Thursday, September 18, 2014

Summer In Review...

Phew, where did the time go?  The kids are back to school, I can feel that our mornings and evenings have cooled off considerably, the leaves are already starting to shift from vibrant green to lovely shades of orange, and soup is once again making a regular appearance on our dinner table.  I guess I have to reluctantly admit to myself that summer is over, I mean even the calendar is trying to give me the hint with the solstice date looming.

It really does not seem real to me that our summer is now just a mere memory.  We had such a great time with friends and family, both near and far from home, adventuring and chilling out together on beaches, in canoes and kayaks, in swimming pools, hiking trails, riding bikes, seeing new parts of the country and revisiting some of our favorite local spots.  We also had a good amount of time at home just hanging out, which gave me time to indulge a favorite summer pastime... canning and preserving summer's beautiful bounty.  We've got enough jam, salsa and chutney to carry us through the year with just enough to share here and there.  I also got busy with lots of freezing of peaches and berries for smoothies and to top pancakes.  Then there were the tomatoes... I made a lot of tomato sauce (I will share my new favorite method for preserving tomatoes soon) that is stocked up in our freezer for soups and sauces, as well as several quarts of slow roasted tomatoes.   I get so excited looking at my freezer stocked with loads of treasure saved for the winter, but at the same time a bit anxious at the thought of a lengthy power outage.  But let's not dwell on that.

My go-to reference for all things canned is the Food In Jars website and cookbook.  I love Marisa's creative combinations and the smaller portions makes whipping up a batch or two at a time way more manageable for me.  This year we stuck with the standards -- raspberry jam, rosemary/apricot jam, peach salsa and pear/walnut conserve (equally good on toast or over your favorite soft or blue cheese) but added a few new items to the the mix as well including blackberry/sage jam, ginger pear jam (so amazing mixed into morning oatmeal!), and peach chutney.  I find those stacks of jars gleaming deep purple to vibrant raspberry red and even the pale creamy color of pear to be so simply beautiful on my shelf right now.

Just as I morn the move away from our summer adventures and lazy days I do also welcome the return to routine that comes with those misty morning walks to school and evenings that find us all home scattered throughout the house.

No comments: