Saturday, July 2, 2011

These Things Are Sent To Try Us

Ben Sosnicki
Dave at Haystrom Farm
Saturday morning started off with everyone tired from being out late the night before and a little muggy, but otherwise excellent.  Our first destination was the Withrow Park Farmers Market, which was as lovely as ever.  It being the last week we picked up 24 pounds of asparagus from Ben, peas and rhubarb from Dave at Haystrom Farms, green onions from Laurel, and a loaf of olive-cilantro bread from the St. John's Bakery.  I also had a lovely chat with Roberta, the market manager while Suzy, Aija, and Nyls hit the playground.

We returned home by a roundabout route, and I whipped up a quick breakfast of fried egg and prosciutto on a crumpet to set us up for the day ahead.  It was then that things started to go wrong.  First the water filter, which has served us well for six years, started spraying water instead of filtering.  Fortunately my brother-in-law John, a professional plumber, had stopped by with a flat of strawberries from the Stouffville Strawberry Festival for us.  After my failed attempt to diagnose the problem I had high hopes he could set it right...

They were quickly dashed when he showed me where the casing was irreperably cracked. 

With this setback fatigue caught up with me, and I took an afternoon nap for the first time in ages, and hoped that when I woke I would have the energy to carry on.  No such luck!  Further trouble ensued when I started to empty the dishwasher for washing the jars for the pickled asparagus, and found that it wasn't draining.  Didn't it know there were twenty-four pounds of asparagus that needed to be done?  Apparently not.

In situations like these my mother would say, "these things are sent to try us," and then expect us to carry on despite.  So, I bailed out the dishwasher, cleared the trap, reset it, loaded it up, and it's running again now in hopes that the problem is solved...  Knock on wood.

Dinner was a hodge-podge of leftovers, and once Suzy, Aija, and Nyls were all off to bed I made one more stab at being productive, and the least I could do is prepare the strawberries and set them down to freeze.  Fortunately they were beautiful berries, and only a half-dozen out of six quarts were unusable, and even good parts of the sketchy ones only made a small batch for breakfast.  The rest were carefully laid out on a large tray so none were touching to ensure they freeze properly. 

The strawberries are down in the chest freezer now, and I've laid in a couple of big jugs of spring water for pickling tomorrow, and the asparagus and rhubarb are in water to keep them crisp and fresh.  It feels like progress, so I'm going to put the challenges of the day behind me and chalk it up as a win.

Good night!

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