Sunday, April 26, 2009

Foodstuffs

Spring is the beginning of the Season of Food in our house, and I'm so glad it's here.

The early crops of the garden are sprouting and happily spreading their leaves toward the newly-warm sun. So far we've got a nice little patch of snap and sugar peas, two little spinach beds (that will provide more than enough spinach for the spring, plus plenty to freeze for meals later) and two lettuce beds that are growing quite rapidly. One row of radishes should be ready for picking and another is just beginning to sprout... time to plant another, I suppose. (Though I've not yet figured out why I grow radishes. It must be because they grow quickly, providing 'instant gratification' of a sort; they're fun to pull up, too. None of us care for eating them much though. We're growing purple and red radishes this year - it'll be a fun surprise for Chloe to pull up a purple radish! Anyway, enough about radishes.) I planted broccoli and there are about eight little plants sprouted, but they're growing awfully slow and broccoli can't withstand the heat that'll be here by June, so I've a feeling that will be a waste of space. Ah well, you live, you learn. Carrots and beets are sprouting now too (finally - they take so long!) I find it so peaceful to sit out in the garden pulling up teeny little weed sprouts and dreaming of how pretty it will all look when it's fully grown.

Come Mother's Day I'll put the rest of the seeds into the ground - the warm weather things. Those are the ones I really look forward to. The cold weather stuff is more like a teaser for the better things to come - green beans, cucumbers, bell peppers and ohhhh tomatoes. Yep. Can't wait for summer.

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In addition to garden planting, it's also Asparagus Season here in Western Colorado. We're lucky enough to have asparagus growing wild along the country roads pretty much everywhere. I think I talked about that last year. My mother and I picked and then pickled something like ten pounds of asparagus (maybe more, I really couldn't say.) This year I'd like to do the same, and also freeze 10 or 15 pounds to have on hand throughout the year. We've picked probably four pounds already, but most of it's already been eaten. I do have some in the refrigerator with which I intend to make cream of asparagus soup, a delicious treat we had while in Mexico that I can't wait to taste again. I'll let y'all know how it turns out. If it's good, I'll post the recipe.

And of course, strawberries are on sale in all the supermarkets right now, so I bought a four pound container and made six pints of jam. I forgot how good homemade strawberry jam tastes! While I was cooking it, letting it heat the the gelling point, I had my canning pot boiling away so it would be ready when the jam was. At some point during this I realized my stove was making an awful humming-sort-of-buzzing noise. It made me nervous enough that I shut everything off, took off all the pots on the stove, and gave up. I went ahead and put the jam into jars and, after it cooled, into the fridge. Each of the jars sealed even though they were never properly canned and the jam actually turned out really good, if just a bit soft. I just hope it keeps alright - I'll keep all the jars in the refrigerator, just in case.

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On a totally different note - if you have kids and a library card (or maybe even if you don't have kids...) check out the book Wabi Sabi. Chloe picked it out a couple weeks ago and I finally got around to reading it with her. (Not because I'm a slacker. We check out about 30 books every week. It takes time getting through all of them!) I found Wabi Sabi to be quite a profound little book that teaches a wonderful lesson - maybe one that adults can glean a bit more from than children. And it's a great lesson in Japanese culture and religion, and haiku too, in case you're homeschooling and want a fun unit study starter. :o)

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'Tis all for now. I hope everyone out in blog-land is doing well!


1 comment:

Crazy Homeschool Mama said...

lol at the 30 books a week...it never even came to mind you were a slacker cause we have at least that many in the house...we are allowed 45 per card and we have 3 cards..no wait 4...each kid and myself...not all maxed but you know as back ups in case you have fees LOL

there is a picture on my blog for you :)