Sunday, September 7, 2008

Eating locally while writing a dissertation and other tales of wonder and superhuman skill...

Unfortunately I choose to finish my dissertation writing just at harvest time. I've been trying to balance eating, cooking, freezing, canning, etc. with needing to be spending 95% of my waking hours working on the last bits of research and writing it up.

I've been so inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's book that I want to do what I can to make it so I can eat locally as much as possible. So, it's usually a game of trying to write until I'm absolutely thick-headed and then trying to cook or preserve whatever just came in. Or, usually, whatever came in several days ago and needs to be dealt with or abandoned for compost.

Making pesto late at night? It's what I do these days.

Yesterday we made several quarts of a beautiful pink vegetable broth, using up some old shriveled beets, corn cobs, herbs, etc. That's in the freezer waiting to be used for winter soups and risottos (risotti?).

We also have lots of frozen pesto, and tomato sauce; shredded zucchini, berries, and sour cherries. Shallots and onion live in the basement along with fingerling potatoes.

We've planted fall beets, lettuce, chard, Tuscan kale, cabbage, broccoli, and spinach.

Today I picked pears, tomatoes, raspberries, hard squash, and potatoes.

And last weekend, I canned my first peaches. It was a bit of a splurge in terms of time, but I figured it would be a little present to myself. Only one jar didn't seal but I've already eaten it! Not too bad for a beginner, tasted good!



Here they are, looking beautiful in the sunshine. Next to them is a big vase of sunchoke flowers. The plants back in the garden are glorious: 8 feet tall and covered in these yellow flowers, which, strangely, smell just like peanut butter to me.



This is a photo of what my kitchen counter looks like these days.


Note the gargantuan scale of some of the veggies. That's Bill's nano, just to give you a sense of scale.



Sometimes I get to sleep too. Once in a while.

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