I find that I work well within boundaries to a certain extend. When something becomes a chore, like something I have to make or do, it always ends up on the bottom. However, creating a list of fun activities or restaurants has always worked well. On the occasional free weekend when my husband and I have nothing to do, we usually do just that—nothing. We forget about the museum exhibits or parks we want to visit, the hikes or beach trips. Sometimes there seems to be too many options so we feel paralyzed and lazy and just do nothing.
If you look hard enough there are still just a few peaches left. I almost overlooked them at the Fort Greene Farmer’s Market last week, mistaken them for another variety of apples among the already half a dozen or so other bins. Between canning, crisping and just straight out eating, I feel like I’ve gotten my fill of peaches for the summer. But when the last of a harvest is about to leave you for almost a full year, somehow you find the need to buy just a few more.
I know, I’ve been MIA for a bit. I’ve been up to my elbows in tomatoes, literally. September is looking like a pretty hectic month and I needed to make sure I got my tomato canning in. With the next three weekends booked, last Saturday seemed like my only option so I headed down to the Fort Greene Greenmarket and my favorite farm, Wilklow Orchards, to pick up 50 pounds. Where they sat, all weekend while we visited family in Jersey. Part of me hoped we’d return to find them magically transformed into chopped and sauced tomatoes, but alas, these weren’t the self canning variety. Instead, I’ve spent the past three nights canning. Coming home around 5pm, and peeling, cutting and canning until near midnight each evening.
It’s the peeling that really gets me, a step required for chopped or whole tomatoes. For marinara sauce, you can leave them unpeeled and push everything through a food mill before cooking it down to a thicker sauce. Though if you’ve ever messed around with a food mill in tomatoes, it’s not the easiest or cleanest job. I feel like I loose half my tomatoes with the skin and end up with a fraction of the yield promised. BUT this year I discovered the secret to easy sauce, higher yield and less skin problems.
For a long time I found myself disappointed with the quality of apricots I found at the greenmarkets. I remember desserts of bright orange with vibrant flavor and sweetness. Yet with every (pretty expensive) apricot I bite into, I feel underwhelmed. It was only after I did some research online that I learned those bland apricots I tasted are perfectly right. Apricots are amazing in the way that they are the only fruit that truly comes alive after being cooked. You’ll never get the same satisfaction from a raw apricot as you would a juicy peach but cook them up in a bread pudding or even can them and you’ll be well rewarded for your efforts.
It was a typical CSA pickup. I checked in. Grabbed my peaches, then started towards the veggies. I came across the usual leafy green suspects, turnips, lettuce and then stopped. I stared into the bin. A large, slightly misshaped purple thing stared back at me. Hello kohlrabi. Think broccoli stem, but more round and purple. It was seriously ugly with a few stems haphazardly extending from its base. Certainly new to me, but after being a CSA member for three years, not much phases me anymore. I picked it up, added it to my haul and headed home without the faintest idea of what to make.