a summer’s mess


Finally our kitchen is starting to show signs that summer is in full swing. Padron peppers and shishito peppers are hitting the fry pan. Berries are being put into jam jars and pies. One of our chickens seems to be morphing into a goose…would you look at that egg! Cheap farmers market apricots are being cooked down into sweet jam. Unphotographed cucumbers are fermenting with dill and garlic and grape leaves. And I’m trying to keep track of it all this year. After reading an article about Wendell Berry’s wife, especially this passage, “Mom has kept lists of all the food she has preserved over the years inside a cabinet door in the kitchen; almost 50 growing seasons recorded.” I was inspired to do the same. Surely this kitchen has seen well over 50 years of garden preserving going on, while maybe it was documented it was not directly on the kitchen cupboards. Being doubtful that one day I wouldn’t want to paint the cupboards at some point, I chose to write it on paper.

At the end of the days, the kitchen is a hot mess. But a good kind of mess, a productive, fresh summer bounty kind of mess.


  1. Julie Z says

    Are you able to share your recipe for fermenting cucumbers. I have a ton of them right now, and could use some other ways to preserve them!
    Thanks so much!

  2. Julia says

    You may want to get a small note book to keep your canning information year after year. What you can/pickle/preserve, what works, what does not. Then you can refer back over the years & see the ‘hits’ and the ‘misses’. I tend to forget what really works well from year to year & this is a helpful guide. Also it’s fun to look back at what you dared to try & notes about ‘disasters’ are funny a few years later.

  3. says

    Once again, I think, “I should keep track!” I haven’t done it yet so far, but maybe next year I’ll be much more assiduous. Lovely photos – the egg cracks me up. Don’t you think the poor hen spends a lot of time saying “ouch!”?

  4. Jen says

    Mmmmm, fermented pickles! They are the best – hoping to make a batch this year too. I have been trying to keep better track of canning and preserving – hate running out of jam in February but also don’t like that I have jars of plum AND blackberry jam left when it is already the season for making more!

  5. Judy says

    I have only just found your blog & I am blown away by the incredibly useful recipes & hints that you give. I have just made the beeswax lotion, separating some out for relatives with eczema & will use the rest as hand cream for myself with added essential oils. I live in the UK, but have found it easy to adjust measurements & ingredients, if not to buy the ingredients, but I have managed. Thank you for all the work that you have put into this, I really appreciate it.


Leave a Reply