If you read other seasonal preserving blogs, you know posting dies down in shoulder season. Because there are tomatoes and corn, raspberries and ever-bearing strawberries, summer and winter squash, all before the pommes roll in – and because we are all a little insane, we try to do it ALL. There has been more than one Sunday where I brought home two CSA bags, 50 lbs of tomatoes, 25 lbs of leftover farmers’ market apples, and – what the hell – my favorite orchard had a deal on a flat of fall raspberries.
When you end your Sundays absolutely wiped out, work Monday morning is trying. Hell, when you are in a job that drives you crazy – every Monday morning is trying. And then Monday rolls into Tuesday, which seems the same as Wednesday… and before you know it its Saturday and you have another metric ton of veg, CSA, and bulk pickup headed your way. Every. single. day. seemed like nothing but triage.
I am one of those people who externalizes internal disorder. My kitchen will be full of unfinished projects and dirty dishes, I will have piles upon piles of dirty laundry next to a floordrobe, and I will come home from work every day, pour myself a drink, and pretend it doesn’t exist. But, as life sorts itself out, so too does my environment. I have a different job now – one that adds to my life instead of takes away from it. My closet is organized and everything in it has a purpose. And most importantly – my kitchen is CLEAN and EFFICIENT.
I’ll be the first to admit it – our fall storms last year left scars. I still spent too much time in the very spot I type in now, waiting for the gunshot crack of a tree snapping in the storm – waiting to see if our house was in its path. And I don’t need to talk about life without power or my past losses, because the Northeast experienced them all over again a year to the day. We were very, very lucky this time, but so many had (and still have weeks later) opposite fortunes.
There have been wonderful things cooking around here since July. Grilled peach bourbon butter, plums in wine and honey, hucklebourbon jam, sweet pepper and spicy squash relish, roasted salsa verde, pear cranberry butter with maple and ginger, really excellent fermented apple cider vinegar… and more recently: vanilla quince butter, membrillo and kimchi. Plans for a big batch of seckel pears in spiced syrup this week. It’s a shame – typing up posts on some of them would be so cruel as the snow melts from our first nor’easter.
I, for one, am thankful for the break. Writing is like cooking – you can always tell when your heart just isn’t in it. It’s not something you can fake. But as the seasons reset, life shakes itself out, and things slow down for a few months, you will likely see me around these parts more often. And as cheesy as it sounds – I am so very glad you are still here.