Okay, so much to say! Let's get started!
FIRST: I am on the final countdown! I start school, my junior year in college actually, on Monday, one week from today. I am officially nervous and have thought of ten million things I must do before Monday. Also, I will try not to complain too much about my summer break coming to an end because I have been off school and not working since the second week in JUNE! So, that has been lovely! If you are new here, check out some previous posts to see what kind of adventures I had during my summer break. The older posts are listed by month on the ----> sidebar. Okay, so school starts in a week. CRAZY!
SECOND: I posted on facebook yesterday that I had an AH-maze-ING breakfast, and that I would post on the blog later more info. Well, I got busy livin' life yesterday (which is more important than blogging about living life), so I never got back here to tell you about my breakfast. It was SO good.
People always ask me "What are you going to DO with so much (insert vegetable/fruit grown in our garden or picked wild)? Well, I am going to DO stuff like this:
And then I am going to do stuff like this:
Oh my loveliness! That, my friends, is sourdough french toast with FRESH blackberries, picked from my own blackberry patch, with a smidge of real maple syrup and powdered sugar to make it sweet.
Oh yes. So easy! Mix a couple of eggs with a splash of whatever milk product you use (I use rice milk), and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg in a wide, shallow bowl or baking dish. Place each slice of bread into the egg mixture, one at a time, coating each side well. Place egg coated bread on a hot griddle pan or electric skillet. Cook for several minutes each side (about 5) or until golden brown. Top with fresh blackberries, a little of the blackberry juice, a smidge of maple syrup (or honey) and voila! Beautiful, fresh, delicious breakfast.
I do want to say that this type of breakfast is not normal for us. Chris isn't much of a breakfast eater for one, and I typically try to avoid super sweet, heavy breakfasts. However, for a once in a while treat, this was worth it!
People also ask me why I don't just BUY blackberries at the farmers market or from my farmer at Fox Run Farms. Well...when I was at the Medford growers market on Saturday one of the growers was selling pints of blackberries (that weren't even FULL pints) for $2.50. A pint, for the record, is about a cup and a half or two cups of berries (depending on how full the pint is filled). What you see on my french toast is about a half a cup. You can see how quickly buying blackberries would get expensive!
So, I pick my own.
Yesterday Chris and I went for a drive. We had talked about getting more blackberries, but he wasn't really feelin' it when we talked about it. I decided to go ahead and bring along our plastic tubs just in case! It is a good thing I did!!
We went up to our favorite lake, to drive around and explore. I am going to write more about that later, but one of the places we stopped to sit in the shade and have a soda, ended up having the blackberry mother lode! HUGE, fat, ripe blackberries! We picked for a couple of hours in the sun and heat (we were just shy of 90 here yesterday).
Those two big tupperware containers are FULL of big fat blackberries! SCORE!! I haven't weighed or measured them yet, but I figure that is *easily* $40 worth of blackberries right there. And I got them for free! Minus a couple of puncture wounds. Totally worth it! We will have plenty of blackberries for freezer jam, muffins, crepes, and Chris might even have enough to use for another mead. He is talking about making a blackberry/plum mead. The last blackberry mead he made is SO good! So that is some of the stuff that we DO with our blackberry bounty. I already had about 7 lbs in the freezer, and I imagine this is easily that amount if not more. YAY for free summer bounty!
THIRD: I have a TON of food related stuff to do today.
I cooked a chicken in my crock pot on Friday, that I now need to de-bone. The bones and some more veggies, and water are going to stay in the crockpot all day today to make more chicken broth. I made chicken broth last weekend, and froze it, and have already used about 4 cups worth! So I am making more today. The chicken itself will be used to feed the kitty, and I think I will use it for some enchiladas! And maybe for some chicken salad sandwiches for Chris' lunch.
I have to deal with all the blackberries we picked yesterday. They need to be rinsed, patted dry with paper towels and then put in the bottom of broiler pans and stuck in the freezer. Once they are frozen, usually 12-24 hours later, I will take them off the pans and put them in big freezer bags. This process prevents all the berries from sticking together in a big clump in the freezer bag. If I tossed them all in the bag unfrozen, they would be nearly impossible to get out. This way, they don't stick to each other, and I can get into the bag and get a cup or two or three out at time.
I also bought another 10 lbs of Gravenstein apples at the Fox Run Farms last week. I had bought this amount a week or so before, to make canned apples for my mom, but that turned into a big, giant fiasco. Instead of canned apples (for pie making) I have canned apple mush. I will use it somehow (probably for baking) but I still need to get my mom some apples. So, I have 10 pounds of apples to peel, slice, treat so they don't turn brown, and this time I am just going to freeze them with sugar instead of canning them. So I have THAT to do.
Other food related things that need to be done "soon": pick more basil from the crazy basil plants and make pesto to freeze. Pick more tomatillos and make some more tomatillo sauce/salsa to freeze (and put on the enchiladas). I am entertaining the idea of going and buying 45 lbs of field tomatoes and making 5 more quarts of tomato sauce, which I said last year I was never going to do again, but since I know what to expect this year....well, we'll see.
OH, and I have a bunch of yellow bell peppers that got ripe all of a sudden, so I need to get those on the menu or get them roasted and frozen this week, too.
SEE, I told you, a million things to do before school. Not to mention all the typical house stuff: laundry, dishes, floors, clean off my disaster of a desk, pick up a few school supplies, work out, etc. etc.
Okay, I will be back later with MORE post about our weekend, and recipes! Yes, recipes! I promise!
Also, feel free to check out my inspirational blog Inspire The Light for more inspirational reading!
How was your weekend? Have you ever picked blackberries or other berries or fruit? Do you wonder what to do with all your garden or CSA bounty? Ask me and share in the comments!!