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The Fun Never Ends

Enjoy Annual Washington Organic Week, WOW! – September 7-13, 2014

On Labor Day Monday, my neighbor generously offered his apples for picking. At the tail-end of a four day marathon of harvesting, drying, canning, freezing, baking, cooking and eating the avalanche of local food bounty, a not-so-reliable sanity unexpectedly prevailed.  When it comes to gathering local, seasonal edibles, I customarily have trouble saying no. This time I took a rain-check.

With the passing of each Labor Day I remark how that particular weekend was the pinnacle of how much food processing got done. There’s a new bar this year, especially if you consider the variety. The four-day craziness included:

Peach, tomato & pepper salsa

Roasted heritage tomato enchilada sauce

A family recipe rhubarb-oat-brown sugar crunch

Peach & anise clafouti

Bison jerky with soy & my own honey

Dried fig & black krim tomatoes

Rhubarb-raisin marmalade

Frozen whole Amish Paste tomatoes

Roasted vegetable pizza sauce

Some photos follow to share the beauty of the season.

Peach Salsa

Peach Salsa

Rhubarb Crunch








Dried Fig Tomato

Dried Fig Tomato

Bison Jerky

Bison Jerky







Roasted Veg Pizza Sauce

Roasted Veg Pizza Sauce

And because I need to eat to maintain stamina, not just put it all in storage for later, some other items on the list included:

Prepared salads – (1) kale, heirloom tomato, olive, basil & mozzarella, and (2) chard, beet, red onion, garlic, lentil and cherry balsamic vinaigrette

Pizza – the sauce I just made, pulled pork, ciopollini onion, yellow bell pepper, dried fig tomato (using up last year’s), cilantro & cotija cheese

It was an excellent choice purchasing that cushy floor mat last year, as it buffered the impact of the many hours in front of the kitchen sink. I’m also grateful for sharp knives in my possession. Those and the incredible smells of fresh produce make it easier to process the goods and tolerate the constant view of the siding of my other neighbor’s house.

Do I want apples? Better question… can I handle apples right now? The dogs need to be walked, and the yard mowed and prepared for frost. So grateful my current houseguest is of the self-entertaining variety!

Thank goodness backpacking and camping rank equally high on the priority list of activities. The view is much improved, and it keeps me temporarily out of arm’s reach of more kitchen projects. Wait, that actually didn’t work last time when we collected a grocery bag of foraged mushrooms and two gallons of huckleberries. Good problems to have, right?

Of course it does eventually end, after the fall mushroom foraging, that is. And there is great satisfaction in pulling these treats from the pantry and freezer to enjoy through the winter. The cooked dishes from those ingredients warm the body, and the memories of picking, growing, canning, drying, eating and trading those ingredients with family and friends warm the heart.

Yes it’s worth the effort, but can those plums, squash, potatoes and the fifth round of tomatoes hold off while I catch my breath? This time of year offers so much deliciousness, it’s tough to know my limits. Bring on those apples!



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