Squeezing The Most Out of Fruit Season!
This post is full of juicy inspiration and ways to preserve summer’s sweetness.
Lazy or busy days of summer?
Well maybe both!
The story of the Ant and the Grasshopper is an Aesop’s Fable. If you don’t remember it, the story goes something like this:
There was once a lazy grasshopper who enjoyed all the beautiful things summer had to offer, laying in the shade of a tree, hopping from flower to flower enjoying their sweet perfume and wasting away the day doing absolutely nothing at all.
Living near the grasshopper was a very busy ant, he too loved all the things summer had to offer, delicious fruit and vegetables to eat and to preserve for winter and the long warm days to get the work done before winter came.
One day the grasshopper saw the little ant working tirelessly and called to him, come sit with me little ant the shade is cool and the grass smells sweet. The ant replied that he was far too busy collecting the sweet berries that he will preserve for winter.
The grasshopper shrugged and continued to laze under the tree.
Like all good things, summer ended, the days became cooler. The grasshopper began to notice there were fewer things to eat. He was cold and hungry. The little ant having stored food was warm and had a full tummy all winter long.
Life is different now, grasshopper can go to the grocery store and stay full all winter long but the ant still has the satisfaction of knowing the things in his pantry are the freshest and highest quality food because he picked it and preserved it himself!
Today we can be both the grasshopper and the ant! Enjoying the beautiful summer season and all its bounty.
Strolling through farmer’s markets or visiting a local farm, they have everything we need to get ready for winter so we can enjoy sweet jams and savory pickles that bring us back to long summer days. (Perhaps, you are a real industrial ant and have your own garden, then you truly have the freshest produce right at your fingertips)
There are so many ways to home harvesting, canning, freezing, curing, pickling and preserving.
If you don’t know where to start, jams and jellies are fairly quick and very satisfying.
The book, It Starts with Fruit, offers simple techniques and delicious recipes for the beginner and those who just want to know more. Beautiful pictures, timelines, and a whole chapter dedicated to “misfits“ preserves.
It Starts with Fruit
features 73 recipes total: master recipes for each type of preserve, followed by recipes for jams, marmalade, juices, syrups, shrubs, whole fruit preserves, butters, pie fillings, and dried fruits, plus a final chapter on baking with preserves.
Here’s a Recipe for
Homemade Pocket (Pop) Tarts
an excerpt from It Starts With Fruit
**psst: save this image for later!
Visit your local farmers market this week, pick up some berries (or whatever calls you, and perhaps try one of the following:
1. Flash Freeze
2. Give jam making a try
3. Make some tasty muffins, pancake, etc
4. Simply enjoy their fresh splendour!
Let us know what you get up to in the comments below!
For Your Library
Two other boo
ks that are a must have in the harvester’s library are Home Harvesting and Canning and Preserving both from the Backyard Farming series.
The first book gives informative advice on the different methods of storing food and the second has over 70 recipes for the homestead kitchen. One of our family favourites is the Ketchup recipe.
A Recipe for
an excerpt from Canning and Preserving
Did you know that Weck jars are wonderful for preserving? You can use them for both water bath canning and with a pressure canner.
There are some great websites that give you step by step instructions for both methods.
Also available at The Pale Blue Dot for your harvesting kitchen
I like to believe the ant invited the grasshopper into his home that cold day and shared not only his preserves but his knowledge and skills. The following summer he and grasshopper worked together. They got all the canning, pickling and preserving done so quickly that they had time to sit in the cool shade, smelling the flowers and enjoying their friendship.