Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Harvest time has always been a waiting game for farmers. Should I pick that tomato now or give it one more day? Will we have a surprise frost that will ruin all my hard work? What if it suddenly pours down rain and all my tomatoes split open? But once the decision is made to harvest the crops, it's time to work if you want to enjoy the summer's labors. Because you can't actually eat hundreds of pounds of tomatoes at once--or 500 ears of corn. And it's precisely toward the end of September when you see tomato plants with rotting fruits still on the vine that no one could stomach another bite of.
I had such high hopes for this summer, especially after I took the canning class and then fortuitously stumbled upon my Grandma's ancient canner in my Dad's garage. But, aside from the brief burst of strawberry jam that launched this blog, I've found myself with little time or produce to make preserves.
Until last weekend...thank goodness that my Dad took his annual pilgrimage to Fish Lake this year because that means that as he makes his way home, he gets a little phone call begging for some sweet peaches from the sunny part of Washington! What goes for $3.99 a pound in the store is a mere $7.50 for a 20+ pound box!
This year, good ol' Dad was sweet enough to pick up a box of peaches, tomatoes and new crop apples! So I went from wishing that I had a little something to can, to being tied to the stove for nearly a whole day. There was tomato-peach chutney, peach jam, and then jars of canned peaches. I still had enough to make wonderful caprese salad and I'm still hoping to get a peach tart in!
Sit, sit, sit--then work, work, work. Such is the way of harvest. Because good things come to those who hurry up at can that produce!