Sunday, June 10, 2012

Where were we?

Shortly after this was taken, they were turned over to combat the dreaded "float."

I would first like to sing the praises of both my husband and the variety of quality playgrounds in Philadelphia which made this morning possible.  It's about 11 am and my small batch of strawberry jam is processing individually in an asparagus steamer on the stove top.  (More on that later.)  But here's what else I managed to accomplish today:

  • Baked three salmon filets (for the kid - who loves salmon - or salads during the early part of the week)
  • Roasted a bunch of beets (to make this tonight)
  • Roasted a bunch of carrots (again, for the kid)
  • Dealt with those 20 lbs of asparagus - I considered a combination of pickling, canning, and freezing but ended up just freezing all of it in 1 lb batches.  It actually ends up being about 11 lbs worth once you trim off all the ends.  I blanched for 2 minutes and plunged into an ice bath before draining well and putting into bags.  I'm in the market for a vacuum sealer for future projects like this one, but hooray for asparagus throughout the winter!
  • Packaged and froze all but one quart of the 8 quarts of strawberries from yesterday.  I trimmed and washed all of them last night and laid them out in single layers on baking sheets and in large plastic containers.  Then I put them in the freezer overnight.  This morning I just needed a tiny bit of elbow grease with a spatula to lift them up and freeze in quart batches.  This is a good measurement for batches of jam or baking, so I went with that.
Tired yet?  I am.

And then there's the jam.  I saw Pomona's Universal Pectin in the canning supply closet at Greensgrow, while I was picking up the produce haul yesterday. I wasn't thinking of making jam, but Pomona's is made for use in low-sugar recipes, so that was enough to tempt me.  I was happy to use one quarter the amount of sugar I usually use for jam and a quick taste of the mixture revealed that it was still sweet and delicious.  I took a tip from my favorite local canning guru and bought an asparagus steamer a while ago, but was waiting to use it.  Even though I have to process one jar at a time, it was way easier than hauling the camping stove outside, hooking up the propane and standing out in the heat while jars process.  Man, I can't wait until we have a kitchen with a gas stove and burners and stuff. The camp stove will make an appearance during tomato season!

So that was my morning.  I fully plan to put the kid down for a nap and do nothing but watch Real Housewives reruns, just in case you thought I was going to go make a dozen quiches or something.

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