Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apple Season and a time for reflection...

My friend, Anne and I ventured to the Orchard yesterday. It was not open for picking yet; but we were able to score a case of early Mac's . With everything that is on the to-do list my hope is to wind up most of the canning in the next week or so; unless some windfall comes our way.

Each year, another skill or recipe is added to the list of methods I use to fill my larder. Each year, my self sufficiency increases. Last year, I made several batches of wine. Following the recipe to the letter, each preparation was an event. This year wine making confidence has built to a point of aptitude and adventure as I explore the wine making of other fruits and combinations of fruits.

This year I have explored the use of several herbs that have just magically appeared in my garden. Mullein has sprouted up all over. I made some garlic and mullein oil for ear aches for this winter. Yarrow has also had quite a year in the garden. I have a tincture of yarrow for wounds and I have dehydrated some for other purposes. The rose hips are plentiful this year and I will make some jelly with it. It will be saved as special jelly this winter when we need an extra boost of Vitamin C on our toast. For many of these preparations I use two books, The Medicine Maker's Handbook by John Green and Common Herbs for Natural Health by Juliette de Bairacli Levy.

With apple season here, I have a long list of things I want to make. New this year is apple pie filling. I think this would be an easy way to throw together a crisp, pie or extra treat on the oatmeal in the morning. I am also going to try making apple cider vinegar from the scraps of cores and peels. This looks like a great recipe. I would add putting a small label with the date on the jar to help keep track of when your vinegar is mature. I will have several jars going over the next few weeks and I want to keep consistency in the making.

All these skills and recipes reflect an older wisdom of the kitchen that has been lost to the microwave and the instant dinner in a box. It is an exciting to learn and practice and hopefully pass the knowledge on.




4 comments:

Wendy said...

This year I'm adding canning potatoes and creamed corn to my list. Usually, I freeze the corn, but I'm saving freezer space for meat, and potatoes are usually just stored raw ... only I don't have the best place to store them, and I, invariably, lose too many over the winter. Canning them will ensure they're preserved, and the canned potatoes will go nicely in stew :).

Kate said...

Rosehip jam is one of those things I ought to do. My excuse has been that the rosebush is right on the road, and so I don't relish the thought of car exhaust in my jam. I have had nagging thoughts too about something you touched upon. How much vitamin C is left in rosehip jam after all that cooking? Do you know? I've wondered that about things like lemon curd or marmalade too. My impression was that vitamin C is a fragile thing easily destroyed in cooking, but I can't remember what gave me that impression.

Fleecenik Farm said...

I had wondered about that too. I have thought of dehydrating them. But I also know that convincing some of the troops to drink Rose tea would be a stretch in my home. I have made rose extract using a recipe found in Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living book. I would pour some of that in with other teas when someone had the sniffles.

hmmm...now I am thinking I need to see if I could make a rose tincture. I would put the rose hips in vodka and let it steep...

CD said...

I have not canned a thing this year and boy do I feel bad. We planted lots of cucumbers, carrots, beets etc but have ended up eating them all straight from the garden - which I should not moan about. There are to be fair a couple of peas and beans that I have froze but that is the state of the effort. Our 6 year old son decided to set up a veg stand at the bottom of our driveway and hence all my spare went that way. We have agreed that he can keep 20% of the takings but the rest goes towards new seed.
Great site by the way.