Well, our heirloom tomatoes are bumper right now, so the obvious thing to do is make sauce with everything from the garden.
First we collected a whole bunch of these guys, and some of the garlic that’s been drying in the barn.
And some of the onions. So much crying in the kitchen (although now nearly as much as when we were digging up the scallions earlier this week. I thought I was dying).
Fresh basil and oregano…
Twenty cloves of garlic for our four batches of sauce. Kim made three batches, since she’s freezing most of it, and I made one, since I’m a new-sauce-maker and I didn’t want to ruin a million jars, just in case.
First we had to peel all the tomatoes (48 tomatoes!) so we dropped them all in boiling water for less than a minute, then dunked them in ice water. That makes the skin split so they can be peeled easily.
Peeling and coring all those tomatoes.
Chopping up the oregano and basil– so much prettier when it’s not dried and in those little red shakers!
The sauce had to simmer for two hours, then we added a bit of brown sugar and merlot, and then simmer for another hour. In total, including the chopping and prepping time, it was a five hour ordeal.
After we let it sit overnight, it was finished! I got a little over five of these jars. Delish.
Too long since the last post, but I’ve been busy jammin’ and infusin’ and all sorts of things.
First of all, Aaron came and visited, and is now sitting next to me on our Porch of Wi-Fi. We’ve been doing a lot of reading (Ender’s Game [him], The Poisonwood Bible [me]) and eating our faces off. Subsequently we’ve come to know the inside of the outhouse quite well.
Today we picked onions. We look none too thrilled, but it was really fun. There was no need for quality control, as we could just yank up all those little suckers.
Tomatoes are in full bloom!
Leading to many tomato-mozzarella-basil sandwiches.
Since we have such a plethora of blueberries, I decided to infuse some gin. I found all these recipes online for different infused alcohols, so I’m going to try a bunch.
Today it’s a much darker purple, and I think it’ll be ready by tomorrow.
Jam-making also happened:
We had to throw the jars in the oven before we plunged them in the hot water, etc, to disinfect and make sure we all don’t get botulism.
I’ll have a picture of the finished jam next time. Delicious.
Tomorrow we’re going to meet up with Lucy and Paul and Caitie in Madison and go to the New Glarus Brewery!
Must leave, as have only 10 minutes left on the laptop.
Well, I managed to find my meandering way to the Wormfarm Institute, where I’ll be a farmer slash artist-in-residence until mid-October. Wormfarm is an artfarm with a sprawling vegetable garden; it focuses on the the intersections of “culture and agriculture.” Since most people are confused when I say I’m going to be writing and farming for the next ten weeks, I thought I’d give a virtual tour.
This is the main house, where the owners live. This is the only place on the farm that has internet access.
So I sit on the porch and use the internet.
Down the road to our barn. The bucket is a reminder that the electric fence is here right now.
The barn– my home for the next ten weeks!
The main floor of the barn is a lot of storage. The stairs lead to the second floor, where I live, and that door goes into the kitchen.
The second floor of the barn– take note of the rope swing. That little white box is my bedroom, and the box above it is the reading room.
The other side of the barn– the door on the far far right is my writing studio; the door next to it leads downstairs. The box on the left is where Kim, the farm manager, lives.
This is my bedroom! Small and cozy.
The reading room! The box above my bedroom.
One side of my writing studio. The window lets in a lot of light.
My writing studio inexplicably houses a bed, which I use to store my knitting and/or cry while watching Season 3 of Game of Thrones.
One of the artists’ studios on the second floor.
The second floor houses so much stuff leftover from past artists.
The cleanest kitchen I’ve ever had.
The kitchen leads into the washroom.
There’s a claw-foot tub and a sink, but no bathroom.
The view from the second level of the barn, which leads out onto a hill.
Side of the barn– that white attachment is our washroom.
Kim, the farm manager, reading a graphic novel.
The outhouse is nicer than I anticipated.
One of the little seedling areas.
The fish poop is used to fertilize the little plants, or something. Ask me next week.
Hugest cow pies.
We get to eat all the produce we want.
I’ve never eaten so many vegetables, and it’s only the third day.
Stocked full of grains.
Kim is an expert jam-maker. She’s going to teach me how to can.
I love the pieces of art that other residents have left behind.