Monday, July 28, 2014

Getting Ready for Winter with Ma Ingalls

25 pounds or 1/2 bushel of ripening Georgia peaches.
Have you ever read through all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books? After reading listening to The Long Winter in the car, I will not complain too much about winter ever again. The poor Ingalls family (and the whole town) nearly starve to death and their only source of fuel is straw twisted into sticks, because there is so much snow that the trains cannot get through.

After blanching, these freestone peaches were easily peeled and pitted.
Plus, it is as bitterly cold as last winter was. M's Uncle T, who has lived in Wisconsin for 20 years, thinks that long winter in South Dakota was exaggerated having never experienced blizzards like the ones described in the book. However, the Native American that warned Pa about the winter said that every 7 years is a bad winter and every 21 years is a 7 month awful winter.

The philosopher starts to lose his mind if he does too much manual labor.
So, my guess is that we are due for that awful winter with blizzards that blind you entirely and cold so bitter that last winter will seem warm. Or maybe, like Uncle T says, we won't even notice it is winter, and then it will be April.
Melt in your mouth peaches. Yum, yum!
At any rate, after all those polar vortexes, I am feeling a lot of camaraderie with Ma Ingalls as I store away summer fruits for the winter. I don't expect that there will be a lack of food in the cities, but I like the idea of having warm summer fruits canned or frozen and ready for eating this winter.

G says, "This is the most beautiful pie you have ever made Mom! It is like a pie from story books! It looks like a flower!"
After our 30 lbs of strawberries, I learned from a friend how to obtain 25 lbs of Georgia peaches and Michigan blueberries just across the border in Wisconsin. This company ships fruit in bulk in for us poor, sad Northerners that cannot grow our own peaches. The peaches were delicious and we canned 14 quarts, plus had enough to make a pie.

I can't wait... well, I can really.
This summer is so nice as it is slowly wiping away the memories of the cold. The children run around in sandals or barefoot, and we do not even think of sweaters or winter coats. It is absolutely lovely out and everything is green. We have fresh peaches to eat now, home canned peaches to look forward to, and better yet, a livelihood that cannot be eaten by a massive flock of blackbirds.

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