Over here in this hot, dry climate, in the place I now call “home,” bits and pieces of summer come earlier. Orchards are already bearing ripe fruit and the farmer’s market offers a blessed abundance of such summer fodder. And as a result, my food preservation via freezing, dehydrating, and canning has already started.
Why do we do it? Why do we submerge fingers in countless sinks of water, slice out mass quantities of pits (peach pits, apricot pits, cherry pits), cut & slice & spread trays full of juicy goodness, pull skins off of just-dunked peaches, turn kitchens into saunas that smell of simmering honey and cinnamon, line tables with hot jars, and wait for the “pop” of lids as they seal?
For some it is a way of life. A necessity. Food for hungry winter tummies when gardens produce no more. It is all that for me and my family, plus more. Pulling produce bags from freezers, opening containers of dehydrated vegetables and slivered pieces of fruit, and breaking seals on canned jams and pie-fillings, indeed is bringing summer to the table. And with each mouthful of peach pie or each crunchy bite of spiced plum butter slathered on whole wheat toast, my eyes will roll and my eyelashes will flutter as I eat summer.
How do you preserve summer for those white-blanketed short days of winter?
Perhaps with thoughts of new friends, picnics and remembering how kids of all ages played Capture the Flag? Or by re-reading notes from your favorite summer read (like God in the Yard)? Or with fresh scars from wild inner-tube rides down a rocky, fast flowing stream of water?
Or with photographs taken in summer’s morning breath?
Or with some time in the sun?
Hey, who wants a ride on my inner-tube? I won’t promise a sedate float, but I will promise lots of shrieks and pounding hearts. (And no, I don’t have any photos of such excursions, I was too busy clinging to the sides of the tube and watching for my husband to pluck our life-jacketed son from my lap before the risky section. Oh boy, you shoulda heard me yell when I spun like a top in the current. Maybe you did!)
* Even though it is summer and this season speaks of fun, some of our brothers and sisters in Christ are in desperate need of your folded hands, bent knees, and whispered pleas with Jesus. Do go here to find out who among us is in need of our prayers. Please.