Entries categorized "local food"

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

Last year we only found a few wild grapes here & there. It had been a hot and rainy summer. This summer was cooler and dryer and the grapes must have liked that a little better because they are hanging in heavy clusters from their vines on the trails behind our house and alongside the road. I fight the urge to travel with a ladder and pull over to pick them. Somehow I'm thinking winding new england roads and crazy woman with a ladder spell out accident waiting to happen. We did walk the trail behind our house and pick some from a few spots. I'm sure the birds enjoy them too, so we left plenty for them. We ended up with almost 20 pounds. Enough for a double batch of grape jam. The guy of the house was rather excited about this, having grown up making forts in the woods behind his house and eating his own weight in wild grapes every summer in upstate New York. Late into the evening I cooked the grapes down with a bit of sugar, just enough for a hint of sweetness. They never did quite jell, so I added a small amount of Pomona's to give the jam a soft set. It's not the color of the grape jelly we grew up with.... and nowhere near the cloying sweetness. The taste is right on though, with a hint of tartness just like eating the grapes fresh. I was so happy the jam retained their pungent heavenly scent as well. The kids like it on pb&j sandwiches. I like it on crackers with some soft goat cheese. Delicious either way, for sure. 

Another canning post... yes I know. Apples are coming soon....

xo~

s

 


in which this becomes a canning blog.....

in which this becomes a canning blog.....

in which this becomes a canning blog.....

in which this becomes a canning blog.....

in which this becomes a canning blog.....

in which this becomes a canning blog.....

I could have probably stopped in to write you once or twice this week.

It would have been the same thing every day. I blanched this, peeled that, pickled those and put them in a jar. Hot water bathed them all and listened to the pop-pop-pop of the jars sealing after I plucked them from the bubbling water. Hours upon hours worth of it. Every day. For the past two weeks. I think I have an addiction...

I'm not really cool enough to be a canning blog. (But Marisa sure is if you're looking for one) My canned pantry is expanding though, and I've had to buy jars three times in the last ten days. Also, why oh why is it impossible to find those simple half pint wide mouth jars. Can. Not. Locate. And I refuse to pay Amazon two bucks a piece for them. The wide mouth are my favorite because they are so freaking practical. Easy to clean & stable when stacked several high. Back to the food part though....

In the last few days I have made :

raspberry jam

peach lavender jam

spicy dilled beans

spicy basil pickled eggplant

spicy curry pickled carrots

zucchini relish

wild grape jam (which I'll show you pictures of soon. wanna be canning blog lady that I am)

With the excpetion of the raspberries that I got on sale at the grocery store, everything else was local. This makes me geek out with happiness. Quite by accident, all my recent recipes have come from Tart & Sweet (pictured) it's a good one. I just picked up Food in Jars from the library and I adore it. I have pear butter cooking in the crock-pot right now. Yum! 

Do you have a favorite canning blog or book? Do share, I'd love to check it out.

Off to start (yet another) hot water bath....

 

xo,

s

 

ps - thank you for the sweet words on my last post. my do they grow quickly.....

 


blueberries this year.......

blueberries this year.......

blueberries this year.......

blueberries this year.......

blueberries this year.......

blueberries this year.......

blueberries this year.......

blueberries this year.......

I felt guilty clicking on the farm's facebook page after I booked my ticket home.

Maybe I'll catch the tail end of blueberry season, I thought.

I had read before leaving it would be a bumper crop. I hoped the cool summer might make the season last longer. Turns out it did.

We made it out to the farm twice. I love it there. Quiet. Peaceful. Meditative. You berry pickers know.

The first time the younger two and I went alone and we picked 26 pounds in an hour and a half. They were done after the first hour, but I convinced them to help me finish up the last bucket. Okay, convince might be a stretch. I bribed them with a coffee shop visit before the fourty minute trip home. Amazing what kids will do for a cocoa and cookie. As we left the farm, the kids discovered sour cherries and picked a handful each.... squealing with puckered faces as they gobbled them up. 

The next time Joe came too and we took three of ours plus two extras. (the girls had friends come along.)

One of the big girl's friends was perplexed as to why anyone needed this many blueberries. With a straight face I told her we were preparing for the zombie apocalypse. For a minute I think she beleived me. She had watched Joe & I can fifty pounds of tomatoes the evening before and we do have chickens & bees. My girls burst out laughing.... thank goodness.... and said something about best homemade jam and putting gallons of berries in the freezer

While we picked, the big girls wandered away from us and sang show tunes the entire time. I went looking for them at the end and another picker asked, are you looking for two very theatrical young women? I told him yes and he pointed me in the right direction. He and his family had gotten quite a kick out of them performing and simultaneously picking blueberries. We picked 33 pounds between the 7 of us in just under two hours that morning.

Bringing the total to 59 pounds this year.

7 gallons in the freezer. 7 pints of blueberry-lemon-honey sauce. 16 pints and 7 half pints of blueberry-lemon-honey jam (recipe in this lovely book!). 

My corner in the basement is being filled little by little with canned goods. It's a ton of work. For sure. And not my favorite on the hottest of days.

But blueberries don't wait.

xo,

s

 


summer's end......

Joe left for work yesterday and then came back inside to place one red leaf on the counter.

Autumn is on it's way.

Last summer was so hot and humid I swear it was late September before it felt like fall. Now I can hear it in the rustling of the leaves..... you know that sound? The nights are getting cooler too.... and I need a sweatshirt on in the morning to cut the chill. I'm going to blink and the whole yard will look like this. I can't help but feel sort of cheated, having been gone all summer... like I didn't get the chance to soak up the sun I love so much. Oh, those lazy hot days in the hammock.....

Now here we are nearly at the end, full swing into picking and preserving things from our garden and the farm we get our CSA from. We've canned 50 quart jars of whole tomatoes and there are two 30 pound boxes waiting to be turned into sauce and salsa over the next two days. I froze 7 gallons of blueberries and another 2-3 gallons are waiting to be made into jam. Calendula from the garden is drying for some medicine making when things are less busy. Four 1/2 gallons of salsa are fermenting in the basement. A couple 1/2 gallons of liquor are in the works (blueberry & peppermint). The kitchen is a constant mess of something being diced and chopped and blanched and peeled and tucked into jars or freezer bags......

summer's end......

summer's end......

summer's end......

summer's end......

summer's end......

Tell me..... what's going on in your kitchen these days?

xo,

s

 

 


csa share :: week 19 + random weekend link love......

csa share :: week 19 + random weekend link love......

csa share :: week 19 + random weekend link love......

csa share :: week 19 + random weekend link love......

csa share :: week 19 + random weekend link love......

 

This week's farm share included::

lettuce * potatoes * carrots * bell peppers * leeks * choi * radish * acorn squash * mizuna

arugula * kohlrabi * sage * parsley * hot peppers * veronica cauliflower * tomatoes * carnival squash

 

Yep, I skipped sharing the bounty last week. I picked up our veggies much later in the day and ended up with a flat tire on the way home. In the dark. Joe rescued us. We arrive home dirty and ready for a beer. Some days are like that. I'm sure you have them too.

This week's share is awesome, as usual. We've been eating potato leek soup and roasted veggies. I sneak some roasted veggies out of the pan to save for salads the next day. A bed of arugula, leftover quinoa, roasted veggies, feta cheese, and a simple dressing made from whole grain mustard + olive oil + a bit of water to thin. It's seriously good stuff!

Heard from a little mouth this week, "are we really having soup again?" (and then they ate two bowls of it.) I'm trying to convince them beans and chili are not soup. They are a different meal entirely. Especially when you add rice. I don't think they're buying it.

 

Pre-Order - 300 x 300

In other news, I have something exciting to share with you! I contributed two pieces to the newest Family E-Guide that Liz of A Natural Nester pulled together. Celebrations of Light. It's a really lovely collection of winter celebrations & crafts from a talented group of folks, I'm pretty flattered to be one of them. The pre-orders have begun and the delivery of the book begins November 8th. If you do purchase it through the link above, I get a small portion of the sale. (thank you!) We had great fun with the summer camp e-book this year & I highly recommend printing it up and putting it into a binder for an easy screen free reference as you explore the projects. A lovely sample of what you might find inside the pages can be seen here.

some other link love bits.......

:: We signed up to participate in this Nature Exchange. Take a peek & explore the incredible new space created by Annie & Dawn. (who, by the way, are some of my favorite people) 

:: For the budding little herbalist in your house.

:: This cap. *Swoon*

:: More kid president. Because he makes life awesome. And he made up the word "studenting". I love that.

:: Making me wish there were a few more hours in the day. Oh these are so beautiful.

I'm off to start sanding with the cute sailor boy I live with. Maybe I'll have a freshly painted room to share by next week? A girl can hope.

Have a lovely weekend~~~~

xo,

s

 

 


csa share :: week 17

csa share :: week 17

 

csa share :: week 17

 

csa share :: week 17

 

This week's farm share included::

leeks, kale, cabbage, broccoli, beets, radish, turnips, parsley, cilantro, sage

dumpling squash, potatoes, peppers, lettuce, arugula, carrots, tomatoes

 

On the menu this week::

sweet dumpling bisque + salad & spelt rolls, shepard's pie with farm potatoes & salad

the bacon cabbage pasta from week 15 (it's so good!), roasted veggies & brown rice (a winter staple)

 

Worth Trying::

curried leek & apple soup  *  smoky lentil & winter squash tacos

twice baked blue cheese and quinoa sweet potato with maple-mustard arugula salad

 

Not really CSA related, but still yummy looking::

gingersnap granola  *  grain free pumpkin spice dutch baby  *  at home flu shots

 

Happy local eating!

xo,

s

 

 


csa share :: week 16

csa share :: week 16

 

csa share :: week 16

 

csa share :: week 16

 

csa share :: week 16

 

Week 16 Farm Share included::

pac-choi * collards * chinese cabbage * broccoli * eggplant * sweet dumpling squash * green beans

blue potatoes * cilantro * oregano * sage * beets * onions * carrots * hot peppers * 4 pounds of tomatoes

 

We've been eating a lot of stir fry lately. I've been making a quick curry sauce on the side. Half of us love it, the other half want soy sauce. (Bragg) I love chick peas in stir fry, but my youngest is not a fan. So more often than not, it's just a giant pile of veggies & rice. Roasted veggies are back on the weekly list of dinners too. Sometimes with a roasted chicken and sometimes with rice. I love having a few scoops left over to reheat the following night with rice, black beans, & sauteed greens for some really yummy burritos or rice bowls.

Which reminds me, if you add a bit of water to a 1/4 cup of nutritional flakes. Enough to make it a thin sauce. And then add paprika, cumin, & salt.... it makes a really delicious sauce to pour over rice bowls or inside burritos. Yum!

 

Some delicious recipes to try::

Roasted Veggies with Browned Butter & Pasta

Pan Seared Walleye & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Roasted Tomato Pasta

Collard Green Veggie Wraps

 

We're hoping to find a place to pick apples today with our friend visiting! Hello applesauce making this weekend! And an apple pie. For sure......

Happy local eating!

xo,

s

  

ps ~ Thank you for all your kind words on yesterday's post. xoxo~



food, life, work.......

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

This morning I forgot how to make oatmeal.

I poured 6 cups of water + 6 cups of oats into the pot and only then realized something was not quite right.

Our CSA this week saved me from making a trip to the grocery store and has provided us with nourishing healthy meals all week. Standby easy food. Roasted Veggies & Chicken. Stir Fried Veggies and Rice. Smoothies. Soup. Speaking of which, if you're local you can sign up for the fall share here.

I've been up late everyday this week. Sewing. Dyeing. Sewing. See those new bags? And the fantastic sample packs from Stubby Pencil Studio? I reached out to Kate for business cards to share, Stubby Pencil Studio is our favorite art supply source, and she sent me those. Fantastic, right? I love them.

But, it's been busy. My to-do list is larger than my time list, as always. This time around I'm being a little wiser. Giving myself a midnight curfew and letting go of things that just can't be done. There are still books to read, and math to do, children to hug, animals to feed, birthdays to celebrate. A lot of balancing to be done to keep things going as steady as possible in a busy time. 

Yes, birthdays. See that huge "kid" in the last photo? He turned 17 this week. Seventeen..... oh my.

xo,

s

 


csa share :: week 13 (and the truth about tomatoes)

csa share :: week 13 (and the truth about tomatoes)

 

csa share :: week 13 (and the truth about tomatoes)

 

csa share :: week 13 (and the truth about tomatoes)

 

This weeks farm share included:

tomatoes (slicers + cherry) * turnips * potatoes * onions * peppers (bell + hot) * lettuce * beans

golden beets * chinese cabbage * green onions * arugula * kale * oregano * thyme 

 

After we checked off most of what was on our homeschooling to do list this morning, I spent the rest of the day chopping tomatoes. Somewhere in between batches of roasted tomatoes, I roasted some eggplant for this dip. It's really the best thing ever to do with eggplant. Yes, I've mentioned it before, yes it's really that good. Also, I secretly love that it is a bit too garlicky for three out of six house members..... because that means the other three out of six house members enjoy a really delicious treat.

But really. Today was all about the tomatoes. Our farm warned that it might be the last chance to buy bulk tomatoes and I just couldn't pass it up. Even though the response from Joe was something like.... "seriously?"


csa share :: week 13 (and the truth about tomatoes)

 

We have put up 130+ pounds of tomatoes this year. That does not include what we've eaten from our farm share, only the extra we've purchased. The fermented salsa turned out fantastic too! So good that I am making another half gallon tomorrow, which will finish of this week's 40 pounds of tomatoes from the farm. Today we made 11 quarts of roasted tomato sauce. Which I know will be devoured and loved when I make fresh pasta this winter with eggs from our hens. And then Joe will look at me and say "seriously" again.... but it will mean something much sweeter and completely different.

Speaking of hens. I have also put up 19 quarts of canned salsa. Which has everything to do with fresh eggs. Because I could never grow tired of salsa + eggs every day. So, so, good.

I'm watching the timer count down to finish off the granola I also made today. Because, yes. I am crazy. Also, I am tired of oatmeal. So in three minutes I will scurry upstairs to bed..... far after everyone else. And I need to remember to leave Joe a note to remind him the granola is in the oven when he tumbles out of bed at 4:30 tomorrow.... because if I don't, you know what he'll say when he gets home. 

"You mean I forgot about the granola.... seriously?!"

See you tomorrow afternoon for part one of the coop tour.

Goodnight.

xoxo~

 


csa share :: week 12 (and random bits of news)

csa share :: week 12 (and random bits of news)

 

csa share :: week 12 (and random bits of news)

 

csa share :: week 12 (and random bits of news)

 

csa share :: week 12 (and random bits of news)

 

This week's share from the farm included:

 

cherry tomatoes * 8 pounds of slicing tomatoes * eggplants * cucumbers * radishes * potatoes *

beans * carrots * beets * onions * arugula!! * savoy * parsley

 

I brought home twenty pounds of tomatoes this week and every bit of it has been turned into salsa. I've got a gallon fermenting on the basement stairs. Similar to Rachel's recipe here, minus the whey because I read you can do it with just salt. I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

On the menu this weekend, grilled white fish smothered in salsa. 

Speaking of Rachel's salsa, her regular canning recipe has been my go-to for two seasons now. Minus the sugar and cumin. I added a half tsp of chipotle to the last batch. It's a super delicious thick salsa. So good!

The last photo proves that my children have not yet tired of Kettle Pond's amazing sweet cherry tomatoes. Those little orange ones are the best. They devour them every week.

This week..... I would love for you guys to share a link to a great seasonal recipe below. C'mon.... tell me what you're eating....

I've got a ton to tell you tomorrow.... I'm really going to show up here, I promise. I know it's been quiet. The big kids started school Tuesday and things have been so busy the last week. Like, ridiculously crazy....

Awesome friends in town-learning to run a wood chipper-building a chicken coop-first day of high school-getting ready for this-making education plans to submit to the state for the younger two. (Seriously, I did run the wood chipper and use more electric power tools in the last week than in the last ten years.) Yep. That kind of busy.

See you soon.

xo,

s