There comes a time in each season when we realise it is past it’s prime; we sense when the icy grip of winter has cracked well before the final snow and frost have melted away, so it is the same with summer. August is still summer of course but we’ve moved out of the oven heat and into the mixed weather of harvest time. The kitchen is full of produce from the garden and my thoughts are full of ways to preserve it all.
Last week I added two new flavours of jam to the cupboard (bringing the total to four) when I made double batches of blueberry and apricot jam. Both fruits were sourced locally and were preserved in their prime. I really can’t express in words the satisfaction I gain from making jam, the most simple of all preserves, the joy of a well stocked cupboard really does speak for itself.
Last week we also had extra eggs so I made the most of the bounty by freezing them. To do this you simply whisk the egg, add a good pinch of sugar for each yolk and then freeze in trays. I used a mini muffin tin that holds half an egg in each cup, getting them out was a bit tricky so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for a silicone tray which should resolve that problem. Those golden yellow blobs will no doubt come in handy during the winter months and each one will remind me of this so abundant, and so hot, summer.
This week continues to be about preserving, I have onions hanging in the dining room and sacks of potatoes in the basement waiting to be put into paper bags and tucked safely away. The greens that are bursting in the garden need blanching and freezing, the tomatoes are beginning to gain colour filling me with a pleasant panic as I know the frenetic work a good tomato crop yields.
These last days of summer have a lot to offer, lots of work in store, but I’m glad and grateful for it. Winter may be just a few heartbeats away, but it isn’t here yet. Not yet.