A few weeks ago I had a longing to do some preserving. It was a stunningly beautiful summer day, and I suppose I felt inclined to capture it somehow, to bottle it up. I also had a particularly clingy one year old, and knew that any elaborate recipes, or anything that involved boiling and timing of any kind was liable to end in frustration. And that’s when I decided to make rose petal vinegar.
Little R rambled happily about outside (well, mostly happy) as I picked pink petals from the wild roses that grow around our property. I stuffed them in a jar, pausing occasionally to hold it up to my nose and inhale the sweet scent. When I was done picking I filled the jar with apple cider vinegar and covered it with plastic wrap. (I gather with vinegar you want to avoid metal lids.)
And that was that. I let the vinegar sit for a few weeks. It took on a rosy hue. Then I strained the vinegar and decanted it into a pretty glass jar with a cork. The scent of the roses is still quite strong, even through the vinegar. You can use this for all manner of things but so far I’ve just used it diluted as a hair rinse.
And now the roses are over, and I still have a bit of their sweet perfume bottled away.
I love creating meals from the garden. It gives me such pleasure to survey what is growing, and then decide how I can use it in a meal. I generally like cooking anyway, but we all have our days when it seems slightly depressing that ANOTHER meal needs making. Fortunately, using garden produce excites me enough, and becomes enough of a “creative” act to snap me out of that.
Last night I made a quick pizza. I used the garlic scape pesto as a sauce. I then featured the first tiny yellow zucchini and some zucchini flowers. I must say, I had a very brief moment of hesitation before I picked all the little growing zucchini. But it was oh so brief, because I know that in a month we will be unable to cope with ALL THE ZUCCHINI.
I tossed on some onion and some shredded swiss chard. The swiss chard is doing marvellously, as it seems the leaf miners are not at all an issue later in the season. So we find ourselves with an abundance of chard and I’m always trying to shoe-horn it in to meals. Bit of feta, bit of old cheddar. And just when the pizza came out of the oven I laid on some basil leaves.
Satisfying to make, and satisfying to eat!
I’ve been wanting to pick strawberries for years but the season somehow always rushed passed before I had a chance. This year I finally made it happen and went picking not once, but twice!
So the freezer is quite packed with frozen strawberries. I crushed a few to make a batch of jam but decided to freeze those as well so I can get to the jam making on a rainy day. Little R has consumed a large number of berries (truly, they must be a wonderful thing to discover) and the chicks have had their share of the overripe and hulls.
Now I’m waiting for other u-picks to open as the season for blueberries, raspberries, peaches and apples arrives! Hope you get a chance to pick your own too!
(“Have a strawberry”)
It has been a while since I posted about anything creative (as in visual arts, non gardening/livestock and so forth). It’s not that I haven’t been active in that way, but more that I tend to be making cards and gifts (slightly last-minute??) and never seem to document anything for this space. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with sewing some cards. It started out of necessity when I need to make a card and found myself short on supplies, but I’ve been rather enjoying exploring the technique.
My latest is a card with a picture of…..a goat. Just when you thought there would be a break from the theme. But, you know, inspiration from daily life and all. I’m still working on the logistics of this method but it’s a good project for me these days, since it is easy to start and stop. So, in between posts on gardening and animals, and the baby, you will probably see more of these.