The Bounty of the Harvest

18 Sep

Some of you may know that this summer was the first year CD and I tried our hands at vegetable gardening. We had grown a few tomatos in pots on the back deck in Montana, so we were ready, right? I present to you, friends, family and adoring public, The Bounty of the Harvest:

(This is where a photo of six lovely, shiny green bell peppers would appear

if my camera would cooperate with my computer. Use your imagination.)

Yessiree, those beautiful green bells cost us $100, weeks of backbreaking labor, 2 slivers, 1 beesting, and a nasty smooshed chrysallis incident (Chickadee found it, Chickadoo squished it). They had better be good.

But, from life’s ups and downs we must learn, young grasshopper. And what I have learned from the garden experience is this:

1. Gardening is easier in Montana, where the soil is not made of iron and the mercury never gets in the triple digits.

2. Lettuce tastes better when it comes mixed with carrots and red cabbage in a handy little resealable bag with croutons on the side (yes, we also got some lettuce and it was warm and slimy- should lettuce have a milky sap in the middle?).

3. If I had to choose between a personal chef, a maid, or a gardener. . . well, I’d probably go with the maid but the gardener would be seriously tempting.

On the upside of this harvest time of year, the kids and I did a little cheffing ourselves today with the twenty (count’em) pounds of peaches our sweet neighbors brought over. The plan was to blanch them, peel them, slice them, freeze them, enjoy yummy peaches all winter long. So. . . we made jam. That happens to plans sometimes 🙂

I have only made jam once before, but I have to say, it gives me a little thrill when I flip the jars right-side-up (we use the hot, inverted bottle method- no canner) and hear that little metallic *ping*! I get this, Wow- I made that!  I made that and it worked! kind of feeling. You know what I mean? It’s just satisfying. It would probably be even more satisfying if we had grown the peaches ourselves, but you know how that story would end. A busted ladder, tree beetles, and an everlasting black thumb of shame.

I’ll stick with making jam.

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