Monday, October 3, 2011

into october

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.

Saturday evening our round of fall birthday celebrations belatedly began, complete with requisite piƱata in the neighborhood tree.

Happy birthday my boys. Consider the peaches an extra gift.


  1. Happy Birthday to Bryan and Isaac.

  2. Cutting down her apple trees?? I'm glad you made use of their harvest one last time. There was a box of free wormy apples outside of J's school on Thursday, so into the back of the bike trailer it went and by evening's end we had a vat of applesauce. Now if I can just get my hands on some peaches...

    Your jarred produce is lovely. And, as always, I'm amazed at how much you get done.

    Did you buy a tomato press? How is it working out for you? I've lost the rubber gasket for mine at some point, so we had plenty of leakage this last applesauce making session. But that sure is a nifty contraption.

    Speaking of which, while I was using the press for making applesauce, I was wondering if it would work for removing the outer skins of cooked chick peas. I've been told that homemade hummus is that much better to warrant an afternoon of popping the skins off. But if I could just shoot the beans through the machine, I'd be much more inclined to make some really excellent hummus.

  3. I'll pass along the birthday wishes. Thanks gals.

    I don't know about chick peas in the tomato press (which I did indeed purchase, and which I inordinately love) -- I've always made the hummus in the food processor attachment for my blender. And yes, it is excellent. Unbelievable, even.

    I'm so impressed with all your trailering. With an extra baby in tow most days, I'm less inclined to go by bike (or go anywhere, for that matter). I really need to get a move on, literally.

  4. I'm going to try my hand at apples, peaches and pears next week (after a stop at a farm in Western Mass). Any recipes/advice/wisdom for a first timer?

  5. So jealous. I keep saying 'next fall' I will can again. And there goes another season. But I just got released, so maybe it really will happen next year.