Thursday, July 3, 2014
Filling the Pantry Shelves
My old friend made her return to the kitchen this week. She will sit comfortably on my stove top for the next few months, called into service after we pick strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and apples from our local farms, forage blackberries from the woods, or harvest cucumbers, green beans and beets from the garden in the backyard. She never complains about her work, even when the heat and humidity creep up to almost unbearable highs. Best of all, she is my partner in crime as I work to put local food on the pantry shelves for the winter ahead. Oh, how I have missed my dear old canning pot.
We hit the strawberry farm last Friday with some friends. There are many strawberry farms in our area, but I drive a little ways to get to this one. I enjoy my conversations with the farmer and his wife, they live a slow simple life on a quiet farm, and best of all, they refuse to use chemicals.
We headed out early to try and beat the sun and the heat, and pretty much had the whole field to ourselves. There was a lot of picking, and a little eating, strawberries fresh from the vine, warmed by the sun are just too hard to pass up. Once back at home, the fun began...some jam making and some freezing. By Saturday afternoon, all but a bowl of strawberries were put up on the pantry shelves and in the freezer, ready to help sustain us during the long, cold winter ahead.
This is just the beginning, and I have a feeling it is going to be a pretty good canning season.