Tag Archive | intention

Meaningful Satisfaction

Nine pounds of tomatoes in the over-sink colander for yesterday’s kitchen project, another batch of salsa.
Ingredients for the second batch of salsa, all from the garden! I can’t help crowing about it. Remembering the intention I set thirty years ago, or more accurately the wish I declared: “I want to buy some land and grow my own food.” Each meal I prepare from the garden, each batch of food from the garden I put up in cans or the freezer, I feel such meaningful satisfaction.
Assorted hot peppers diced: jalapeƱos, Jigsaw peppers, and an Aji Crystal.
This salsa recipe adds an interesting step: chop all ingredients and strain them over a bowl for six hours. This allegedly helps the tomatoes retain their body in the salsa. You simmer the liquid from them with vinegars and tomato paste (I used last year’s frozen cubes) until it reduces a bit, then add the diced fruits and bring to a boil again. I’ve been really happy with the two batches I made this way.

One of today’s kitchen projects was to combine both batches of fermented peppers and blend them into a hot sauce rough draft. I’ll ferment at least one more batch of yellow, orange and red peppers along with a carrot or two and a red onion from the garden, and then blend all these phases together before bottling. It was naive of me to think the various pepper varieties would all ripen at the same time, and I’m grateful for allowing things to be as they are and adapting my plans accordingly.

Beware, all ye who said my previous batch of hot sauce “wasn’t hot enough”!
This jar will wait in the fridge for the remaining peppers to ripen and ferment. I will probably end up saving the Datil peppers for their own hot sauce, but use the rest of the Scorpions and Aji Crystals for sauce–we’ll know more later.

Another of today’s kitchen projects was spicy dill pickles. I made six half-pints and for the first time in my nascent canning career made a dreadful mistake. Not the first mistake I’ve made canning, but the first time I’ve made this one: I screwed one ring on crooked so the lid wasn’t held down and didn’t seal. Somehow, though, the jar didn’t fill with canning water: the pickles smelled fine, so I reset the lid and stuck the jar in the fridge. I’ll test it in a couple of weeks, the recommended time for pickles to steep before tasting. If it goes bad, oh well, compost. I put a tiny red Jigsaw pepper and one slice of orange jalapeƱo in each jar, along with a quarter teaspoon of dill seed.

After a busy day in the garden and kitchen and a couple of short walks, I lay on my back on the chaise for toes-up time. Little Wren had to investigate so she jumped up on my belly and coming close, cocked her head: What are you doing? Do you want me to lick your face?