Friday, September 14, 2007

canned comfort

Doesn't it suck when you're sick?
Some unexpected virus happens upon you and suddenly you just wanna hurl.
Maybe you spend time feeling like you're gonna hurl but you can't or won't.
You think what did I eat and then realize you are all achey and uncomfortable in any position.
You spend a day or two or five feeling like something ran over you.
Despite food around you, nothing sounds good.
Not even chocolate.
Don't know about you but it is then that I know I am sick.

Even if the departure from eating is only a few hours, or days for that matter, it is always with trepidation that I return to food. Usually it revolves around toast. An english muffin perhaps. Light on the butter, or with a smidge of jam perhaps? Mmmmm jam..............I was sick a few days ago, but thanks to some previous work put in by my partner and I, there was a selection to pick and choose from when I came back to the land of the well.

It's been a long hot summer here in oaktown. Not outside, but inside. In my kitchen. We've been jamming for months now and the stash out in the garage is in dire need of a more permanent and seismic motion proof means of storage. It's getting out of hand out there. When that pic up top was taken last week there were some 130 jars. At least 50 are jam and another 25 or 30 are chutney. And tonight, H added at least twenty more jars of stuff. Tomatillo salsa, raspberry and blackberry jam. If we keep it up, the month of December is going to consist of going out to the garage and selecting something to spread on toast or pancakes for breakfast and then a condiment for the rice with our dinner. There is a small stash of beer and tomato sauce that are starting to look good especially with a few more batches of both in the near future. There is peachsauce and applesauce for the wee-one to enjoy some summer when he starts eating the more solid stuff this winter. There are some green beans and some pickles. Oooooo and don't forget the pear mincemeat. I can smell the turnovers and pies already. Taking an inventory and having these thoughts while still finding my groove wih both monkeys at home is a thrill because, well, the scenario of pulling stuff out of the garage to eat sounds rather nice to me. I can't wait for fall and winter.

Maybe there will be more time for bread to dip and coat and break and eat. Like olive and walnut sourdough with a hint of fresh ground coriander, sliced and toasted and coated in butter. Yeah, having more time for stuff like that sounds pretty good now don't it? I mean olives, walnuts and coriander store just fine. This would be a nice winter bread for a hearty soup.

Maybe you too have been busily socking away pesto for the long dark cold winter months when you will be craving a savory bread to enjoy in the fashion of a cinnamon roll. How about pesto and dry-jack rolls? Sourdough of course. The pesto can be found in the freezer and the dry jack wil be around because, like, it's dried. The sourdough component can be made any time. Ah....what a little flour and water can do, when given time and attention.

Really though, I look forward to jar after jar of really yummy jam.
Big piles of the stuff, all over toasted muffins, or pancakes.
Ooooooo almond butter and jelly sandwiches. I just thought about that. I can do that local too.

September is all about preservation for the locavore crowd. Come to think of it, I'm sure it is for at least some other parts of the world where folks are looking to save some of summer's bounty. Like they always have.

Winter is gonna be good. Bring it on. I'm drooling already........


Anita said...

would you mind sharing your tomatillo salsa recipe? I have a nice one that I make when I am eating it fresh, but I have no idea whether the pH is right for canning it.


K & S said...

gosh, I hope you feel better soon, nothing worse than feeling like something ran you over and taking your appetite with it. my goodness though, you have a STASH in your garage. can't wait to drool over it this winter. take care!

mimi said...

Sorry you don't feel well.

Wow, I am impressed by how much canning you two did! Canning is something I'm still intimidated by so it always makes me kind of amazed and a little envious when I see someone with a nice stash of yummy jars to have all winter. Good job!

cookiecrumb said...

You Commie survivalist!
What an awesome stash. Good work, and... I suspect you are feeling better, yay.
I, even though I consider myself a summer-basking heat-seeking missile, am likewise looking forward to the cool months.

Callipygia said...

Uhh can I be a monkey too and live in your garage? I bow down to your canning chutney making wrangling prowress. Hope you continue to feel better.

Bonnie said...

Oh my lord. And you want to do MORE canning? You're crazy!

If there's an earthquake, we're camping out at your house. We'll bring our own bread.

Monkey Wrangler said...

Anita: De nada! Gladly!
Check it out here:

For notes on it, I used lime juice instead of lemon and about a third of the fresh cilantro component was epazote. I added a few habaneros to it also.

Kat: Thank you ma'am! But really, I'm sure you'll get tired of me blathering on about another jar of tomato sauce or jam.

Mimi: Thanks. You can do it. (yuck yuck yuck) The secret is doing it with other folks to spread the washing, chopping, skinning, stirring, etc.

Cookie: Ah, the winter months with items like pear chutney, pear jelly, pear mincemeat, pear cider, pear cider vinegar, pear butter......

Callipygia: You're already an honorary monkey of sorts.....but the garage thing might seem a bit strange to the neighbors.

Bonnie: Yeah. yeah......moremoremore! Besides, we're gonna need some stocking stuffers.

You're still in for some pickled jalapeƱos right?

Schweitz said...

If you liked my brownie idea I think you'll love my roasted dip creation (posting sometime...) - it'll make you want to can up some more local produce - lucky Californians (we've already had a light frost here).

I must say though that some pesto/dry jack rolls sound like the perfect food to cut one's teeth on after a bout of something nasty.

Aileen said...

What an inspiration! I'm too impressed to even be jealous. Although our pantry did not achieve anywhere near such a bounty, I look forward to cartwheeling through the winter over turnip pickles, beet marmalade, blueberry jam, frozen corn and frozen halibut (courtesy of a good friend who travelled from Dutch Harbor with a cooler). As for canning with company, I couldn't agree more. After seeing your bounty, I suspect I'll be trying to get my good friend from Dutch Harbor to return for another visit so that we can supplement our Alaskan pantries with apple and pear butters. Should you care to share the recipe, I'd do some cartwheels of glee over the chance to add pear mincemeat. Hope that you're feeling better!

Rev. Biggles said...

Holy crap! Okay, you win. Here's the crown my good man, you have earned it! Today and for the rest of the year you can walk in the warming glow of being King. Don't forget your robe (bedsheet), raise your head and decree all THIS is under your rule. Circle the block if you have to, let the commoners know! If they question? Whack them with a stick, commoners love that part.

xo, Biggles

Monkey Wrangler said...

Schweitz: Yeah baby, more canning....bring it on. I can't wait to read the post.

Aileen: Is that you Mrs. Cunningham?

Really, thanks though. I'll work on the pear mincemeat recipe for you soon.

Rev.: Is that a local crown and stick with which to have dominion over da' hood and beat them with? Because, like otherwise, maybe not. But I'd still like to go give 'em a whack. Especially the garden pests.

HipWriterMama said...

Feel better! Those monkeys probably miss all those cool field trips.

I am so very impressed with the canning.

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Monkey Wrangler said...

Hipwritermama: Thank you and thanks.

Jeena: Nice meeting you too! I'll drop by for a more in depth look soon but so far so good......