Come Winter, You'll Be Glad

...that you can open a jar of homemade jam and smear it on bread. That the freezer is full of the likes of green beans, kale, red cabbage. That you can make delicious warming soup with the saved vegetable water and squash purées. That you can top your pasta with stewed tomatoes or pesto. That the pantry is stocked with jars of sauerkraut and applesauce. That you can treat yourself to a delicious berry cordial.

While I do enjoy preserving food, occasionally, when I’ve been up since dawn and it’s after dark and I’m still blanching and freezing kale, or cutting up green beans or washing pots, sticky with leftover jam, dead on my feet, these mantras akin to “come winter, you’ll be glad you did this” are what get me through.

So far, the freezer is filling up with bags of green beans, kale and summer squash purée. The pantry now has a decent collection of homemade jams and jellies* (mulberry, red currant, wineberry and blueberry.) There is a wineberry cordial in the works. Herbs are drying. Beets were pickled. The largest head of cabbage will become cabbage rolls.

What has been happening in your kitchen or garden lately? What things (food related or otherwise) do you push through, knowing they’ll pay off in the end? 

*This is the first time I’ve made it myself and am surprised how easy and fun it is. The only experiences I’ve had with making jams or jellies in the past have been kitchen grunt work: cleaning up dishes, helping seal jars. I’ve been using Pomona’s Pectin and really love how you can scale back the sugar content while avoiding all the added preservatives and whatnot.