weekending

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

with friday marking the launch for the first chapter of our 2012 fall in full color club and all which that entails, i was more than ready to take an actual weekend away from my desk. all work and not play makes anne a dull girl.

i had my chapter finalized the night before, but we still had a few steps to go before the eBook went live and as soon as i knew it was in the hot little hands of our clubbies, i headed off for other horizons.

the first order of the day was to get out in the garden to pick—it had been three days and i was almost afraid to look at the green bean plants. well, they were pretty heavy with overgrown beans—about five pounds worth, but not so overgrown as to be inedible. actually, while we do like more delicately-sized string beans for the table, these would do very nicely for freezing, to be used in soups and stews later on. i would put them up that evening after supper.

which reminded me to dig up a few new potatoes to roast—they would be excellent with some green beans and salmon for a nice friday dinner. these are the fingerling potatoes that were coming up all over the garden in the spring and which i transplanted into one spot as an experiment. well, they took just fine and now we are eating them.

next on my agenda was to get out for a much needed bike ride to clear my head and have a look around. haha, i had been out running only the day before, but it felt like eons had passed since i’d been up for air. bike riding is the best cure for that. friday is also the day we do errands, so i got two bike trips in that afternoon.

back home and showered, i put my feet up in my favorite knitting spot, and got to work on wasp and rose while i waited for david to be ready to do errands. of course, i promptly fell asleep and ended up having a nice (and much needed) nap instead. i’d have to revisit this project after the errands, after supper, and after the green beans.

i will admit i stick to the schedule better with the produce than with my knitting at times; i think it’s because certain knitting will hold if i can’t get right to it, whereas the produce will become an all-consuming tidal wave if i don’t keep up.

and i’m not wrong—the next morning, before i went to knit with debby and susie, i went out to check on things and came in with another basketful. these i brought to the two of them to split; i didn’t have the heart to commit to them myself. and i know there will be more . . .

in fact, haha, on sunday i just happened to go out to pick basil and another basket of beans came back in the house with me. well, good to know we’ll be well-stocked for winter, eh?

that evening i started the new sweater i was talking about in the indigo dragonfly polwarth/silk blend. i’m beginning with a sleeve as usual, in order to make sure my gauge is ok, but also because i haven’t quite decided whether i’m going to knit this in one piece or not. i know i said i wouldn’t and it’s not my preferred method BUT, it may be the best strategy for the design i have i mind, which has cables at each seam.

for certain it won’t be top-down though—too difficult with all the sizes to explain the placement of the seam cables simultaneous with the setup of the pattern. it’s much easier to go about it from the bottom and decrease them out.

anyway, it’s looking lovely in this yarn (colorway curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal)and knitting up a treat on needles bigger than what i’m used to—what’s not to love?? though i said in my swatching notes that i was definitely, absolutely going with the tighter fabric, i changed my mind. i kept feeling the fabric over and over and finally realized that the looser one would be better for this particular sweater style because it has a nicer drape.

so saturday morning i headed for susie’s with my sleeve in tow and knit away. i had gotten through the ribbed cuff the night before so i launched into the pattern and got maybe six inches done while we all chatted and had breakfast. what a nice way to begin a weekend off, right?

halfway through the morning, we all decided that when knitting was over, we should go out to a local fruit farm to buy peaches. i also wanted some corn to freeze and maybe some tomatoes. our plants are full of fruit, but it isn’t ripening—i wanated insurance, since we are wiped clean of tomatoes at the moment.

as usual, i got carried away—i did come home with beautiful fruit for the table, but i may have also brought home a boatload of additional work for myself.

three dozen corn for the freezer.

a big basket of peach seconds, also for the freezer—and oh, those would not wait; they already had some spots. plus, a half bushel of rip tomatoes. what was i thinking??

actually, what i was thinking was that next weekend we are heading for a visit with my mom, so if i didn’t do it now i would miss out on the opportunity to have this stuff at all.

and who in their right mind can resist the perfume of ripe local peaches?? or fresh-picked corn? i planned to run home and get that corn done right away to preserve the flavor.

what i forgot was that we had a party to go to that night, so it would have to wait and i’d have to do all that work at once on sunday. that’s ok, it was a fun party—and just across the street, too. with live music and dancing—irresistible and it wasn’t likely i’d get any quiet work done at home anyway, haha. it was a good chance to spend time with our neighbors

sunday morning i got up early and tackled the messiest job first—the corn. i steamed it for just a few minutes, iced it down, and then cut all the niblets off the cobs

SO pretty! and sticky—corn kernels can fly an amazing distance, just sayin’.

ten big quart bags in all—plenty to get the two of us through the winter. and good incentive for eating more corn; it’s SO much better than store bought.

i went out for a run and when i came back, i put up the peaches next—another messy job, but more easily contained to one countertop space. these i just peeled and sliced—still a lot of work, but at least there’s no heat involved.

i like the work of the kitchen, especially since i make a habit of listening to music or a book while i work. it’s completely different work from what i do at my desk all day and really refreshing. even when the hours are long, it’s a good tired at the end, not stressful.

and watching the freezer fill up with neat stacks of bags is rewarding—we are going to eat well for the whole year. i’m actually going to get some more peaches; they weren’t all that much trouble to do and they are leaps and bounds tastier than the store bought frozen ones. plus, i’d like to maybe make some pie filling to freeze.

ok, one more thing to go and my work here would be done (and our kitchen clean again). but first, just a little nap—i really needed it. the tomatoes could wait til after dinner.

i got to work cutting them up while david did the dinner dishes. i cut them in big chunks with the skin on and only cook them very briefly, so the prep doesn’t take long at all. when they’ve cooled a little bit, i puree them in the food processor and box them up.

some i will use to make sauce and pasta dishes or pizza—for these, i add a pile of fresh basil leaves on top so i have it handy when i’m cooking. others will be used for all sorts of other favorite meals, like indian curry, chili, soups, and stews; for these, i leave the basil out.

by the time all that was done, it was after 11 pm and monday morning was right around the corner—wow, that went fast! now the new week is underway and i’m already looking ahead to preparing next months book chapter. my goal for the next few weeks is to put together the next few installments so that when i’m traveling in september and october, i won’t have all that much to worry about.

this week we’ll have nice meals, thanks to our garden and the efforts of the weekend.

mmmm, cheese goes so well with fresh fruit . . . i’m eating manchego and sharp provolone with my peach.

so with that, i think i should skedaddle; i’ve got class this afternoon and a few things to finish up before they get here. see you next time . . . enjoy the last of the summer.

29 thoughts on “weekending

  1. You deserve a break after all of that hard work taking care of fruits and veggies. You’ll appreciate them when the snow flies in winter.

  2. I never knew stocking the freezer could be as simple as you make it. Thanks for the info. I must get busy and visit my local farmers’ market. My freezer is bare!!

  3. I’m worn out just reading what you got done! Would you share sometime how big of a freezer you have? I am really impressed with how easy you make it all seem. Our vegetable garden did just not do well this year.

  4. Okay, you are one busy woman, Anne. And now I’m hungry. Love the new sweater and of course, Wasp and Rose. Between the nutritionist and you, I’m eating more and more veggies and fruit. I will not go vegan though. I do not have that much discipline.

  5. Quirky peach pie tip: You probably already know this, but if you make the filling and then line a pie plate with a filled freezer bag and freeze, you end up with a perfectly shaped pie filling to plop in your crust. Just lift the frozen bag out and leave the filling in the freezer until ready to use. However, it does take up a bit more space than a flat bag of peaches, so it may or may not work for your system. And now, I think I hear a peach calling me to snack time……

  6. Oh fresh frozen corn, it is so great that way…thanks for reminding me. Such a busy season, I find little time to knit when gardening. Keep taking those naps to recharge. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Not only am I in awe of your prolific and beautiful knitting but also your gardening and preserving. You’re reminded how it’s well worth all this effort each time you open the freezer in winter. Plus, you probably barely need to buy anything at the supermarket, which is welcome.
    Wasp and rose sounds intriguing!

  8. Carpe diem! i totally relate to corn and peaches–how could you not? This time of fecundicy and abundance is so ephemeral! enjoy!

  9. You’ve done so well & got so much produce. Very envious as the weather here hasn’t been so great so we’ve not got nearly as much as we’d hoped. Your tomato prep made me think of family in the south of Italy. There they spend whole nights up making tomato sauces/passata & although it’s really tiring and messy, the whole family are working together so it’s fun too. Enjoy your amazing produce.

  10. That is some serious preparation there Anne. I too am wondering how big your freezer is to store all those delicious packages of fruit and vegetables.

  11. I’ve been so lax this year about my canning and freezing. Well in my defense , I do have a ton of canned stuff still and my deep freeze left with the old house when I moved. Still I feel a bit well unfullfilled in this area. I need to do something about this before next year.

  12. The corn cobs—with carrots, celery, and onions—make a fine, sweet stock!
    Add water. Bring to boil. Turn down to simmer. Let cook for about 90 minutes.
    Cool. Strain.

  13. Manchego and peaches. . . yumm. . .

    Not only am I impressed with your preparing so much beautiful produce for winter – I’m REALLY impressed with how clean your kitchen is, even in the midst of all that prepping! What a pro!

  14. You certainly have a green thumb! I would love for you to do a blog about how to start a basic garden!

  15. Do you use the corn cobs to make stock? I had fruit/cheese/almonds/crackers for breakfast. Granted, it was from Starbucks, but it was still yummy. 🙂

  16. Oh how I love bicolor corn. It is so lovely and not as easy to get here in Maryland. It was a summer staple in my youth. My uncle, who lived in the same town, grew it so it could not be much fresher. Chipmunks have taken a liking to our tomoes so we only got a handle full of cherries. No yield for all that effort…but puttering in the garden is its own reward. 🙂

    Lovely “Wasp and Rose”!

  17. I want to become a stowaway in your freezer, hidden amongst the bags of peaches and the containers of tomato sauce. 😉 love the new sleeve pattern, the fabric is gorgeous. and brilliant idea to start with the sleeve to make sure that the Gauge.Swatch.Did.Not.Lie. as it is sometimes sadly known to do, at least for me haha!

  18. Gosh Anne, you are so busy, I am happy to hear you & David will be well nourished in your busy times ahead.

  19. You are so organised in your kitchen. That’s a great idea to freeze corn & I will have to do the same as the family loves corn.

  20. I’m a little late to the weekending party, but I just had to say that fresh kernels off the cob with butter, salt n pepper, and a bit of freshly chopped dill has been our summer favorite! You’ve inspired me to store up for the winter months-thanks!

  21. Frozen corn is the best! It tastes almost as good as fresh. I’ve never seen peaches put up without syrup before. It sure looks easier. What do you use to stabilize the color? Do you use much sugar? I’m elbow deep in canning peaches right now, and it heats up the kitchen like nobody’s business!

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