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Note:  This blog may be my sloppiest ever as I’m starting it at 9:30 Monday night to meet my weekly Monday deadline for blog finalization.  My excuse is that we had unexpected company yesterday which was AMAZING (likely to be next week’s blog topic) and today had a full To Do List… most of which was not accomplished as I tend to underestimate the amount of time things will take.

Winter prep continues, but mostly along the lines of food prep.  Dan is now contemplating a build of shelving for our growing food supply… We lost a couple days heading down to Alexandria to visit. And I had to work at the Hostel this weekend after spending the day helping prep for Farmer’s Market.  But we still got quite a lot done.

This past week we:

  • Canned 12 quarts of tomatoes.  Thanks, Connie!!
  • Continued with our Corn Cob Wine recipe.  It still seems to be working… though I’m not sure why I think so.  Mainly because the yeast foams up with we feed it every day.  But as this is our first time winemaking, we could be way off base.  [Comment if you have feedback or experience to share!]
  • Froze two quart bags of sweet corn and two gallon bags of broccoli.
  • Made a batch of granola with Harn Honey.  It is a simple recipe that produced a super crunchy, delicious munch.  The Hostel guests loved it!
  • Canned 5 half-pints of roasted tomatoes.  One was mostly juice and it didn’t seal but I’ll make some soup with it for next gathering with Bruce and Bud.
  • Got the refrigerator defrosted.  [This was ALL DAN… he’s a keeper.]
  • Made two batches of cilantro pesto.  Who knew you could use cilantro? Boy was this basil hater happy to find that. [Though I love Mom’s basil pesto in soups.  Mom taught me this amazing skill and it really makes soup lovely, giving it a thickness and flavor kick.]  I made the first batch with 3 cloves of MGF (Merry Gardens Farm) garlic and it was SUPER garlicky.  So I only used 2 for the next batch.  They are all frozen in little ice cubes and ready to drop into soup.
  • Canned 10 half pints and 2 pints of Ginger-Cardamom-Crabapple Preserves and 3 pints and 4 half-pints of syrup made from the scraps. This is the second time I’ve tried this trick of using scraps from preserve making only to get syrup, not jelly. I think I’m not boiling it to a high enough temp (220-222°F) but next time I try this with crabapples, I won’t rely on the pectin in them but will add some Sure-Jell.]

We didn’t make progress with the Wood Shed or Cobbing but mostly because of the other work commitments and steady light rain most of the week.  But we did invite people to call if interested in learning more about it.  This is a busy time of year for everyone so perhaps we won’t hook up this week but hopefully we will soon.  We did have a few new visitors to the Harn and it’s always fun hearing what people think of it all.

There were many moments of Serendipity of late and I think I will share about that next week.  Now I need to head to bed for some well-earned rest.  But here are some photos of the food adventures this week.

The group is my tomatoes and one of Connie’s (we did mine first and hers second). The 3 jars are her beautiful heirloom tomatoes getting ready to bath.  You can also see her amazing set-up for canning in the garage.  We’re planning a similar porch system at the Harn.  The pesto was brilliant!  The pot of Ginger-Cardamom-Crabapple preserves was actually the batch from Connie’s place as I didn’t take one today at the Harn; but the scraps in cheesecloth photos is from today.