|On the left peaches from a kind neighbor and on the right tomatoes from our garden! I am hoping to make salsa tomorrow.|
"While the men worked on the barn Garnet and her mother had their hands full with the house and garden; for now the garden was yielding in all its abundance. It was hard to keep up with it. When you had finished picking all the beans it was time to pick yellow squashes, shaped like hunting horns. And when you had got through with squash it was time for the beans again. And then you had to hurry, hurry and gather the bursting ripe tomatoes from the heavy vines, for canning. Then there were beets and carrots to be attended to; and after that it was time for the beans again.
"Beans never know when to stop" said Garnet's mother in annoyance.
Corn was picked every day; and that was pleasant , walking in the rustling good-smelling aisles between the stalks. And the watermelons! Big solid green ones that Garnet thumped with a finger to see if they sounded ripe. And every now and then she dropped one on purpose and it would burst open, cold as a glacier and rosy red. Then she would walk homeward dripping and drooling, spitting out black seeds and feeling fine.
And Canning! Oh those weeks of harvesting and peeling and preparing apples, peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, plums and beans. All day the kitchen smelled like heaven and was filled with steam.The stove was covered with kettles and vats, and upside down on the windowsill stood processions of mason jars full of bright color and hot to the touch."
From Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright 1938
Jemimah and I recently finished reading Thimble Summer together. It is hard to say who enjoyed it more. I love stories that are set in rural areas and especially those that take place in the 1930's. Thimble Summer is a simple story that spans a summer in the life of a young mid-western farm girl. There were many incidents in the story that made us laugh and a couple that surprised Jemimah. She would occasionally feel it necessary to scold the main character, Garnet, as she would get herself into some rather wild predicaments.
I especially enjoyed the descriptions of home and family throughout the book. The selection I shared above seemed to capture the essence of August. The smells, the warmth, the abundance.
My kitchen has been once again taken over by my canner and an assortment of beautiful vegetables from our garden. We feel truly blessed by the produce we have picked each day.
Today I made dill relish. I have made dill pickles each year but never relish. Adam loves relish and made a special request that I would find a relish recipe and give it a try. This was the ideal year since we seem to have more cucumbers than we know what to do with. This is the recipe I used. I can't say how it tastes, it needs to set for two weeks before using. But we are looking forward to sampling some then!
Don't forget, it is always best to do your canning in a pretty apron. It makes the experience more enjoyable, and keeps your clothes clean. : ) This particular apron is sewn from one of my favorite calicos, so be sure to stop by my shop if you find yourself in need of a new apron.
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18