Day 217–Stocking Up for the Gap Season

Summer Squash

Here in NC, we are rapidly approaching the Gap Season, where summer crops are tapped out or on the way out and fall crops haven’t yet started producing much. How could that be??? Didn’t summer just start, like, yesterday? I love summer–even with the mosquitoes. I’m feeling a little sad about the gap, really. I feel like I have so much unfinished food business. I have tomato and eggplant and zucchini recipes to try, more tomato sauce to can and I’ve only had okra one time this summer. Still not sure how that happened.

Fortunately, the summer season tapers off gradually and I have a couple of weeks to get my act together before the gap. I’ll be stocking up on what I can this week and next. Mostly peaches, blueberries, green beans, okra and tomatoes. I’m not sure if I can freeze summer squash and zucchini…any suggestions? While I finish canning and freezing our summer bounty, I am also–in the back of my mind–excited about one thing. Football.

Fall means football, which also means stews and chilis and braised short ribs. It also means sweet potatoes and pumpkin and collard greens. If there is one thing I have realized on our journey (and trust me, there is more than one), it is that when you eat local, you genuinely appreciate the sweetness of each growing season and the importance of paying attention to what is available to you at any given time. I will miss fresh, ripe peaches, but not enough to buy their tasteless, black-hearted cousins at the grocery store. I do, however, have 18 half pints of peach butter and 4 quarts of peach halves that I will ration out over the next year, and that will be enough to sustain me until peach season comes again.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Fruit is AWFUL out of season. I am currently gorging myself on peaches every day. The goal is to be so sick of peaches that I won’t be sad to see them go. And I haven’t had okra this summer at all! Crazy.

    Reply
  2. I’m sure autumn will bring different but still delicious produce for you!!
    Myself I’m waiting for the southern hemisphere summer now 😉

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
  3. seabilly

     /  August 6, 2012

    I froze some zucchini to use in baking – just grate it in a food processor, seal it up and freeze it. Thaw it just enough to separate it before you use it or else you have to drain the water off it. For chunks, blanch 1/2 inchpieces in boiling water for 2 min., immerse quickly in cold water and drain. freeze them on a baking sheet and then bag them for the freezer. The chunks sounded like too much work for me!!!

    Reply
  4. Liz

     /  August 7, 2012

    I am jealous of your peach butter! Making jams and jellies is not something I’ve tried yet – mostly because fruit is gone before I can formulate a plan! Or else it has been made into a pie…

    Reply

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