What happened to the summer season? Both my CSA summer season and the *actual* summer season? A friend came and helped me take the enormous window air conditioner out today, and I'm under several blankies right now contemplating turning the heat on or at least plugging in the electric blanket.
I spent what felt like all of August and September sick. I work for a school board, so I usually catch whatever's going around, and then usually it lands in my lungs and escalates to bronchitis. I also got a sinus infection which was new to me, and I have newfound compassion for anyone who suffers from them, or migraines, or any head pain of any fashion. Since my birthday in August, I'd been 40 for 65 days and sick for 27 of them. I was sick of being sick. And my forties were looking to kind of suck. LOL
Through it all, I did manage to get an extra bushel of tomatoes from Linda and I "did the sauce". I'd only ever done that once before. It's a large job. My friend Marilyn sent me a short email saying, "Put a sheet on the floor before you start!" and did I listen? No. I also didn't wear an apron. I don't know what I was thinking. But I managed to go through what felt like hundreds of tomatoes... tiny ones to huge ones -- blanching, peeling, then simmering for hours. I added tons of Linda's basil, too, and it came out divine. Once it all reduced in the pots, I wound up with a scant three litres (wow) but I'm saving at least one of those for a cold January night when I want to remember those juicy heirlooms from Summer '012. :)
At one point there while I was ailing, I couldn't get my sister's half of the CSA basket delivered to her in a timely fashion. I think I spent that whole week in bed anyhow, and I didn't even touch the basket. It was in my fridge in the same state Linda had given it to me. When the second one arrived, it became apparent I wasn't going to get her half to her that week either, and suddenly I was SWIMMING in veggies. I am allergic to peppers, and if you read this blog with any frequency, you know Linda had a bumper crop of peppers, so I was in a bit of a quandary. My sister texted me to find a home for them before they went bad... maybe give them to my colleagues.
So I took from the baskets what I would eat (daaaammmn I will never ever ever get sick of organic cabbage) and made up a basket to give away. I got to work and overturned it on a huge platter and put a sign on it. "Free organic Heirloom vegetables. From Tree & Twig Farm, Wellandport ON HELP YOURSELF". I'm not in an office all day, but I was there for the first hour, and put the all call out. It was kind of funny. Some of my coworkers LOVE this sort of thing. There was a huge buzz over the table while people pondered what *that* was (I suspected tomatillo). Then there were a few coworkers who'd never seen anything like that before in their lives. One asked what "heirloom" meant. He thought it meant old, and thought the veggies were *actually* old. Ahem. Another guy quickly glanced at the bounty and muttered, "What's with all the mutant vegetables?"
I work with all sorts, it would appear.
But I don't judge. It's true. Most people have never seen stuff outside of the frankenclones they see on their grocery shelves. I explained to one coworker that the reason it all looks the same in the stores is it's genetically modified to be that way. Heirloom organic is the way nature intended... sometimes imperfect, sometimes small, sometimes twisted or weirdly shaped. But ALWAYS delicious.