Summer: that time of year when we industrious ant-types toil and moil while our carefree grasshopper-type counterparts chirp and sing. As our blasé friends go rafting and camping, we busily tend our crops, gather from the excesses of others and put it all up for leaner times. And like all of Aesop’s cautionary tales in which a martyred animal wins at the end with an “I told you so,” The Ant and the Grasshopper is a dour warning to not squander time and resources, even as we languish in our apparently endless surfeit of plenty. The world does not owe us a living, it turns out.
So even though I enjoy a fresh zucchini or beet with dinner, I pickle and preserve. And although a fresh, seared tuna loin is a fine thing, I process and pressurize.
- Flat of organic blueberries
- Early-summer garden full of young beets and 8-Ball zukes
- CSA box full of carrots, onions and cauliflower
- Whole 20lb albacore tuna
- 10 half-pints of blueberry preserves and 1 qt of blueberry pie filling (sweetened with elderflower syrup), plus a half gallon of frozen berries for smoothies, pancakes and muffins
- 6 pints of baby beet pickles with red onion and orange zest (have already cracked a jar and minced some pickled beets and onion to make thousand island dressing)
- 2 pints (so far) of spicy zuke bread-and-butter pickle for adorning burgers and hotdogs
- 3 pints of peppery pickled carrots
- 2 pints of curried cauliflower pickle (ate the other half of the cauliflower in a shepherd’s pie)
- 16 half pints of canned tuna, 2 loins portioned into medallions and frozen, collar and belly poached and eaten fresh (2 dinners: salade Niçoise and spaghetti al tonno con limone)
- 2 gallons of fish stock frozen for later chowders
Be like the ant, grasshopper.