Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Settling In

Fall is upon us and as much as I try to deny it, the growing season is done for another year. Some years we get lucky and warm temps continue well into October and the summer crops linger for bit. Last year I ate my last fresh tomato salad in November! This year we've gone straight from 30 degree days to temperatures in the teens or lower, and the gardens are pretty much done. The remaining tomatoes are ever so slowly ripening but there are many left on the vines that won't make it before the first frost. I've been picking some under ripe to finish inside but the flavour is never quite the same.

Preserving is slowing down as well, but I still have a lot to do: I've yet to make salsa verde with my tomatillos, there are still apples and pears to finish, hot sauce to make, and I froze some peaches and plums for more jam making now that the kitchen isn't too hot to move in. And the farmer's markets are teeming with produce that I don't grow (yet!), like cauliflower and leeks. I still need to roast more peppers while they are cheap and I never make pickled beets or carrots until after first frost- they seem sweeter to me then. Thankfully most of this can be done gradually over the next month or so.

I'm also working on some fermentation projects this year for the first time.In the summer I pickled grape leaves using a lacto fermentation method with great results. More recently I accidently fermented some grape juice that is well on it's way to vinegar now. I'll post more on these and other things like kimchi in another post.

So now it's time to slow down a bit and even tho I wish it were otherwise I've been forced to concede. A spectacular rodeo dismount ( accidental of course!) from my bike has left me with a broken right wrist and the resulting cast has made me halt the hectic pace. I can still do most things but I'm much slower at the moment- it's a good reminder that I am not invincible. It's also a great excuse to curl up in a chair with a blanket, a good book and a mug of tea.

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