I unboxed all the quart jars this week. For an entire year they sat huddled in a corner of the basement, empty and (I'm quite sure) thoroughly depressed. A whole year without homemade jam or applesauce; months and months without bottled peaches. I ask you, what is a box of jars without peaches? Oh, how I missed those peaches last winter.
So I unboxed the jars on wednesday and hauled the girls to the home of a friend-of-a-friend. Her apple trees were being cut down, and she was looking for a loving home to send the year's harvest. For the first time in my life, I picked apples at a stoop rather than a stretch. But considering I had three young girls along for the picking, ground level access was a decided boon. Less romantic, to be sure, but much more effective.
All day thursday I made applesauce (with my "helpful" little boy reaching for the knife at every turn -- how does he always know just where the knife is when he can't see onto the counter?!?). Friday I passed and then turned back to a farm stand selling local peaches and tomatoes, and just like that a busy saturday became much busier. Tomato sauce, bottled peaches, apple butter, and peach jam, all in the name of a tasty winter.