Friday, September 12, 2008

putting up the harvest

i usually grab a quick a bite of lunch as i make up a plate for B. that way i can sit at the lunch table with her and read another chapter in our book. right now we are reading Thimble Summer by elizabeth enright. she has such an enjoyable style of writing that makes you close your eyes and imagine that you are there. the timing of a chapter we read last week could not have been more perfect. the description of a country kitchen at canning time made me smile, as i was cutting corn off cobs and cutting beans for freezing, thanks to chris and her green thumb!
here is an excerpt from our reading:

The warm air rang with the sound of saw and hammer. While the men worked on the barn Garnet and her mother had their hands full with the house and garden; for now the garden was yielding in all its abundance. It was hard to keep up with it. When you had finished picking all the beans it was time to pick the yellow squashes, shaped like hunting horns. And when you got through with the squash it was time forthe beans again. And then you had to hurry, hurry and gather the bursting ripe tomatoes from the heavy vines, for canning. Then there were beets andcarrots to be attended to; and after that it was time for the beans again.

"Beans never know when to stop!" said Garnet's mother in annoyance.

Corn was picked everyday; and that was pleasant walking in the rustling good-smelling aisles between the stalks. And the watermelons! Big solid green ones that Garnet thumped with a finger to see if they sounded ripe. And every now and then she dropped one on purpose and it would burst open, cold as a glacier and rosy red. Then she would walk homeward dripping and drooling, spitting out black seeds and feeling fine.

And canning! Oh those weeks of harvesting and peeling and preparing apples, peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, plums and beans. All day the kitchen smelled like heaven and was filled with steam. The stove was covered with kettles and vats, and upside down on the windowsill stood processions of mason jars full of bright color and hot to the touch.

beautiful beans from chris

i ended up freezing 6 quarts of beans. won't these taste good in the winter when the garden is covered in a blanket of snow?

a meager harvest of roma tomatoes this year, early blight did my tomatoes in. no sauce to can this year, but at least we got a few to enjoy.

everyday gift: the garden's bounty

1 comment:

Chris said...

I love the story... sounds like our kitchens at harvest time. Fills my heart with joy!