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2013/09/03 / Shanan


Sorry for the silent treatment, but my head’s been elsewhere these last few days.  I won’t get too deep into it, but I’ve been extremely anxious about Theo starting school (especially vis à vis her seemingly-forever-in-progress toilet-training) and my first in-car driving lesson, which is booked for this afternoon.  I consider myself lucky that I have, in my daily life in general, very little that truly stresses me out.  I mean I still get tired, and can feel overwhelmed, and I have my bi-monthly personal crisis about work and money, but those things don’t provoke the deep-down visceral reaction I’ve been experiencing lately that I just can’t shake.  I don’t really feel like myself.

My defence mechanism has been to retreat into harvesting and canning and preserving the ridiculous bounty that our garden has been giving up.  It’s something that has to be done right now, which turns out to be good timing. And, it temporarily mellows me out a LOT.  Have I told you my theory about the internet morphing into a space that exists for the sole purpose of posting photos of your food and your kids?

home canning dill pickles jalapeños

Image up top: Pickled green beans and corn. Above: Just a few of the many jars of garlic dill pickles and jalapeños I’ve canned.  Oh yeah no biggie, but I’ve been told I make the best pickles ever.

blanching freezing green beans garden

Blanched garden green beans cooling off in an ice-water-bath before going into the freezer.

dill flowers

We could fill our entire kitchen with dill flowers if we so choose it.  Oh, it smells amazing.

huge garden tomato

The biggest tomato so far generously sacrificed itself in a delicious caprese salad.

jar preserved lemons

I even made a jar of preserved lemons.  I don’t even know what preserved lemons are, or what they taste like.

twisted heirloom carrots

The heirloom carrots are caught in a compromising position.  Oy, that’s all I got today.  Coach, I promise I’ll be back in the game shortly. With 110%.  Thanks for listening.  xx Shanan

  • janet:

    hi shanan!

    i’ve been following the symmetric for a while now and you are killing it! care to share a recipe for the pickled jalepenos? we are drowning in them from our csa share!

  • allison b-t:

    oh man, i am so jealous of your preserving skills! i am more than overwhelmed by my bounty and am currently letting it all rot on the vine, as it were, lest i have to DO something with it all.
    i did pick five million tomatoes yesterday, some cukes, a few peppers and i added to my already large collection of zucchinis bigger than myself and all are just wistfully hanging out on my counter tops. i still have beans, chard, beets, pumpkins and more peppers to pick and deal with too!
    so are you actually canning your items or just putting them in jars for the short term?
    i am terrified of actual canning but am at a stale-mate cos just putting stuff in jars for the short term feels like a waste since you have less time to eat it all. so you know, i’m just straight up wasting it all instead of taking either action … cos if i can’t eat pickled beans in february, then what’s the point of making them?? oi vey! i really feel like beating myself silly sometimes.

  • The Symmetric:

    Allison – I was pretty intimidated by the whole canning process the first time I did it but then you realize how utterly simple and actually pretty fool-proof it is (at the very least I haven’t given anybody botulism yet). I tend to can in feverish but small batches (ie. 5 jars of something at a time) because the idea of making, like, vats of strawberry jam in one go is a bit much for me.

    Janet – thank you!! The pickled jalapeno recipe is an experiment — I really just used the liquid equivalent for what I do for pickles (ie. 1 cup water + 1 cup pickling vinegar + 1 tbsp salt, brought to a boil). I sliced the jalapeños into little rounds, threw in some crushed coriander seeds, poured in the liquid and did the hot water bath. We’ll see how they turn out… Who knows. Chris is addicted to spicy pickled peppers so he will most likely devour them either way.

  • steve:

    I love spicy pickled peppers. Jealous.


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