Monday, June 1, 2009

Local diet update - June 1, 2009

It was an amazing weekend for local food, but honestly, I'm so exhausted, I'm going to keep it short. Let's see...

Saturday morning, I got up early (as usual) to setup and host the farmers' market info booth. The market doesn't open officially until 8AM. I was there at 7:15 and we already had customers, so I hustled to get my shopping in while running back and forth to attend to my booth. Sheesh! That's early folks!

Anyway, the market was just covered in goodies. All the same things as last week, but with some wonderful additions like corn, pinto beans, and plums. Oh! I was in heaven!

Well, I didn't need much since I'm personally harvesting tomatoes, onions, kale, lambs-quarter, chard, collards, lettuce, green beans, basil, and sage from my backyard. Mostly what I was looking for was fruit, but when I saw the pinto beans and corn, I knew I had a canning adventure in my VERY near future.

I came home with honey, whole wheat flour, beets, onion starters (to plant in the garden), 4-1/2 pounds of peaches, 4 pounds of blackberries, 12 pounds of plums, dried cranberries, 2 dozen corn on the cob, 6 pounds of pinto beans (weighed before they were shelled), garlic, and white eggplant. What a haul!

Needless to say my 5 hours at the farmers' market Saturday morning was nowhere near the extent of my day. Saturday afternoon was spent shucking and canning 9 pints of corn, canning 5 pints of pinto beans, and planting the multiplying onions in the garden. I also tried to can some plums or blackberries, but I didn't like the way then turned out canned so I set them aside for Sunday's adventure. 

Sunday, I got up early and turned the 3 quarts of blackberries into 1-1/2 batches of blackberry jam. Then my friend Pilar joined me for a second day of canning. We made one tasty batch each of plum and peach jams. Neither of us had made plum jam before, but it was absolutely fabulous! Once we'd completed the canning, we harvested some veggies out of the backyard and made a very local lunch. Yum! 

Pshew! What a weekend! All that's left (for this week anyway) is to preserve the rest of my peaches. I can always can them (I found out last year that I prefer canning to freezing), but I'm considering dehydrating them instead. I have a few drying now in my dehydrator as a test batch, but it's too soon to tell. Has anyone done this?

For the future, I plan on canning another batch of corn, more peas, and more fruit yet this summer. I'm all done with jam, but the tomato harvest out of my backyard should pick up soon and I plan on canning lots of stewed tomatoes too. I'm looking forward to a full pantry for the winter and I'm well on my way. Sure, it takes a little extra time to preserve all these goodies for the long haul, but I know that come winter, when I dip into a jar of corn, mix some pintos in with my latest stir fry, or nibble on fresh local blackberries for breakfast, the good feeling of summer days will be mine yet again!

Have a great week everyone. And, as always, Happy (and mindful) eating!


ttammylynn said...

My haul looks like nothing,lol. I managed to get out of there Saturday with plums, blackberries, yellow squash, saucer squash, a few tomatoes, many eggplant, garlic, pumpkin bread, five jars of salsa, jalapenos, some of Amy's dried apples, a jar of peach preserves, a footlong cucumber and a lb. of coffee. I really didn't need so much but it is addictive. From Vicki, I received a bag of lettuce, some herbs, two pounds of potatoes, two cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, a bell pepper, a couple of tomatoes, a chile pepper, green beans and swiss chard. This week my garden has given me strawberries, raspberries, green beans, squash, a few tomatoes and zucchini. Ripe now I also have onions, bell peppers, carrots, spinach, cucumbers, rosemary, oregano, garlic chives, and mint. All that, plus I have a couple of peaches left, strawberries and blueberries from picking.
Already this week, we have enjoyed several "all-local" meals featuring all these veggies and grass fed beef with fruit for dessert. My hubby makes fun of my love of that steamer(I don't like seasoning the veggies in it because it is harder to clean--he calls it granny veggies). I just tell him I am a grandma, so what? Add some seasoning to it if you want. Of course, every time I steam veggies, he wants a good portion of everything for himself, so it must not be too bad. Men can be sooo difficult, lol.

Chile said...

Lots of work there, Heather! Does the canned corn come out good? I just cooked three huge pots in the solar oven yesterday, cut the kernels off the cob, and froze them to use in a salad at the CSA in a couple of weeks. I don't want to can those but might try some for myself.

I missed your peach post earlier but want to throw in my two cents. I prefer them frozen, but that's mostly because we don't thaw them completely to eat them. Our special treat growing up was to get a bowl of icy peaches in the summer, only half-thawed. It's still my favorite way to eat peaches.

Heather @ SGF said...

Tammy - You always end up with such an impressive haul :) No one can accuse you of a boring menu with all those goodies...

Chile - Actually, the corn came out GREAT! I'll probably do one more batch next weekend. There's nothing like fresh corn. Mmmm!

Re: peaches. Mine were thawed so I was comparing them to eating fresh. I'll be the frozen ones are great for smoothies too! I'm going to have to break down one of these days and buy a blender... :)

Danger Kitten said...

All that canning looks so satisfying!

Heather @ SGF said...

Danger Kitten - And there's so much left to do. I'll probably do another 2 dozen ears next weekend and probably another 2 batches of beans in the next month or so. Then there's tomatoes (you can never preserve enough of those). I figure with corn, beans, and tomatoes in the pantry, I ought to be able to dress up about any meal. That's the plan anyway.

I've been dehydrating peaches, plums, and blueberries for the last two days. The plums are ok dried. The peaches and blueberries and AWESOME when dried. My $3 garage sale dehydrator is getting a serious workout this week!