Zucchini, peppers, onions, cauliflower, chop, chop, chop, chop.
Peppers, onions, tomatoes, chop, chop, chop.
Those vegetables don't include the chopping for the spaghetti, pizza and marinara sauces. I am a chopping machine these days. Preserves fly out of the kitchen as I label bottles of zucchini mustard pickles, salsa and the rest to store for the coming year.
I love this time of year and this activity. It harkens back to my youth, when Nan and Mom and all the women of the neighbourhood made preserves. It started in August as berries ripened and berry picking expeditions headed out to areas known for various kinds of berries. I always loved berry picking and when I was old enough, I worked at the preserving as well.
Wild raspberry, blueberry, strawberry and partridgeberry, also know as lingonberry, patches yielded buckets of delicious fruit, made into pies, puddings, cakes and jams. Much of a woman’s work this time of year was preparing for the winter and preserves were a key component of that preparation.
Pickles were a common preserve as well. Mom always made green tomato pickles or pickled beets. We usually had enough until the next preserving season.
These days, my husband and I are not jam lovers, so my focus is on pickles, plus salsa, pizza and other sauces, made from my garden tomatoes. Marinara sauce is next!
P.S. While I was chopping tomatoes for a recent recipe, my husband asked, "What are you making this time?"
"Salsa," I replied.
Seconds later, salsa music filled the air. Chopping to the music made the time fly. Too bad I threw out my back.