Sunday, August 22, 2010


It is a lousy, lousy picture, but all 33 of my jar of tomatoes are there. Many are homegrown. Some have onions and peppers for a nice chili base, some have onions and my own homegrown basil and oregano for spaghetti. Many are just ripe, beautiful, local tomatoes with the steams removes juiced in the food processor and put in jars. No matter which way, the base for 33 different meals are tucked away in my cupboard until needed. There are more canning adventures to share, but I think one product at a time is easier to write about.

The big news, I finally got a job for this year! I will be back in Griffith working in their alternative program while the regular teacher goes on maternity leave. I am so happy to be in one school district for the year, and I am thrilled to be back at Griffith.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dinner tonight

Tonight, we are having eggplant for dinner. Not just any eggplant either. I picked the eggplant, tomatoes, and fresh herbs just a few moments ago. I bought beautiful, fresh cheeses yesterday for tonight's dinner. I can not wait to start cooking and eating!

Added later

I just had to share a pic of the final meal made with my produce. It was the freshest, most delicious meal I have ever had. I got a lot of satisfaction from knowing that the produce was all organic and the result of my own effort.

The meal preparation was labor intensive; however, the simple steps were a good reason to take this meal slow and easy. I enjoyed the process almost as much as the meal.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, August 09, 2010


from left to right
peaches in syrup, peach jelly on top of peach butter, honey spiced peaches, honey spiced syrup

A good friend and I thought it would be a great idea to can some peaches. There is a family owned peach orchard near me that has been in operation for close to 100 years. My mother used to buy peaches there every summer to can. There is no store, stand, or shop. Just a few tables (loaded with peaches) set up in the barn. The barn is no more than 30 yards from the home of the farmer.

The first day we worked together, we got about half a bushel or so of over ripe peaches. They were $16 and far too ripe to can in syrup. So, we opted to make peach butter instead. We were wise enough to not add water to our peaches because they were so juicy. We got 10 half pints of peach butter (each). There were two verities of butter, ginger and amaretto. Both super sweet and yummy. We also had 2 quarts of juice left, which we split. My friend made syrup, and I made 8 half pints of jelly.

Two weeks later, my friend and I buy peaches again. This time, 1 and a half bushels! That's about 75 pounds of peaches! We each got 11 quarts of peaches in a medium syrup, and 10 pints of honey spiced peaches to use as gifts! I also reduced and canned some of the honey spiced syrup because it was so good.

It was an epic canning session that took two days. We peeled, de-stoned, and sliced each peach. We carefully and thoughtfully prepared our syrups (using locally produced honey). We filled our jars, and process them two canners full at a time.

I am pleased to have captured these sweet treats of summer to use this winter in a jar. I am pleased to support local farmers. I am pleased that I have reduced the miles my food has traveled to my plate. It is sustainable. But what really pleases me is the connection to my personal history. I am following in the footsteps of my foremothers, and my own mother. I am connected to my food in a personal way when I can. I am developing a bond with another human being over our food.

Like knitting, canning puts me in touch with the past. It connects me to a basic survival need in a personal way. It connects me with other people.

It is real. It is human. It is basic. It is simple.

Happy Knitting (and canning)!