Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Jam and Tomatoes

With blueberry picking behind us, I put up some jam on Monday.  12 jars, not really enough for us but better than nothing.  We had blueberry pancakes on Saturday morning, and I've a few cups left to freeze, but really, after giving my sister some for her helpfulness, there really weren't that many left.  12 jars would be a good start, were it not for my habit of dropping off jars of jam to anyone I chance to think would like some, and also my kids' affinity for the stuff.  Oh well.  Maybe next week, when the bigs are out of town, we'll go picking again.  But then again - picking, without my big kids?  I'm not sure we'd get much.

The tomatoes are ripening now, and we're getting a slow trickle of them.  This year, I didn't plant much, after last year's garden being destroyed by critters.  Now, of course, I'm kicking myself - I haven't seen a groundhog since May, and everything I did bother to plant seems to be doing remarkably well.  It might be our best garden year so far, and I only bothered to plant 3 boxes.  We have a garden box full of potatoes and sweet potatoes that will be fun to dig up in the fall, and the peppers seem to be doing really well - we should be getting loads shortly.  A friend gave me a yellow pear tomato plant that is terrifying in size and scope - each time I go out there, it seems to have grown by leaps and bounds.  Still, our back yard is a shady place at best - and we'll never get as much as others are able to.

These colder temperatures have been nice.  While the kids bemoan the lack of proper pool days, I am loving the break from heat and humidity.  I've been feeling much more myself, centered in my place in our home - usually the kitchen, fixing things for my family.  Although there are certainly times that I get bored of the whole "what's for dinner?" question, I really consider it to be an honor to spend time thinking (and cooking) up food for my family to grow up on.  I think it goes back to my childhood, and the security of seeing my own Mom, every night at around 5 pm, in her normal place in the warm kitchen.  A daily sight that gave me so much comfort as I grew up - Mom, getting dinner on.  Now, being that person for my family - it means so much to me.  In this small life of ours, there will be many things my kids go without, but the security of a person who loves them, seeing to the meeting of their most basic needs, will not be one of them.  Food is more than physical nourishment.  Here, our meals are the centerpiece to our lives as a family, our shared faith and a medium through which to express love.  And it is just so, so very lovely to be right at the center of it.

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  1. My tomatoes are not in yet. Fresh garden tomatoes really are the best thing about summer!

  2. I agree! They taste completely different than store bought!

  3. Our tomatoes are just starting to trickle in as well. You're growing sweet potatoes, too? I would love to plant some of them next year. Do they grow pretty well here?

  4. Yes! I only bought one plant on a whim and it is growing so well! I was visiting Greenfield Village the other day and checking out their farm gardens - they had whole rows of sweet potatoes that looked quite happy. I'll do more next year!

  5. Our backyard isn't sunny enough for a garden, so I've been trying to scout out some handsome, easy veggie plants for our front yard for next year. I'm hoping sweet potatoes will work. :) Also, your writing is beautiful. I started following your blog about when Rosie was born. Thank you for writing!

  6. Ours is really very shady, too. The big trees just keep getting bigger, and while I like it for shade for the kids, it's kind of a bummer for a garden. You should try peppers too, if you haven't already - ours are doing really well this year! Thanks for following the blog, it's fun for me and nice to know others are reading. Have a great day!


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