Thursday, August 12, 2010

Seeing Blue

Mom and Dad left yesterday morning. Their car carried 49 pints of blackberry jam, about a dozen pints of sugar-free blackberry jam, 15 jars of blueberry pie filling, and 11 jars of blackberry pie filling for Mom's sale in November. They also took back other preserved stuff for their own consumption - apricot puree, pickles, apple butter, and dried apricots and cherries.

You may wonder how many blackberries and blueberries such riches require. We picked 30 pounds of blueberries last Saturday. Over the course of their time here we picked about 80 quarts of blackberries. That's a lot of picking and a lot of processing!

Before we made the pie fillings, which was a new thing, we had to do lots of testing to make sure they would work as an easy to make crisp. Just add butter to the topping mix, put everything in a casserole and bake. Testing was delicious.

We ended up using these recipes for the blackberry and blueberry fillings and the topping from an absolutely delicious apricot crisp recipe. I love this topping - I can't imagine not having almonds in my crisp now! We made a gluten free version that was just as good as the original by substituting 1/4 c potato starch and 1/4 c rice flour for the 1/2 c of flour.

Yesterday after they left I managed to get together a double batch of lasagna - one for us and one for the freezer. This is the first time I've used our own oregano, basil and onion along with the home canned marinara. It again strengthened my resolve to start making mozzarella and ricotta. Of course then I'd just decide that we'd have to make our own pasta too...where would it end? ;)

And I just had to post today's dinner since it's one of my favorites and this is the first time we've made it this season. We've only gotten two little tomatoes out of the garden so far so they had to be purchased from a farmer but the basil is ours.
And, for the record, today I planted the fall/winter garden - brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, carrots, parsnips, red onions, garlic, peas, lettuce, and spinach. I've had varied success with winter plantings so far. We'll see how this one goes.

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