Wow......summer is halfway over and I haven't even had time to THINK about an update in a while. What a whirlwind of stuff going on at the lake. New job for The Chef. Increased workload for me. Some amazing news and some devastating news. The summer has been crazy.
Our gardening style changed but with this bizarre weather we've had, it's been a roller coaster of "yay" and "oh crap" !! We had such an early last frost and warm spring, lots of plants went in the soil much much earlier. But now, we're in the middle of one of the worst dry seasons since the dust bowl. We did switch to container gardening and only have green beans in the ground but containers require alot of attention and monitoring so they don't dry out or get overly hot in the baking sun. Not sure if this was the best decision but hey, at least we're not weeding. I have developed a little network of "gardening (and canning) enablers" and we just keep each other encouraged through these tough times :)
First on the agenda- sweet corn season. It's Iowa. It's summer. It's sweet corn season. Time for me to hit the corn stands, buy dozen after dozen and spend a day shucking, blanching and freezing. So much work but it was so worth it all winter having a freezer full of summer.
It's also time to drag out the canning equipment. My neighbor has a peach tree, meaning peaches by the laundry basket-full, pear trees meaning Cinnamon Pear Jam in a few weeks, and other fruits such as grapes and mulberries. I haven't even mentioned all the tomatoes I will be canning this year. Blueberries and cherries are in the freezer waiting for Jam Marathon Day. The berry farm up the road has an order of fall raspberries lined up for me. Not sure what to expect from our bean crop this year with the excessive heat and lack of rain but time will tell. If all else fails, The Chef's new position gives him access to local food distributors and we can purchase produce such as beans by the bushel/case if we need to. All this on top of a full time job, wow...... life has taken a sudden turn for the BUSY !
I have been terrible about keeping up on my wine posts. Not to worry, that doesn't mean I haven't been keeping up on wine DRINKING though- plenty of corks have been popped over the summer so far. I think I'm going to expand that category a little bit and include a few spirits. Iowa just happens to have some pretty upscale distilleries, one in particular I absolutely love. More on that later.
So....that is my preview of coming attractions! Stay tuned for lots of pictures and recipes and hey, if you have a great jam recipe you'd like to share- please do !!