Bradshaw. Honestly, I've always been more Laura than Carrie, although I did spend many of my young adult years assuming my future held many a cosmopolitan and several pairs of expensive heels. While not exactly how things ended up, I'm also happy to report that my future (thus far) has not contained a single covered wagon. So that's a relief.
Ever since reading Little House in the Big Woods, I've been fascinated with the idea of self-sufficiency. Through the years, that fascination has taken me down many a twisted path. Thankfully, my long suffering mother patiently let me use up her entire stash of yarn for my knitting attempts, didn't fuss too much when my attempt to dry juneberries in the oven resulted in cookie pans that are still scarred, let me use her canner to make some not so great chokecherry jelly and apple butter. She didn't say a word when I decided to use the garden's red clay to make "bowls."
Now that I'm all grown up, my self-sufficiency attempts are a little less haphazard. And now that I have a garden of my own, my putting up habits have to become a little more focused. Letting any bit of that fresh produce that we've been working to cultivate since late March go to waste would just be a waste. (Yep, pretty swift this morning, eh?) At the very time the blueberries are peaking, I also have zucchinis coming out of my ears and the grocery produce (cherries, stone fruit, etc.) is at its most luscious. I'm trying my best to get it all "put up" for the winter months.
Here are the fruits of my labors so far: a batch blueberry jam, a batch of blueberry raspberry jam, a batch of blueberry vinegar, and a jar of cherry bounce. I also dried a quart of blueberries last night to be used in granola throughout the year.
Last weekend, I finally developed a salsa recipe that's to both of our liking and I'll put that recipe to good use if I can save our tomatoes from the blasted bottom blossom rot. Don't rot on me now little tomatoes!
There are also currently four massive zucchini/summer squash in the fridge that must be dealt with. I think I'll trying dehydrating a couple and will probably make a double batch of zucchini muffins for the freezer.
It all seems very old fashioned, but there's a joy in taking what you gathered and grew and transforming it into something that will feed you for months to come. I love seeing the jars lining up on the shelf, the bags stuffed with frozen blueberries and other foods stacking up in the chest freezer. It makes the sunburned neck and scrapped up shins well worth it.