Wednesday, April 25, 2012
THE NEITHER HERE NOR THERE MONTH
When we were out, I noticed the white trilliums on the edge of the forest. They are always a good indication that the elusive morel mushroom is lurking about. When I was a child, mushroom picking was part of our family's spring ritual. The entire family went; parents, grandparents, children and even babies. My grandfather was the best hunter. He said he could smell them, which I could never figure out, since the smelled just like plain old dirt to me. At the end of the day, we would have several grocery sacks full. When I see how expensive they are in the store, all I can think of is the thousands of dollars worth we picked in my childhood. Once home with our bounty, my mother would fry them in butter and we would have them on toast for dinner. The rest were frozen for use throughout the year. Even as a child, there was great satisfaction in knowing that you had contributed in a small way to our family's budget.
Now days, I buy my mushrooms from the mushroom farm. They always have nice sackfuls for a good price. We dehydrate them and pack in those vacuum packed packages. Dehydrating and drying is something I plan to do more this year. And less canning. The peppers that I diced and dried are still better than any of the fresh peppers I can purchase at the grocers. And the tomatoes taste just like they did fresh. Plus the dried ones take up a lot less space. A whole bushel full condensed down to a few canning jars.
Taking stock of the pantry is one of the April activities here at Sweet Briar Cottage. There are some things that I've discovered are useless to can, like asparagus. Asparagus is just one of those things that is to be enjoyed while in season. Ditto for rhubarb. A rhubarb pie in December just doesn't taste right. Rhubarb and asparagus belong to the spring. There are some things that I cannot can enough of. Spaghetti sauce never lasts until we can make more, no matter how much I can. And I've discovered that the chili that I experimented with when I was trying to use up the last of the peppers and tomatoes was a big hit. I can it in pint sized jars and my husband loves it for a snack in the evening. Why not? With all it's tomatoes and peppers, it's a lot healthier then chips and dip.
So that's it for the month of April here at our little abode. Not much new to report. I've been knitting lots of socks, using up my yarn stash, but they are just plain old socks and not really anything remarkable. Everyone will be receiving a pair this Christmas. Or maybe a couple pairs! Next month brings gardening, and repainting the porch. I'm thinking about doing a splatter pattern on the decking. Always looking forward to what lies around the bend!