It’s another In-Between Sunday. Sundays are my busiest: four of my six CSA subscribers get their deliveries on Monday, the Loven is firing, and there (as ever) seems to be a lot that needs harvesting and processing.
It’s a full-on sensory experience, the weekend harvesting and cooking. The smells and sights are sometimes taken for granted. Other things, though, require the ears, and some actually require a bit of sensory deprivation.
So I stand at the butcher block, goggled eyes and gloved hands separating about 20 red serrano peppers from their seeds and membranes. Today I’m making this year’s hot sauce. This year, it has peaches in it, because, well, why not?
I stand, listening to Harry Shearer, and think about how much busier I will be next weekend. I haven’t sat down all day and it’s 4:30 in the afternoon: it’s, in other words, a fairly typical Sunday for me. Next week, though, the apples and the grapes will be ready. I need to put the little crops away like all this hot sauce. There won’t be time when the juicing and the cidering and the saucing starts.
We grow in pairs (Asiminia triloba)
Little crops: it was a bit of a surprise, but our pawpaw trees are producing fruit! Never heard of a pawpaw? More of us should grow them. I lovingly took our one ripe fruit to a group event yesterday, passed out some of the creamy flesh, then promptly ate the rest of it myself. Supposedly they take about 14 years to fruit but ours have been in the ground for only 5. Black blossoms graced its midsection this spring; I held little hope. Don’t doubt a native tree, I guess. We harvested three Hass avocado-sized pawpaws this year. I can’t begin to tell you how lovely this one fruit was. They should be more widely cultivated, though I can see why they are not: the beautiful seeds took up most of the cavity.
As I sit listening to Shearer’s weekly outrages, I am listening to the Loven’s fire crackle. Five loaves are rising in their pans: I am thankful it’s cool, slowing their expansion, because the wood is taking a long time to burn down. There’s not much you can do to hurry that wood, though my husband has stuck a small fan in front of the open oven door. It happens on occasion, but sometimes the loaves fall before the oven is ready. Sigh.
I also listen to the Close-Enough Cassoulet bubbling in its pot. Six types of nearly-dry beans got harvested from the garden early this morning, making a trip in the cast-iron pot with bacon ends and onions/garlic and bundle of fines herbes. Now it’s almost time to drop in the chicken legs and locally produced Mettwurst. I set it on the stove to a light boil: this Dutch oven will get topped with breadcrumbs and stuck into the Loven for our dinner. It will go in the back, behind the loaves, with dinner’s two baguettes hogging the front section. It’s a nearly empty oven. Two pans of tomatoes are waiting to take their overnight turn. Even if it’s not too busy, it’s still a good day.