This tree lives in our backyard. It's a wonky two-thirds Asian pears and one-third regular old (scientific term) green pear anomaly. There's another giant tree in our side yard that produces few but fat, amazing, sweet pears. Our front yard has two apple trees. Blackberry bushes intertwined with wild roses grow on the other side, keeping George and the chickens busy picking everything less than four feet from the ground, leaving the rest for me. The berries are almost done, but I've frozen some and made jam already, besides what we ate all late-summer long.
Now, it's apple and pear time. Butters and sauces and straight-up preserving in juice. Our house smelled like a pomander this weekend, in the best way imaginable.
I can't believe this food is all free. I know we pay for it in rent and yard work, but after failing so miserably in the garden-starting department post-move, I feel lucky to have this goldmine of fruit. I'm making plans for next year. Checking out books, laying out beds in my mind. But in the meantime, we'll still have a little of the summer to hold on to. A mid-winter luxury.
Preserving food is an optimistic act. It says here we'll be, four months from now, in the ice, in the dark. And won't this be nice? A pickle, some jam. Something by which to remember the green, the sun when it shone for 16 hours a day.
Fall comes quickly here. The mornings turn chilly, the fog rolls in. Nature makes you feel a little better about those jars that don't process right. Ah well, I guess we'll just have to eat what didn't take, what didn't fit. What might've felt wrong to eat in 80 degree weather makes a totally acceptable breakfast when it's 60 degrees.
It's going to be a sweet winter.