Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Earning my keep

 August is the month I probably physically work the hardest.  May is also in the running, but my feet are telling me that August is the month when I earn my keep around here.

After hearing about Rosa's moldy cucumbers, I decided I wanted to make some pickles this year.  We still have pickles from 2008, my first year of pickles.  We are very slow to eat them because I was a bit too liberal with the jalapenos.  Yvon is usually our pickle maker.  I didn't try again until last year and the combination of largish cucumbers and a low-vinegar recipe made for some disappointing soggy, bland pickles.  I went a bit on the scared side of the jalapenos last year.  Time to try again.  I made 14 pints of pickles from Farm's Market cukes and we'll see in 2 weeks how they turned out.  I used a recipe that was more vinegary and more jalapeno-y (although less than circa 2008).

I also made some awesome sauerkraut one year and wanted to do that again.  Cabbages were only $1 each at the market, so I picked up three of them (and further convinced myself to forget about growing them again).  Sauerkraut is now fermenting in a crock in the basement.  That's the easiest thing to make every.  I do wish I liked it more.  I make it mostly for Yvon, but I eat the odd bite as well.

And now it's cherry time. 

I don't really have a regular source of free cherries.   I thought I'd be doing without this year, but I found an ad on Kijiji.  As many cherries as we could pick from three trees, but we had to drive an hour out of town.  If you've seen a mature Evans Cherry tree you know how many cherries that is!  Well worth the drive.  And it was a pretty drive through the country.

I picked twice as much as I thought we needed, thinking I'd be sharing the haul with a friend in exchange for the use of her cherry pitter.  It turned out that she scored cherries of her own and I had two Superstore bins FULL of cherries with no shelf life.  All day we pitted and processed and there is still a bit more to do. 

So far:  10 dehydrator trays full
             2 cookie sheets in the freezer
             6 pints of juice
             13 quarts of pie filling (likely for crisps)
             13 pints of canned cherries in syrup

I think I still have enough for another 10 trays in the dehydrator.  If I don't buy any Craisins this year for baking and granola, that will be a good thing.  Last year we used the Romance Series Cherries and dried them for the first time and wished we'd done more.  They were tart and yummy. 

Hopefully the cherries make up for our general lack of raspberries and saskatoons this year.  And as I munch on my chips right now, I'm thinking it's nice to have some fresher, healthier snack options in the house. 

No comments: