Tuesday, August 9, 2011

the short on the new

Well, I'm a little frustrated with Blogger as of late since losing my Eating at Home page, which was my minimal effort contribution to this blog.  There once was a time when "publish" meant forever...blood or ink on paper until the skin or bark deteriorated enough to be just legible.  The internet, however permanent in our lives, is not without it's flaws.  Retrieving a record of months is impossible once a "save as draft" button is pushed, which in the rules means unpublish existing page and go back to the last copy saved.  Go figure and good riddance I say!  I learned from my own writings that we tend to eat the same damn thing repeatedly, which for some reason was not readily apparent to me.  Every night I go through the same two-step of what I should fix, from scratch, for dinner.  And it turns out that I "create" the same meals on a regular basis.  Now there are those few inspirations that I get from reading someone's blog or scouring the internet using a keyword search for whatever I have on the counter that is waiting to rot and I can't think to use, but for the most part it is repetition and ingenuity from experience that matter most.  I've been cooking, experimenting and making mistakes for many years, which in most cases allows me to have an idea and run with it, without a recipe.  From now on, I will be working with what is in season using my basic skills, record or not.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August Blues

The garden looked really great about a month ago when I took these photos. Since then, it's taken a turn for the worse. I don't know what it is about July that turns a promising group of plants upside-down with nasty bugs and weeds so much so that I don't even like to be out there in August. With our absences the Japanese beetles have eaten holes in everything, grasshoppers are zooming up and flitting out of reach every time I take a step inside the garden, squash bugs have killed the zucchini and pumpkin plants with wilt, and the tomatoes have early blight. The potato and garlic harvests were also really pathetic. I actually think there were more of both, spuds and cloves, when planted than what we collected after a full growing season. To top it off, a raccoon made a meal of what little sweet corn we were able to produce. This summer has been quite humbling.

Despite the pests and disease, we've still had a remarkable amount to eat and share with two families. We've been bartering cheese, eggs and veg for goat hay out of our neighbor's barn and the single CSA we supported last year returned for this season. The share that usually goes to the freezer is lacking, however. We did very well eating frozen vegetables through the winter and consumed nearly everything that we put up last season. Thankfully, pumpkin puree is still in excess, which we will use over the coming months. I took a few hours to organize the chest freezer last week...berries have their own compartment, meat, as well as 2011 veg, which we'll keep separate from older things that need to be consumed now. This doesn't sound like an exciting chore, but finding some long forgotten morsels to make dinner easy is always a bonus. And with the temperature above 80 degrees, who could complain about a freezer dive. On the bright side, without the extra packages of kale and beans taking space we'll have more room for when the meat chickens go over the rainbow.