|12 pounds of freshly picked strawberries|
The past few weeks have been anything but routine. The incredible success of my SF book, DERELICT continues to astound me, and if I'm being perfectly honest here, makes me feel more than a little sick to my stomach.
I'm a very private, quiet person who doesn't much care to be in the spotlight, so having so much buzz about this book is something I hadn't been prepared for. Am I grateful? Hell YES. This is what I dreamed of and have been working toward for the past ten years. It's just a tad bit overwhelming.
What helps my settle in my life are precious routines and making and preserving the season's harvest is one of those routines that follow a very predictable pattern and goes a long way to organizing my time. It's strawberry season and the strawberries don't care if I'm stressed out. They will only be ripe for the picking for a short time, so if I want to have jam all winter long, I have to go and get them now.
I spent a lovely morning Friday picking these luscious berries with a friend of mine. Yes, I ate my fill while we were picking. :) Today, I spent an hour or so washing, removing the green, and chopping them. The chopped berries (minus the ones I *had* to eat - they were too ripe to preserve, darn!) are sitting with sugar in the fridge overnight to macerate the fruit.
Tomorrow, I'll can the first batches of what will be strawberry-balsamic preserves.*
Here is my method/recipe from a post 2 years ago: http://ljcbluemuse.blogspot.com/2012/06/strawberries.html
Once strawberry season is done, it'll be time for blueberries. Then tomatoes, peaches, and pickles. No matter how off-kilter life's events push me, I know there will be something coming ripe at the CSA I belong to, or at the farmer's market. There's something soothing and satisfying in that.
*One of my favorite ways to use these preserves is to dollop a spoonful in a bowl of plain yogurt. Add a handful of granola and voila - breakfast.