Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Feeling a Bit Like a Squirrel

Handsome Son amongst the tall trees.

Okay, Canners everywhere! Repeat after me!

"I am NOT a hoarder. I am NOT a hoarder..."

This fall I have been doing a lot of canning. It seems I am cooking down tomatoes for sauce like every minute I am home. I don't know how many times I set an alarm on my way out of the house lately and leave the parting words with Handsome Son, "Remember to take the tomato sauce out of the hot water bath and turn off the stove when the alarm goes off!"

My sister-in-law lent me her Foley food mill and it is very slick way to make sauce simply by washing and quartering the tomatoes, boiling them away and running them through her food mill.

It has also been a great way to process apple sauce.

She also lent me her five tray dehydrator. I have made some of the prettiest "sun-dried" tomatoes I ever saw from the Roma-style heirloom Opalkas that have been more than bountiful this summer. Some of these I stored in glass jars with a few grains of rice, others I submerged in olive oil with garlic or basil, or both.

I have also dried apple slices and experimented with a summer squash dried, salted, and herbed as a possible snack choice.

I still have potatoes to harvest. My goal was minimally 250 pounds. We planted about 90 hills between my potager here in town and the 75 hills at the family garden. We have been digging them all along since about mid-August. One of the twins jumped and shouted, "apples!" when the first 'Red Norland' popped from the ground.

I harvested about seven pounds from a couple hills here of 'Yukon Gold'. Almost too good to use so blatantly, I made french fries and hash browns from them. I cut the fries by hand and deep-fried them for Handsome Son.

He has started running and shooting around on his own after school in preparation for taking on the "tall trees" on the basketball court. Last season, nearly all our starters did not play football. In a small school conference, where the same kids meet up with the same kids from each school in every season playing a different game, that was unusual.

This year while the rest of his squad is fighting it out on the football field, Handsome Son shoots around with the younger brothers of his last year's starting squad, the "big man" surrounded by the shadows of last year's guards and forwards.

Fall is all about preparation and hoarding our resources. Instead of the Wildcats, maybe our mascot should be a squirrel.

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