Friday, August 29, 2008

The Fruit of my Guilt

Or, I could say, the guilt of my fruit. Or, the fruit of my guilt of my fruit of my guilt. I have both. Fruit and guilt.
Here's my problem: I have grand ambitions. I expect a lot of myself, but I run out of energy very quickly. Especially if I have to leave the house. I'm like a little video game character that loses health points when they walk over hot sand or something. I lose health points when I have to go somewhere. I also need a lot of quiet time to myself. People find out that I have 5 boys and they say, "I'll bet they keep you busy!" I just smile and nod, but my kids are the busy ones. There isn't anything wrong with my thyroid or anything, I just need life at a slow pace.

Anyway, back to the fruit. I have lots and lots of fruit. I have apples, cherries, apricots, figs, blackberries, pears, plums, strawberries and grapes. Really. When all my kids are home, I get overwhelmed pretty easily and my world shrinks down to just what I can handle. Sometimes, it gets awfully small. Anyone else do that?

Well, right when my fruit comes on and is ready to can, it's a million degrees outside. Canning always involves making a spectacular mess of my kitchen. While I'm canning, I'm not cleaning the rest of my house. It becomes a spectacular mess.

Every year when the fruit comes on, I'm stressed out and sweltering, and I can't bear the thought of more than the usual mess and vats of boiling water in the house. The fruit hangs on the trees and calls to me. It tells me how wasteful I am. It reminds me of my pioneer ancestors and tells me that they would have canned it. I come out and pick enough for our dinner table, and I let the kids snack all they want, but the fruit still calls.

Finally yesterday the stars aligned in such a way that the weather was cool, and my house was clean. Better yet, I had the energy to tackle the job. I went outside and picked blackberries. I was a picking fool. I picked those berries like a second grader picks his nose: with gusto and I didn't stop till I'd picked it clean. Then I did the best thing of all! I juiced those suckers in my zippy juicer and FROZE THE JUICE until it's cold outside. Some day this winter, I'm going to get a hankering for blackberry jelly and blackberry syrup. And I'll pull out my stuff and get it done. There won't be much mess because I've already lived through this:

Ha! Take THAT fruit!


My Three Sons said...

Dang, up until this post I had forgotten that I could come pick your blackberries! YUM! Too late now. Good job you little homemaker :)

Michelle said...

A very good idea! I'm proud of you, and won't it be fun to make syrup in the winter when it's cold outside?

FleetingMoments said...

I do envy you. Imagine all those fruits. It cost us a real bomb to buy them from the market. And its not even fresh! You are very blessed.

SkinnyJeanGirl said...

Wow! You are amazing. I wouldn't dare do that with my 4 boys. Not only would my kitchen look like that, so would the rest of the house. I really can relate with the thyroid thing. Check out my blog for why.:O)

Kim said...

Oh!! How I relate to your post. I don't do well at a fast pace either. That is precisely why you'll never see me running around ragged trying to get my kids to three different activities all at the same time. I refuse.

Canning is not for the faint of heart. I have yet to attempt it, I don't do whole house catastrophe- take 2 weeks to get things back the way they were- activities.

Anonymous said...

All this reminds me of tomato season in Italy, it was always the hottest day in summer, all the neighborhood gathered for that event, it was fun, but it was so hot around those huge cauldrons of boiling water with all the jars of tomatoes in it. I still remember the smell of tomatoes that lasted for days.

I waited for a cool day too to prune all the herbs growing in my backyard.

I like your idea of saving it for winter.
You are amazing, I am scared to start canning stuff, despite the many classes I attended on the subject :)

Maybe because I grew up seeing my parents canning fruit, veggies, everything that can be canned, every summer, and I still remember how much work it was.
They even made their own pasta from scratch, all the tables in the house had pasta on it.

Jenn said...

That'll learn it. That is a really good idea.

Home of the Muddy Kids said...

Very smart!

Jodi said...

Hey haven't you heard yet that "you don't have to can to get to heaven" mantra!