Friday, August 5, 2011

Getting Ready

sunflower

I’m writing this while sitting in a sweltering garage, listening to the steady drip of ice melting in the big freezer. A side of pork will fill it soon, as well as two heritage turkeys, a duck, and the remainder of the poultry share. As for beef, we’ll see how much room is left…

It’s been three years since I defrosted the freezer, but it’s in pretty good shape. If I weren’t planning to fill it to the brim I might even have waited. There’s actually a good reason to avoid frost-free freezers if you’re going to use them for serious food preservation: They keep the ice at bay by periodically heating the interior surfaces to melt it off. Great for convenience, but not so great for keeping food in really good shape for a year or more.

The freezer in the kitchen side-by-side is stuffed to the gills – and utterly unorganized. Crepes, blueberries and raspberries melt on the counter for some kind of dessert tonight. Two containers of summer vegetable soup will be dinner this evening, topped with a pungent dollop of walnut-basil pesto.

dill

The cooler is full, too. The first tomato is turning red on the vine and there are still two bags of roasted tomatoes from last summer! Not to mention a half dozen jars of sauce. I found four bags of green, purple, and wax beans. I think I might have to try Camille Kingsolver’s recipe for frijole-mole in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle because this morning I checked the upper garden and found dozens of four-inch-long yellow beans had appeared overnight.

Seriously. Overnight.

By the end of today we’ll be ready to deal with the late summer harvest of fauna and flora alike. There is something about this time of year when it’s still hot, a breeze is a treat, the corn is sweet and the harvest starts in earnest that ironically makes me think of the coming winter. Having four distinct seasons means just when I’m getting sick of heat or cold there’s a transition on the way.

peppers

Here in northern Colorado we’ve not been slammed with the intense temperatures much of the country has suffered through. Still, mid-nineties is plenty hot for me. The last two days, however, have been only in the eighties, and last evening it was cool enough to ride our bikes down to see a friend’s band playing at a local brewery. Then we ate at a sidewalk cafe and rode home in the gloaming. It was enough of a hint of fall to get me through the hot days to come and the food preservation workload that comes with it.

The freezer is clear of ice and wiped down now. Next on the docket is an afternoon of work on Digging Up Darla, which takes place in late August as everyone is getting ready for the State Fair.

Kind of perfect, actually.

1 comment:

  1. Those purple capsicum look beautiful. Really enjoyed reading this post, I'll bet they brew some fine ales at that local. Those berries and crepes could make some great palacsintas. You have a lot of good food there.

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