Like my Granny, my Grandma and my Mom (and I'm sure their Mothers before them . . .ad infinitim), I've been makin like the ant and preparing for winter. I've always loved canning, preserving and freezing, but never was very enthusiastic about it when I was living in an apartment. I wanted to grow my own and can my own.
SO . . . this year I've been putting up for the winter. So far, I've frozen sweet corn and canned homemade salsa, peach bar-b-que sauce, brandied peach compote, strawberry and grape jelly and cherry and peach preserves. I'd still like to make some homemade apple and pumpkin butter to can, but I'm going to wait until the fall fruits are at my local Farmer's Market. There's a great Market just down the road from me that will have lots of fresh apples and cooking pumpkins in just a few weeks. Yum!
Speaking of pumpkins, I have the largest crop of pumpkin vines and flowers in midwest Indiana. I don't, however, have any pumpkins or even the beginnings of pumpkins. I talked to an agronomist friend who told me that the reason is that I don't have bees to pollinate the plants. He explained that the bees travel from the male pumpkin flower to the female pumpkin flower to pollinate and since I don't have any (bees that is), that hasn't been happening. He told me how to replicate that process by removing a stamen from the male pumpkin blossom, putting that stamen in the female pumpkin blossom and, viola, that would make a "baby" pumpkin. Soooooo, I guess that's what my life has come to -- pumpkin sex!!! Does that make me a pimp?!?!? I'm beginning to think my Dad had the right idea --- just pick the blossoms, batter and deep fry the little suckers, and EAT THEM!!