Tastes of summer

About two months ago, in March, I went to the root cellar and discovered that we only had two jars of salsa left. This is a dire situation in our house. After we had polished off those two jars, I rooted through the freezer remembering that we had a frozen bag of pepper salsa. While hunting I happily discovered a bag of frozen tomatoes we had tossed in there in the fall when we were lazy or when the tomatoes were too prolific to process. With the tomatoes, the pepper salsa and an extra handful of frozen chilis, we had ourselves another batch of garden grown salsa, in late winter.

Around the same time we bottled the blackberry harvest that had been fermenting and aging all winter: a port and a wine. While the port tasted more like a wine, and the wine tasted more like a hard cider, both were still rich with the succulent taste of summer. Warming on a cool spring night.

Now that is it’s May the root cellar (where we’ve been keeping preserves and wine as well as root veggies) is the emptiest I think I’ve seen it since we built it. We’re running very low on zucchini relish (another staple in our house- great on sandwiches and with eggs), but still have jams (the kids took an expensive shine to honey this year) and chutneys. The freezer still has bags of blueberries which decorate our pancakes on weekend mornings, but the bags of rhubarb will have to be tossed as this year’s rhubarb is now big and ready to be picked.

But we’re starting to get a hankering for fresh tomatoes. We even let ourselves buy a few lately. Only two to three months before the first ones start rolling in….

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