One Month to Go
Tomorrow starts the final month of The 250. At the farmers’ market this morning, I had a feeling of coming full circle because the fruits and vegetables I saw were pretty much the same ones on offer when The 250 began: zucchini, new potatoes, the first tomatoes, blueberries, cherries…
I’ve been taking mental notes on what I got right and what I need to do differently as far as stocking up for the winter. I need a lot more garlic, dried tomatoes, and dried apples. I don’t need nearly as many jars of applesauce. I got it about right with the canned tomatoes–I’ve got five pints left and about a month until peak tomato season here (I canned 30 jars of tomatoes last year, in case you were wondering). I ran out of pickled cherries thanks to the scrumptious party appetizer combination my friend Anne discovered: pickled cherries plus Hudson Valley Camembert (see recipe below).
But isn’t The 250 going to be over? you may be wondering. Do I really need to be stocking up as energetically as I did last year? Yes, I do. Because The 250 isn’t really going to end on August 6th. The only thing that’s going to change is that I will be a little less strict about it. There are a few condiments and spices I’m planning to bring back into my cooking (I miss soy sauce). Some months I may eat out more than the twice a month the rules permit me now. But that’s about it. For the bulk of my food, I plan to continue my local foods diet, because not only is it better for the environment, the local economy, and local farmers, but it tastes better. A lot better! Oh, and it’s also better for me: the vitamin content of fruits and vegetables starts to diminish the moment they are picked, so the quicker they get from growing to being eaten, the more nutritious they are. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel any adverse affects from not having taken any kind of vitamin supplement during The 250.
Leda’s Pickled Cherries
1. Stem and pit the cherries. A cherry pitter is a handy, almost essential tool for this task.
2. Put the cherries into a glass jar and cover with vinegar. Cover and leave at room temperature for 2 days.
3. Drain off the vinegar (you can save it to use on the next batch of cherries, or as an interesting salad dressing ingredient). Pack the cherries into a wide mouth glass jar or other non-reactive container one layer at a time. Drizzle each layer with honey. Cover and let sit at room temperature for one week, gently stirring once daily (or you can just pour out the whole jar and then pour the cherries and liquid back in–sometimes easier than stirring in a small jar).
During the week, the cherries will start to release liquid. By the end of the week there should be enough to cover the cherries. If there isn’t, top off with vinegar. Store in the refrigerator. They will be ready to eat in 3 months and keep in the fridge indefinitely. Fabulous with Hudson Valley Camembert or other soft cheese.