I love fruit. This gives me a really good reason to love this time of year. All the fresh produce makes my mouth water and I tend to over-buy because it all looks so good. Then when I get home I have to keep reminding everyone to eat more before it goes bad.
Living in Southern Alberta, we grow apples, strawberries, raspberries and a few other things. But most of the fruit we eat comes from British Columbia or Washington. My aunt brings in fruit to sell every year. We put in our order for cases of fruit every time she is expecting a shipment. The fruit direct from the orchard tastes so much better than anything we buy in the grocery store.
Of course, by ordering I am just making work for myself. We always can dozens of bottles of peaches, pears and applesauce. Most years I will find a few new recipes and try them out. I find if I do smaller batches and try new things, I don't mind the canning too much. Truth is, canning is one of those chores I could do without. But there is something satisfying about going into the storage room after the work is all done and seeing hundreds of colorful jars lining the shelves. I also appreciate being able to control what goes in the jars. In the long run, food tastes so much better than anything we buy.
Tonight, my husband and I sliced and bagged a case of nectarines. I can't wait to pull them out in the dead of winter and enjoy the sweet goodness on some ice cream or in a smoothie. And they taste even better when I remember that we worked together.
I remember working with my sisters a few years ago. Dad had a bumper crop of apples and we decided to get together and do them all in one day. We worked all day with Dad and our husbands helping where they could. At midnight and 150 quarts of applesauce later, my belief in smaller batches was born. We are still trying to finish off that applesauce. And even though I will never do that much in one day again, every time I open a jar, I am tasting yet another sweet summer memory.