Planning and Canning

I went back to work yesterday after 11 luxurious days off.  Those days went far too fast…

Tonight the tree came down and all the foof and glitter of the season was re-boxed and sent back out to the barn…

Now I’m in a total and complete lull.  When Autumn came, it was all about putting food up and filling the pantry.  Readying the garden and orchard for the winter.  Then came hunting season and weekends spent hiking over hill and over dale looking for various furry four legged (and feathered two legged) creatures to call dinner.  The take for the season was an antelope, a whitetail buck, some grouse and two tom turkeys.  All mighty tasty.   Next came the holidays with endless crafting, gift making, card writing, baking, tree trimming and all the festivity that makes it one of my favorite times of year.

New Year’s day came and went.  And now all’s quite in the house.

Over the holiday break LLM and I perused the seed catalogs and put together our order for this year’s garden.  It’s going to be a monster.  And pretty darn complete, including some herbs that were never planted in the past.  Ahhhh – it’s nice to add my woman’s touch!  The only thing we decided against were beans.  We figured that between the poor Montana soil, the time and effort involved in growing and shelling them, that in the end it was cheaper for us to go to the bulk store and buy dry beans.  But otherwise, there are tomatoes, corn, beans (string type, not drying type), hot peppers, onions, potatoes, radishes, carrots, squashes, cilantro, chives, and a whole bunch of other things that are slipping my mind right now.  I’m looking forward to digging in the dirt again soon.

We were starting to amass a collection of empty canning jars in the kitchen again, so we decided to re-fill them.  On Christmas we had made a bean soup and put some of the wild turkey breast in it, and decided that it was – in fact – the best soup ever cooked by any person ever in the whole history of ever.  We ate the whole pot.  So we did our best to re-make it in a double batch and filled enough jars to fill two pressure canners with soup, and still had two bowls left over to munch on while they processed.  Now we have 14 jars of bean and wild turkey soup sitting in the pantry begging to be eaten.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the next night we decided to pull some wild berries out of the deep freeze and make a batch of mixed berry jam to can up.  We had a mix of currants, salmon berries, raspberries, black berries and we supplemented the mix with some frozen strawberries.  We called it CRABASS Jam (Currant-Raspberry-And Blackberry-And Salmon-Strawberry Jam).  Heh heh – it was amusing at the time.  In fact, it still kind of is.  🙂  And the mixed jam tastes wonderful!

Winter’s not really embracing western Montana this year.  I think we got some snow up high with this system that moved through over the past couple of days.  But down here in the valleys it’s just been raining (pouring, actually) and in the upper 30s.  Kind of yucky.  So for as much as I love winter – I’m looking forward to spring.  I’m partial to cold and snowy winters – not warm and wet.  And I’m looking forward to digging in the dirt again and watching the plants grow.

For now – I’ll embrace the calm.  Read some books.  Work on some craft projects for me and LLM.  And just be.

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Categories: Misc Musings | Leave a comment

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