It’s usually about this time of year when I really realize–hey, summer is HERE, oh, and so are a plethora of garden yummies. I think I wait so long and anxiously for the first of the springs asparagus that by the time I’m scraping the last of that, I’ve only just started to realize there are cucumbers, zucchini, greens galore, plus strawberries and blueberries popping up that I’m suddenly scrambling to figure out a plan. A plan to capture the best of the harvest time from now through now next year!
But hit me it did this last weekend as I made my first trek of the year to New Hope and the orchard I’ve been going to for years to pick blueberries and apples (plus it’s an excuse to go to New Hope and have lunch at Sprig & Vine). Of course, I didn’t get nearly enough blueberries–and I accept that I probably never will. I easily go through a pound of blueberries a week as a standard course–eating them (or strawberries) daily with my oatmeal. There simply isn’t room in my freezer to stock myself even if I spent a day or two doing nothing but picking berries.
This year, I have, however, sworn to can as much as I possibly am able. In the past, my only real successes have been with applesauce and pumpkin. I’m much better at freezing, but as accommodating and nice as my apartment company is, I don’t think an extra freezer will be in the cards. In the meantime… I just looked at this week and here’s how the menu for the week is breaking down:
Refrigerator Oatmeal is the name of the game most every day. It’s a staple for me and it makes me happy. I have no intentions of changing that anytime soon.
Lunches & Dinners:
I rarely go out to lunch anymore… but I have plans to do so on Friday, so I took that into account in my cooking this week. Making a tofu scramble which is more veggies than tofu (as it should be, in my opinion). I have it pictured here with some Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce. The sauce will also be used with some gnocchi that needs to be used up in the cupboard.
There is also a mock chicken salad wrapped in collard greens, beet burgers, and a spicy noodle dish planned for the week. With almost all the prep for these done on Sunday, packing lunch takes me about a minute… dinner isn’t much longer with most coming together and ready to eat in less than 20 minutes.
Part of the plan also includes plenty of fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, a few carrots, and of course, dessert. This week, I made cupcakes and cheese-less cake. A few bean-based cookies may also make an appearance since the craving has been hitting lately.
This time of year, I find less and less use for breads… opting instead to create wraps/sandwiches from large leafy greens. This is part of the reason I opted to include gnocchi and a pasta dish into the weekly plan–to ensure I am getting a balance. I also keep on hand cooked beans–they can easily be tossed into any dish, or served as a side, if I find myself too harvest heavy.
Hopefully soon, I can figure out the canning plan and get to work stocking now for the inevitable change of seasons.