Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Canning withdrawals = canxiety

We leave Friday morning for a three week vacation, travelling about the East Coast via plane, train and automobile. While I write this, my husband is busy buying carbon offsets for our trip starting in D.C. where I have a meeting with President Obama and Michelle for a private tour of the White House vegetable gardens. Oh wait, that's just me taking an early trip to fantasy land.

In any case, after 5 days in D.C. we are taking the train down to Norfolk, VA to hang out with my brother-in-law for a week and enjoy some Virginia beaches. From there we are taking the train up to Philadelphia for four days to visit with family and then up to New York City for more family action. I'm fairly certain I will be sick of trains by then, but I love the subway, so our week-long stay in an apartment in Greenwich Village will be the highlight of our trip.

I've been trying to think of what all I'll be posting about while I'm on the "road". Expect lots of pictures, but I'm going to try to focus on finding at least one sustainable thing each day during our travels and report on them. Anyway, the above is not at all what this post is about. It is merely a warning of what to expect in the days ahead.

The problem with this trip is that it is during prime canning season around these parts. Just today I noticed that my favorite local strawberry farm has their berries 3 pounds for $5.98. This is the time of the year where I would be making vats of strawberry jam of various flavors. Blueberries should start rolling in soon as well, but I'm hoping that since we've had such a cool spring the harvest will still be going like gangbusters when we come back.

I'm trying hard not to have canning anxiety attacks. Let's just say that I'm "canxious". This will be the first time in about four years that I haven't bought flat after flat of strawberries to can or freeze for later in the year. I suppose I could make a last minute attempt to freeze a bunch, but that still would require a lot of food prep time - time that I don't really have since I'm busy getting everything ready to go for such a long trip.

Why couldn't the season have started just a week earlier? Sigh.

What about you? Do you get canxious when you see or grow produce that you don't have time to can or otherwise prepare for long-term storage?

For those of you wondering why we are taking such a carbon heavy vacation, well, we are going while my husband is having a stretch of good health so he can visit his family. Normally, I'd be more critical of the air travel, but I'm mentally trying to give it a free pass. And, yeah, I know the carbon offsets don't really make up for the impact. Sometimes one choice wins out over another.

16 comments:

Brad K. said...

Blessings to you, your family, the trip, and to all you meet.

Kim said...

I totally feel your pain! Come August 1st we're setting out in our car (pulling a uhaul trailer) on a big move all the way from Alaska to North Carolina! (So I can to grad school! Woot! In Anthropology, by the way! ;-) As excited as I am about the adventure, it is not only sad to be leaving AK in summer...but I'm also having all kinds of canxiety, lack of gardening anxiety, lack of stocking up and filling the freezer at the famers's markets anxiety etc. It just doesn't make any sense to do those things since we'd have to give most of it away for the move across the country.

I'm hopeful though, that it will still be early enough in the growing season when we arrive in NC that I'll have lots and lots of u-pick and market bounty to take in! :-)

Anyway. Enjoy the trip and the healthful, relaxed (hopefully) time w/ your hubby and kids! Can't wait to see the pictures and hear the stories!

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Oh, I've had canxiety and garden envy for the past two summers, and this one is starting out really tough! I realized that condo living just isn't for me - I need to water a garden early in the morning before it gets too hot, and putter in that garden whenever I get the chance. I'm making do at the farmers market until I can be back in a house with a small yard.

Best wishes for an excellent trip - it sounds like a great time!

Suze said...

I think it is an excellent idea to make this trip and enjoy it. It isn't as if you are being a wasteful person. Please enjoy.

Kate said...

I'm trying to figure out whether we can take a short trip to visit family in late July. For me, it's figuring out the logistics of livestock care, rather than the canning issues. This would be a short trip, but poultry needs daily care. We'll see...

Oh, and if you want to see something kinda sorta sustainable, my garden is between Philly and NYC. I could show you our root cellar, the mobile chicken setup, and give you a sample of this year's strawberry-ginger jam. And we're a mile from a bus line that will get you to Port Authority in under two hours. Let me know if you wanna drop by.

Sandy said...

If you have any wiggle room between Philadelphia and New York, stop by Flint Hill Farm to meet the critters and taste our farm fresh cheeses and milk! I'd sure love to have you visit! (www.Flinthill-farm.org)

Jennie said...

I do get can-anxiety. My relatives all live down south, and I live in NW Iowa, so they are sending me pictures of the green beans filling up buckets on their porch, and I'm cautiously planting out my tomato seedlings. :-P It helps me to look back over past year's blog posts to see when I was canning, and look over my status reports from the fall and remember that somehow I always end up with enough put away.

Hope your trip is stress free.

The Nurturing Pirate said...

Well, since last year was my first year canning anything, I can't say that I'm having any "canxiety" for not canning anything this year so far. I can't even remember when I did the whole canning thing. June? July? August? No idea...

My daughter and I are flying back east tonight for a wedding, so I too have some carbon sins to repent of. On top of that, I'm *driving* from San Diego to LAX - thanks to a cheaper fare! I *just* realized that we could have taken the Coaster up there. Augh! Why didn't I think of that sooner!?

At any rate, the (admittedly small) sustainable choices I'm making are to pack as many reusables as possible: a water bottle, cloth napkin, and handkerchief for each of us. Also a reusable shopping bag for those inevitable purchases. Instead of relying on the hotel personal products (which likely don't live up to my toxin-free requirements), I'm packing those as well - in teeny, tiny packages, because we're only doing carry-on luggage.

I've also convinced my mother not to make the trip from the hotel to the airport to pick us up (a 20 min trip one-way). We'll be staying at a hotel in Atlanta that is only 3 blocks from a MARTA station, so it should be a short walk. Hopefully, my 6-year-old will have the energy to walk after a 4.5 hour red-eye. ;-)

It's also my nephew's first birthday, so we're giving him some of the kids' toxin-free cloth Haba toys that they've outgrown. And my dress for the wedding? Borrowed from a friend! Borrowing and regifting: the cheapskate's favorite green choices. :-)

shortystylee said...

I'll be in DC this weekend too!
I was totally bummed out when I read on the White House website that their garden tours are only for school groups--totally not fair!

Jessica

keeralynn said...

I hope you enjoy the vaca while your husband is in good health, and I really think that's more important sometimes than the environment. There I've said it. I'm a bad environmentalist, but I think family comes first. Enjoy and don';t guilt trip yourself.

Marisa said...

I totally understand your canxiety. I got married in late September last year, right when the harvest is doing it's final push before conking out for the season. It was a huge struggle to go on our honeymoon, knowing that I was missing those final tomatoes.

Robj98168 said...

If I have the time to can..fine. If not...Fine. Sign me -
Zenn Canner

Christine F. said...

You just reminded me of the night almost a couple of years ago when my husband and I spent a frantic 5 hrs or so (after we had put the kids to bed) processing hundreds of peaches because we knew they couldn't make it another week and we were about to leave on our vaca. We had a real assembly line going... rinse, blanch, peel, cut, bag. I think I continued through the motions that night when I finally collapsed into my bed.

Have a great time on your trip!

Farmer's Daughter said...

Well if you're in NYC... you should take the train over to CT and you can come can at my house. I haven't made strawberry jam or canned anything this year, thanks to the little mister who is constantly keeping my hands busy. Can't hull strawberries with a baby in my arms, let along stir a bubbling hot pot of jam. So I think I'm on vacation this year!

panamamama said...

Sounds lovely! That's the vaca I wanted to take this summer. Who knows, maybe I can talk hubs into it still. I missed getting strawberries last year and cried. Don't want to miss them or the peaches this year!

Chile said...

While I didn't have canxiety until I read this...

I'm not doing much food preservation right now. Simply no time, no space because the food storage area is not organized yet, and I don't want to heat the house up, nor do I have time to set up the new propane stove I bought for canning outside (in the 105 degree heat). Yes, I'm missing out on preserving the season's fresh produce but we're still eating last year's canned stuff so I'm not overly canxious.

Next year, I plan to get fully back into preserving as much as possible!

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