Funny how my prediction came true and today was completely- and I mean all the way- devoted to dealing with Fruit Mountain. 18 quarts of applesauce (ingredients: apples) and 21 pints of wicked hot spicy peach-habañero chutney that also included lime basil, red onion, and cider vinegar that I infused with cinnamon, pepper (pink & black,) cardamom, star anise, bay, fenugreek, and mustard seeds. I also added some honey to balance the vinegar and let the peaches be all peachy-like.
I could write a bunch of breathless paragraphs about how primal and satisfying it is to put fruit up, and funny lines about how peeling 200 peaches (even with a little blanch) is roughly as enjoyable as removing my own upper lip with a wire brush, or wax eloquent about the healthy purity of the applesauce and the kick-ass multi-purposeness of the chutney. But I won’t. Because I am TIRED. So tired that I ordered dinner from the vegan place in town (which is a 2-minute walk from here, and our best takeout option by far.) And I popped another Bret Bos. Pouilly-Fuissé to elevate the perfectly decent food to a richer gustatory stratum. And it was good.
I will say that we now have a winter’s worth of pleasure stored up, and all this fatigue and grouchiness will soon be replaced by months of pleasure as we steadily open little jars of sunshine. And you should see the kid put away this applesauce. I’m also going to post a picture of the grape jelly canning from mid-September, because it’s very purple and drippy, and the smell might be the single most evocative food smell in the world for me (given that I’m from Concord, MA, and this was what we did every year.) Because I was away, I waited longer than I otherwise would have to pick and can the grapes; as a result, they were super-ripe and needed almost no sweetener- just a gloop of agave syrup.
After dinner, John dropped off a salmon, courtesy of Gerard, that I’m going to cure into gravlax tomorrow for the Sunday brunch following his Saturday wedding. And I have to make nasturtium butter for that too. And sambal for us, before the peppers freeze. And dinner. It’s getting ridiculous.