Emptied, cleaned jars await a trip back down to the canning shelves
Last summer I had no idea where the Ancho peppers I’d been gifted were going to end up, meal-wise. I knew I should simply char them on the barbecue while waiting for the coals to cool enough for other items; I skinned them, seeded them and froze them. Likewise, the posole I made early last fall or one of the dozens of quarts of tomato sauce, or one of the 20 or so pints of Great Northern beans that I had cooked and canned had no particular destiny. And the regular red peppers, jalapenos and sweet corn: blanched, frozen, and waiting, they sat.
It was fun to make chili this weekend, adding to it a browned ground pound of our quarter-cow. It’s March, one of the hungrier months in this northern calendar: we are a long way off from outdoor garden bounty. But all that work last summer has paid off in these delicious, somewhat impromptu wintertime meals shared with family and friends.
El – you have occasionally mentioned 4 Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman. It is a great book – I am so inspired. Thanks for the recommendation.
I have just finished reading your posts. You are inspiring me to get those seeds started. I love doing it, I just have been putting it off. Thanks!
“browned ground pound of our quarter-cow” – say that 10 times fast! 🙂
I just ran into your site the other day–and am so enjoying it! Such an inspiration and like many other readers I have hoop house envy.
This is our first winter with a freezer, and I think I spent the first half of the winter scrimping thinking I had to make things last…now that it’s March and I have seedlings started I’m suddenly overwhelmed by all the food I have to use up 🙂 I find myself working zucchini, sweet corn and tomatoes into every meal much like we did in August.
I grew my first kidney beans last year and had just enough for one batch of chili this weekend. It was a revelation and I spent the rest of the night researching new varieties to grow—and even dreamed about beans. Ah, the madness of a Midwestern gardener at the end of winter, ha!
I haven’t gone into my freezer yet, but I’m already remembering all the effort in the fall and dreaming of what to do with all the veg…. The funny part is that as much as I am waiting for the chance to break into it, a part of me has almost forgotten what to do with a variety of veg! A dish with green beans? What’s that? 😀 But seeing the work pay off is just the motivation needed to keep up the idea of doing it all over again next year….
Angie you are so welcome! I think what is good about that book is that it causes you to “think different” (remember that annoying slogan from Apple computers some years ago?) about the gardens. Extending the seasons can be a radical way to look at the growing world.
Barb, you’re quite welcome for the kick in the butt I mean encouragement! Happy seed starting: spring can’t be too far behind, right?
Andrea I was wondering who’d have fun with that phrase, because I sure did 😉
Sara, those sound like happy dreams to me! (I often dream about beans though so maybe I’m just an odd duck.) You cracked me up with what you’re doing with your veggies now: I hope everyone is receptive! But there is always a bit of a rush here too with finishing off the food before Refilling Season happens again. I usually have a party.
MC, well, if you’ve been holding off for so long then that means you can have one fantastic veg-filled meal. That sounds really good to me! But yeah there is something about waiting to eat the goodies. I had to get myself over that idea: they’re precious, sure, but so is everyday life.