Sunday, August 29, 2010

August Recap

Growing up August was my least favorite month. It was hot, dry, and school and fall were moving in too fast. While I was raising my sons, August was the month of last vacations, hot weather, and getting ready for school. August now is a month of happenings. The garden is in full swing, and the weather is good enough for friends to start outside entertaining. August now is also a FAST month, flying by too fast.

Just last weekend alone, we had an event going on each evening, getting together with friends and family to celebrate love, kitchens, and good fortunes, and to eat really good food. It's taken me a week to become "unfull."

I feel overwhelmed and blessed with such a fruitful harvest, not just in the produce we have been growing, but in friendship and family, and the accompanying love.

We've been picking and freezing marionberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. Several weeks ago I did my marionberry freezer jam, which for me is the primary reason we planted the marionberries. Last weekend David and I shucked and froze 33 ears of Yakima corn. Shucking this corn is definitely an outside project as we had cornsilk everywhere.
I did the shucking and David did the cleaning of cornsilk, so it went pretty quickly.
Then in to the kitchen to blanch and prep for freezing. I love the way the yellow brightens up when the corn is blanched.
After blanching, the corn has to go immediately in ice water to cool down, and to close up the cells on the kernels so they will keep in the flavor while frozen.
After the chilling, a good air drying is needed to keep frost to a minimum.
All bagged up and ready for the deep freeze. This will make for good eating this winter.
All of the onions have been harvested and cleaned up for winter storage. This year we planted the all time favorite Cobra, a wonderful yellow storage onion.
Red Mars onion, which also stores quite nicely.

And then the Cippolini onions which are pretty funky looking, but store well, and have a great flavor when cooked.
The onions were set out to cure for two weeks, and this weekend I cleaned then all and they are now ready for storage, together with the garlic.
This weekend I picked the first of the Blue Lake bush beans (yum), more zucchini and yellow squash, dug up some potatoes for eating for a couple of weeks, froze strawberries and blueberries, and am off to pick broccoli for tonight's dinner.

Next up, tomatoes. In this part of the country tomatoes are a fall crop, and they are starting to ripen.
I'll be canning and freezing tomatoes and tomato sauce over Labor Day weekend, and loving every minute of it.

Yes, August is a good month. A month of many blessings.

On a final note, however, we say good bye to a dear friend, a kind man, and a treasured neighbor. Rest in peace dear Charlie, we will miss you and we thank you for wonderful memories of a wonderful man.



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