We may be enjoying our last few cool evenings. I’ve been making the most of them: stove-wise.
No one likes food bubbling on the stove when it’s hot out. Especially me. My normal good cheer is it’s lowest ebb through the sweltering months. But meals still have to be made all summer long because eating is some kind of daily requirement…
So while it’s still cool I keep our largest pots full. I order 5 pound bags of organic garbanzo beans, black beans, and pintos from the food co-op. Cooked and parceled out into jars, they’ll spare me from cooking beans (or buying beans) all summer. I make giant vats of stock, sauces, and favorite dishes that’ll be easy to thaw as needed. This helps to fill our basement freezer, which was packed full last fall but now has plenty of space.
Spring stocking also has to do with accounting for what we canned and dried last year. I keep track in a not-so-organized way. It’s not easy to compensate for yearly fluctuations in production and use. Already 25 quarts of applesauce are gone, two dozen half pints of grape jelly gone, and 45 quarts of marinara sauce are almost gone while it appears we made too much salsa and way too much peach spread. I also have lots of dried tomatoes and zucchini (and what made me dry several gallon bags of chard?) Then there’s all the parching corn I grew, thinking surely I’d grind it for cornbread. Um, maybe twice. Clearly we’ll be eating more of what’s in ample supply.
It doesn’t matter. I cherish every last one of these cool spring evenings. Steam rising from pots on the stove make summer relaxation possible.