Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stockpiling the Fruits of the Season

I am well-poised for October 1st. I am in the midst of making grape juice right now (more about that, and a delightful discovery, in an upcoming blog) and today bought 2 bushels of apples: 1 of Stayman Winesaps (my absolute favorite apple--and imagine my surprise and delight to find them in our little valley after spending a great deal of energy tracking them down for 10 plus years in New York and New Hampshire). I also got a bushel of JonaGolds which I thought might be good mixed with the Staymans for applesauce to can.

We also got 3 bushels of local butternut squash that we will steam, mash and butter and season before canning or freezing it. We all love squash and my husband and I enjoy our annual fall ritual of putting up the squash. I've never canned it before and may do that to save on freezer space.

I'm also setting up a bread-baking operation again, too. It is hard to find good bread around here and my family likes a variety of types from whole grain to sourdough to just really good white. Our local Mennonite bulk foods store, Sunny Valley (formerly Nolt's), has just opened a bakery and their bread is good and reasonably priced. But I enjoy making it--all varieties--and just got out of the habit.

I might just do a daily report on what I prepare from what I have (and what I buy in terms of food) with recipes as warranted. But no promises...maybe just weekly recaps.

In the meantime, I'm reading more again in the evenings and enjoy that. More about books at Cupcake Chronicles where a certain Cupcake is mighty glad that October is almost here as it is Edith Wharton month!

As our Edie (Cupcake) posted yesterday, Edith Wharton once wrote:

My ruling passions:

Justice, Order, Dogs, Books, Flowers, Architecture, Travel, A good joke--and perhaps that should have come first.

[I would personally have to add to the list: children, husbands, food and not necessarily in that order. I don't believe Edith Wharton ever married or had children but I may stand corrected!]

Stay tuned and happy harvest ~



Anonymous said...

I look forward to hearing what else you stockpile. My canner has been in storage all summer, so I am really missing the opportunity to preserve. There's something so satisfying about preserved food!

No, I don't think Edith Wharton ever did marry, and had a pretty dim view of men, marriage, and motherhood.

Goodwife H.

a Cupcake near you! said...

Goodwife! Thanks for your comment and welcome to the pantry!

And I know what you mean about storage/boxes from a move--my canner is "somewhere" so for now I'm having to borrow one. I did ask my husband when he was back in NH with the final packing that he put the canners, etc. at the very back of the truck. No such luck! But he was so overwhelmed with lots to do and many helpers so I can't complain--I'll find them eventually.

All best to you,


Anonymous said...

I love your blog & I love your book so much that I've finally come out of the shadows to post a comment! You're not only an inspiration but a kindred spirit. My upcoming weekend (God willing) will be full of grape juice making, red/green pepper freezing, applesauce making & green bean freezing so it was great to hear about your preserving activities. This past week, an elderly neighbor brought over 35# of pears & I've given some away but now I have to do SOMETHING with the rest~any ideas? By the way, your post on being pulled both ways as a woman, between today & old times struck such a chord with me. Thank you so much for sharing all you do! Debbie

Catherine said...

Hi Debbie and thanks for posting ~ I hope you will do that more often. It is so gratifying to have people who read my blog and enjoy it.

Mmm, 35 pounds of pears! Well, canning comes to mind and pear butter is good. I wonder if they freeze well? (like peaches) Unfortunately they need to be peeled and I don't believe par boil as easily peaches, when, dipped in hot water and then cool, can slip their skins quite easily.

Check back and I'll do some searching!

All best, Catherine

Katie said...

Oh, I think I'll have to bake some bread today! Have you tried Anadama bread? Yummy, good crumb, easy.

My mom used to make applesauce and freeze it. Just loved it -- so fresh tasting. She canned lots of other foods, but also used the freezer a great deal. I did freeze some oven-dried tomatoes this year but that's it. Maybe there's still time to do applesauce. . . .

Thanks for your inspiration.

Catherine said...

Hi Katie,

I have never made anadama bread myself but do like it as I love cornmeal and molasses as ingredients in most any baked good!

As for applesauce, it is never too late with apples available almost year round in the grocery stores. However, I like to support local growers and usually put up a bushel or two of applesauce every fall, anywhere between now and Thanksgiving. Besides, my favorite apple, the Stayman Winesap, is an October apple and a good keeper so, if properly stored in a cool cellar, you can even make fresh applesauce into the winter.

I will post more about this later on.