Sunday, September 21, 2008

More produce to process

The pears we picked at the beginning of September are ripening. I spread them out in a single layer on some sheets of cardboard in an outbuilding at my mom's and everytime I go to her house I check their status. Have been bringing a few pounds home each trip and the dehydrator's been running every day as I dry cored, quartered but unpeeled pears. I really like doing pears this way as the worst part for me is dealing with the peeling on a pear. The dried pears make a sweet snack in winter right out of the jar. We pack a lunch for the homeschool co-op we participate in and dried pears, nectarines or peaches are perfect to throw in the lunch bag for the three of us.

For helping a friend stack hay for an hour or two on Friday DH received a bushel of freestone peaches. Those I'm dipping in boiling water to skin, halving and pitting them and stacking zip bags in the freezer. They make great additions to yogurt fruit smoothies -- one of our favorite quick breakfast fixes. If I have too many for the freezer, I think I'll make peach preserves. Last winter we ran out of the jars I put up a couple of years ago. Will make a nice change from the rhubarb-strawberry preserves put up this spring.

DH and I picked three bushels of apples on Friday afternoon and turned about half a bushel into fresh applesauce that evening. We gave a bucketful of apples to my mom for fried apples and the rest will keep for a while so I'll work on making more applesauce over the next couple of weeks. The apples came from a friend who has eight overgrown trees in her side yard. I was glad to get them as our old apple tree came down in a windstorm this spring and tho we planted several new ones this spring they won't start producing for a few years. We took a big bowl of applesauce to an annual homeschool picnic Saturday and I overheard one of the mother's telling her little boy that was "real applesauce." I'm not sure what that means they normally eat...

DH picked the last of our corn this morning and we had most of it for lunch today. Matter of fact, except for the fresh applesauce, that's ALL we had for lunch. Yum! Hate to see the last of it. What was left, I cut from the cob and will have tomorrow. Maybe reheated with a little butter and some lemon pepper or DS is requesting corn fritters. I have errands lined up all morning tomorrow so it depends on how fast I can get back home as to how it will show up on the menu.

Bugs found our second planting of green beans but aren't doing too much damage. Not enough beans to can but I snapped the bowlful and cooked them with a few new potatoes. DS can eat green beans every day and I love them like this with chopped sweet onion sprinkled over top. DH doesn't care for the potatoes when cooked with green beans but I go light on them so he can spoon up just beans if he wants.

There weren't enough tomatoes to bother canning either so I dipped them in boiling water after I finished with the peaches and pulled off the skin, cored and chopped them. Along with a few garlic cloves, a chopped onion and carrot, they made a fresh-cooked tomato sauce for a pan of baked ziti. DH lobbied for fresh salsa but was happy with the ziti. Our cilantro loves the cooler days and, if past years are a measure, we'll have fresh cilantro till January so I promised he won't miss out on more fresh salsa.


Ivory Soap said...

WOW that's a lot of produce! How big is your garden?

Carolyn said...

It's hard to describe the actual growing area because it's made up of raised and small row beds separated by grass strips. Overall growing space probably hovers around 50x100-ft but that doesn't include the perennial beds with asparagus, rhubarb, etc. nor strawberries and other fruit. Here's a link to a post with pictures of the garden from this spring.

We like to squeeze plants in all over the place on the theory that if there's enough room to support a weed, something useful could grow there instead. :-D