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Summer 2021: Some of us had it easy

Tomato bisque from tomatoes I grew and canned

Nature was not kind to everyone this summer. There were terrifying fires in California and Australia, and deadly floods in the United States, Europe, and Asia. But here in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, it was like 1950 again. The temperature here in my woods never exceeded 94F. Heavy rain sometimes washed ruts in the road (which a neighbor quickly repairs with his tractor), but rainfall was good, though the spring was a bit dry and cold. It has been at least eight months since a power outage that lasted more than two seconds. With a little help from the irrigation system, the 2021 garden was great. Not every summer, I’m afraid, will be so nice.

The poplar tree that overhangs the deck seems to have had a growth spurt. All summer long, half the deck was in shade, with a deck umbrella no longer needed. I don’t think I’ve eaten indoors more than four times since early spring.

One of the many remarkable things about this planet is how the seasons change in the temperate zones. This means we get not only changes in the weather, but also changes in what we eat. After months of buying hardly any produce and relying on the garden, the perennial vegetables are back on the menu. By perennial, I mean winter vegetables and the things that can be profitably shipped from one climate zone to another. My twenty jars of canned tomatoes will extend the memory of the 2021 garden for most of the winter. Most of the tomatoes, I think, will go into soups.

Speaking of soups, I have found that the “warming zone” on my glasstop stove is a great place for simmering soups. With the warming zone set to high, my favorite copper pot will hold a soup at about 192F, a very good simmer temperature.

As for the weather, the Atlantic hurricane season is not over. So it’s not too late for nature to knock us around here, a couple of hundred miles from the Atlantic coast.

One Comment

  1. JamesM wrote:

    Nothing better than homemade soups. We’ve had vegetable beef twice now. I haven’t the luxury of a garden for canned tomatoes so I rely on canned V8 juice. Parsnip, apple and brie soup is one of my favorites. Really almost anything. Few people bother to make soups from scratch anymore. More’s the pity.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

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