I spent several hours this afternoon chopping tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and cabbage so I could prepare a spicy relish that I made last year with our Kyrgyz exchange student. She now lives in D.C. with her husband, and it took a flurried exchange of emails and an emergency phone call to nail down the recipe.
I had to laugh--she sent me the quantities in kilograms. :)
In Kyrgyzstan, if you don't preserve the harvest, you don't have a lot of vegetables to choose from in the winter. I know that I can go up the street to the market and buy just about anything I want in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables 12 months a year. (Even if it is flown in from halfway around the world and Beyond that, there is also canned or frozen, an incredible abundance of food that we take utterly for granted. But there is something completely satisfying in taking summer's bounty and saving it for a cold, bleak winter day.
I learned to can years ago and it doesn't feel like fall to me until I have rows and rows of colorful jars on my pantry shelves.
Today, I preserved 8 quarts of the relish/salad Nurjan taught me how to make, using a combination of our garden's output and the share we get from our local CSA farm.
It's like capturing sunshine, summer rainfall, and the buzz of cicadas in a glass jar.