Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September madness (also known as canning/harvesting/picnicking/holy-crap-I-only-have-3-weeks-to-do-everything-I-said-I’d-do-over-summer season)

(The front yard harvest)

September in Santa Cruz is a glorious thing. The weather is beautiful, the fog disappears for a bit (before the rain rolls in for winter), and the produce goes crazy, so everyone has been busy making the most of the last few weeks before students reappear and the pace of life jumps up a few notches.
(Dai captures the Dinner Harem on film. How does he do it?)

It is harvest season, and as the old saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But I don’t have lemons, just a whole lot of asian pears. I’ve never heard of pear-ade (I’m sure it exists by now). So instead Rachel and I made a day of canning other pear products.
(Rachel on quality control duty)(if only I knew how to juggle....)

I’ve never canned anything in my life. My only training came about a month ago, when I helped Sora can various peach foodstuffs (salsa and jam). I will admit to being very inspired by how hard it didn’t seem, and by reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I highly recommend it, but be prepared to start spending a lot more time in the kitchen. She can even inspire a person to want to make their own cheese. I’ll save that adventure for a later date however.
(the stove, hard at work)

The grand tally came to ~10 quarts of pear chunks, 6 pints of pear jam, and about 3 pints of pear puree. Oops, I think I just gave away Christmas.
Things I learned:
1: the house gets really warm when you have the stove on all day in September.
2: Hearing the POP that tells you the cans sealed is very satisfying.
3: Having a few cans that DON’T pop is even more satisfying because then you get to quality-control the goods (pear jam is really good on waffles).
4: Pear puree tastes just like applesauce, but you don’t have to add any sugar.
5: And last but not least, you sleep really well after a day of canning, assuming you left the skylight open to let out all the warm air.

1 comment:

Swenson said...

YUM! You inspire me, Katie!