Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Clearing the Decks

Cucumbers anyone?
 It's amazing how quickly the time slips by! Between work, getting over the family cold, and a extended long weekend up in Owen Sound visiting my folks, it's been over a week since I've been able to post.  That doesn't mean things have been idle.   As we'll be travelling in September, the pressure is on to get quite a bit of pickling and canning done before be leave for Greece.

The pickles on to ferment
Last week saw the delivery of a bushel of pickling cucumbers from Haystrom Farm, and let me say a bushel is a lot of little cukes! Sorting them by size, washing, and preparing them took a fair bit of Thursday afternoon.  By the evening we were ready to go with three kinds of pickles: twenty-odd pounds were set to ferment in a big bucket, another 5 pounds of little ones were stored in the fridge for doing dills when we got back, and the ones that were too big for either were quartered and put in the fridge in a brine for a quick pickle.

Fresh salsa for a summer feast
The next few days in Owen Sounds were a bit of a break on the shore for us  despite Nyls deciding that he wasn't going to sleep for longer than two hours the first two nights.  Fortunately there was nothing for us to do; my folks had everything planned, and we feasted on pork chops, ribs, roast beast, and lots of local vegetables, expecially corn on the cob..  Aija did take the time to make French toast one morning with her Momo and she and I whipped up a batch of fresh salsa from leftovers when old friends of the family joined us for dinner one night.

Aija's helping hands
Nyls decided to sleep a little better Sunday night, so we returned to the Hotel Cavell with a plan to clear the decks in the cold cellar and freezer for the new stock that will be coming in over the coming weeks.  Six jars of canned whole San Marzano tomatoes and six bags of frozen paste came up from last years stock to be made into a giant batch of Marinara sauce for freezing.  Suzy, Aija, and I worked hard though the afternoon to get it done, and enjoyed a lovely dinner of sphaghetti with meatballs as a reward.

The fruits of our labours
When all was cleaned up and squared away the fermenting cukes were skimmed, the fresh pickles shaken, and the rest of the pickling cucumbers put in ice water for pickling this evening.  The jars are washed, lids are on hand, and we're ready to begin a marathon session of pickling!

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