Saturday, February 20, 2016

Slow Foods: It Ain't Instant

So, there I was making orange juice.

On this unseasonably warm winter day (80°) I was finally getting around to putting the squeeze on the box of oranges that Jerry had shared with us. From the kitchen sink window I could see The Man - and his entourage of dogs and goats - walking back and forth as he went about his chores.

We've been fortunate that Jerry has been keeping us in fresh Vitamin C these past few months by bringing us boxes and bags of oranges, lemons, and kiwis grown in his neighborhood.

It seemed wasteful to turn the oranges into juice, all that lovely fiber, but The Man thought it was a tad too sour for eating, so it went untouched for a few weeks. It would be even more wasteful to have the oranges go bad, so juice it is. Besides the goats eat the peels so no waste - really. But it also means I have to cut the peels up into bite-sized pieces; a choking, coughing goat spewing a mouthful of food is not a pretty sight.

Last month we canned albacore tuna.

It was a week of planning: Two frozen fish to thaw slowly in the refrigerator - just like a turkey, one day to clean the fish by my personal fishmonger, aka The Man, and then the next day - Canning Day. The Man's commercial fisherman skills kicked in and he did an excellent job of cleaning the fish. Maybe too good of a job - I ran short of jars. The Man had to make a run to Ace Hardware to pick up more jars and lids for an unplanned second batch in the pressure canner.

This was our second go-around of canning our own tuna; let's just say the process went a lot smoother compared to the first time. Our two fish yielded 39 half-pint jars.

Oh, and while I was getting my jars and canning stuff ready for the tuna, I thought, what the heck, I think I'll make some orange marmalade with Jerry's oranges and preserve with the water bath canner. Easy-peasy, it shouldn't take too long, right?


Note to self: Spur of the moment marmalade-making and canning is not a great idea.

This week: Apple sauce (I used the last of Jerry's apples from last fall's harvest).

I don't know, maybe part of it's the fact that you're in a hurry. You've grown up on instant orange juice. Flip a dial - instant entertainment. Dial seven digits - instant communication. Turn a key - push a pedal - instant transportation. Flash a card - instant money. Shove in a problem - push a few buttons - instant answers.    Sergeant Joe Friday, Dragnet, 1968.