19 July 2011

What To Do with Summer

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Well, first you eat it. All the summer peaches and corn on the cob and tomatoes and the last of the lettuce in your garden that is wilting in the heat, you eat all that you can. And then when you're done with that, when you've abundantly bought too many things at the market, when your table groans with berries about to go bad, then you preserve it.

You look up every Christine Ferber strawberry jam recipe (here, here) and decide they are all too complicated and you don't have two days to spend making jam, and instead you improvise your own version. Skimming, skimming, skimming the foam off the jam as it cooks ever so slowly. Then canning and preserving for winter.

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You shuck fava beans and freeze them, you make tomato sauce out of those pricey beautiful huge heirloom tomatoes, peeling them, seeding them, chopping, using an old Marcella Hazan recipe. And in the end you discover it tastes like .... tomato sauce.

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Sour cherries are available about 4% of the year (yes, I calculated) and so you buy up all you can, and then you spend so long pitting sour cherries and listening to pod casts that you get a neck cramp. Paul would advise you that sour cherry pie is the "the best thing ever," but I also like sour cherries in savory things like rice pilaf and kebabs.

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And speaking of preserving, this little piece via the New Yorker just lit up my day. The title alone is great: Suicide in the Garden, Murder in the Kitchen.

It's funny how some of the things I've been making are so vibrantly flavored that they almost taste fake--the strawberries so intense they almost taste like imitation flavoring, tomatoes so naturally sweet without any added sugar. Has anyone else noticed this? Back soon with a recipe....

4 comments:

Jennifurla said...

Oh those gorgeous berries.

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

That's a beautiful post! There hasn't been a strawberry here for maybe 10 days! And they're supposed to last until the end of the month. I'm imagining how good your jam must be though, and your kitchen must smell divine.

Amalfin sitruuna said...

Wonderful food blog you have! I have included it into my links but unfortunately my blog is available in Finnish only.

Our summer is also very seasonal with berries and mushrooms. Rhubarbs start our summer, continue with strawberries and now is the blueberry time at its best. We just walk to the nearest forest to pick them up!

My mother-in-law has a small cottage and a garden about hour and a half from our home and we get nearly all our berries from there. Only raspberries are the only ones we buy from the market place - and if we want some blackcurrants or redcurrants.

I usually freeze the berries as they are and if there are "old" berries still in the freeze I make jam of them. As with the lingonberries, too.

Wow, the jam recipies looked difficult. I usually just boil the berries and ordinary sugar gently about 10-15 minutes and let it cool half an our. Bottle it and that's it. Tastes alright :-)

Smartypanties said...

Those pics are beautiful!!!!!!!!!