Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blueberry Day

It's 90 degrees right now on its way up to 96. Ben and Milo are in the pool on the deck and I am watching them from the couch (there's a wall, a window, and about 12 feet between them and I--but the door is at the end of the couch).

Today's mission is to complete an algebra lesson on which I have a long way to go. But much has been accomplished. Max and I headed out to the garden this morning and I finished another massive round of weeding while he watered everything. Both thriving broccoli plants (there is a third that is sort of just sitting there. It looks fine, but it hasn't grown in a month.) were ready to give up their head of broccoli, so I broke those off and brought them home. Max's watermelons are really coming along. At this rate we'll have some to eat in a matter of weeks. A big improvement over the watermelons of last year which didn't set any fruit until late August and never ripened before freezing set in. Interestingly enough, both the watermelon (Sugar Baby) and musk melon (Pulsar) are doing much better in the more harsh conditions of the community garden than they are in the well-watered, well-fertilized, well-weeded condition of the front-yard garden.

We (the twins and I) ate one of the broccoli heads for lunch. We had it steamed with butter and salt and I was interested in seeing how (if) it was different from the sort I usually get from the store. Well, it was. It had a decidedly nutty flavor to it--something that kind of turned off my usually enthusiastic broccoli eater (Milo) and made my less enthusiastic broccoli eater (Ben) gulp his down.

I don't know what all we're having for dinner, but I know it will include zucchini, since one of those was ready to eat, too.

Once back home I washed the garden off my skin--scrubbed really. I'd been deep in the tomatoes pruning off the sick branches and my arms and legs and hands were covered in yellow/green tomato sap. Then worked a bit on the algebra, and decided to get the first half of 20 lbs of blueberries canned. I had decided to do the first ten lbs as a raw pack in medium-weight syrup--to use later in cobbler or pie. My canner only fits 7 quarts, and 10 lbs of blue berries yields 8 quarts (measured by quart canning jars anyway). So I looked thoughtfully at the remaining quart of blueberries and decided they must want to be made into cobbler for today. So while the 7 quarts were processing, I threw together the cobbler. Again, I don't know what we're having for dinner, but I know what we're having for dessert. (And it won't be that long before I make it again--one of the quarts didn't seal.)

Tomorrow is a crazy busy day with piano lessons and boy scouts and more work, but somewhere in there I need to put up the remaining 10 lbs of blueberries as jam.

Emily is napping happily in front of the fan. This is no accident. When the temperatures climb, she goes and finds a fan and lays in front of it.

For an oppressively hot day I'm in a good mood. My house is a total wreck (which I find depressing), but my boys are all home. The blueberries helped, too. The many colors of blueberries are so vibrant. You feel less like a "cook" and more like an artist transforming empty jars into purple glass and empty pots into deep red jelly and empty casserole dishes--well, into messy, delicious cobbler.

I'd better get some more algebra done.


Elizabeth said...

Frozen blueberries are divine. back when I lived in the land of plentiful, good produce I could get a pack of blueberries and another free. I'd just pop the free pack in the freezer and they were done in a day. then you can just pop them one at a time in your mouth and let them melt.

So good, so healthy :D

Dy said...

*sigh* I need an Alaska of my very own. Preferably one next door, who would help me get into these wonderful grooves.

The cobbler looks absolutely scrumptious. So do the canned berries. I love berries. They just seem to scream, "It's SUMMER! Be HAPPY!" And if even I, the summer-hater, can hear it... well, wow.