Saturday, September 4, 2010

End of Summer

Labor Day has long been associated with the end of Summer.  It is hard to say how quickly those months pass, but it is usually at an alarming rate.  I am taking advantage of an extra day away from work to do some "homesteading" tasks.  Pickles.  Lots of cucumbers coming on with the cooler weather, sweet peppers, too and the garlic has been harvested and hung to dry.  I roasted some in the oven last week and it was sweet and nutty, the pefect spread for a piece of homemade bread.  Hubby stopped and gathered elderberries, too.  I cooked down the juice last week and will attempt to make jelly from them today. They are always a little tricky to get to gel, but we'll give it a try.  No better jelly than elderberry.  I love the concept of free food, too.  Of course, you have the cost of the sugar and the pectin, but the raw material is free for the taking.  Mind those road side stands of elderberry that have been sprayed all Summer.  Look for those off the road. 

I have Carol King playing on the CD player at the moment, to be followed by James Taylor and Phoebe Snow.   If that doesn't date me, I don't know what does! Music has the power to take you back to a particular age, a moment, a day in time.   So, I'm here in the country listening to the songs of my youth and thinking; you know, it has turned out ok.  We've got a little piece of land to call our own, food in the pantry and gas in the truck.  All things to be grateful for! 

As I finish with the cucumbers, the next thing on the list is to soak sycamore leaves and grape leaves in brandy.  This is a traditional means of aging French cheese, in particular the Banon.  Can't wait to see how this turns out.

 I think the concept of Labor Day is a day of rest for those who labor but rest comes in different forms for different folks.  I do have a good book tucked away for later, after the pickling is finished.   Sounds like a great day to me, the mint tea is brewing, music playing and bread raising.  Heaven on earth.