…southeastern Pennsylvania style! You may have read Sharon’s post with this same title, so here is my edition of our ‘end of summer’ here in countryville, Pennsylvania! In Utah, summer means hiking in mountains and canyons, rodeos, and Utah Statehood days; in our neck of the woods, it means stocking and storing up Summer’s Bounty!
Last year, I posted about canning tomatoes, something I had never done before! Then I tasted the canned tomatoes. I was sold on them. The problem was, in January, I ran out. And then it was, that I decided, rain or shine, this next summer, I would can tomatoes, and I would can a lot of them! So last week I did twenty-four quarts, and may have more to come! Have you ever tasted home-canned tomatoes? Suffice it to say, I don’t mind if I never taste store-bought canned tomatoes again!Oh yes, and those green beans are actually remnants of last summer’s bounty! They have a story of their own you can read if you missed it last year!
Then there is the sweet corn. Oh, the sweet corn! A dear friend (and even more dearer now!) blanched and froze corn with another lady from church. Kindly, she offered to give us a bag. I expected one ziploc bag of frozen fresh corn for us to taste. Well, she awarded us with a grocery bag full of sweet corn! Wow, what a blessing! We tasted it for the first time last Sunday. I hate to be prejudice, but it had to be the best I remember! It had no sugar added to it, and yet was soooooo sweet! And the flavor and even texture were perfect! Come to find out, it was from this church lady’s Amish neighbors. Well, they must know the secret to raising and harvesting sweet corn!
Then there are all the berries! Last year we picked wine berries, a type of red raspberry, and I also picked blueberries. Well, this year I went the easy route, and simply bought blueberries and strawberries. I had to get up a good store of strawberries for Dustin’s favorite smoothie: Strawberry-Banana-Orange Juice. Bananas are still easy to find in the winter, as is orange juice, but strawberries go from $1-2/quart to $5-6/quart!
And last, but not least, we made refrigerator pickles. Dustin had a taste for pickles, and so after some research, we decided to make our own. We found a good recipe, put the spices into the jars, sliced and chopped cucumbers to fill them, and added the vinegar and water. They look mighty tasty, but we have to wait one more week for them to ‘pickle’ before eating them.
And there you have it…this time of year is very busy here in rural PA! There are produce stands all over the place, not to mention the farm markets; and some ladies at our church are very busy canning and freezing and pickling! We certainly don’t compare to the stockpiles some families amass, but we do make our own feeble attempt to preserve Summer’s Bounty!