The Half-Assed Homesteader

why it’s worth it August 7, 2011

Filed under: Cooking — halfasshomesteader @ 4:19 am
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Yesterday I processed sixteen pounds of peaches.  It really doesn’t sound like that much.  When I weighed out, I was disappointed.  I was hoping I’d picked twenty pounds or more.  In retrospect, if I had had twenty five pounds of peaches to deal with yesterday, I might have had a mental breakdown, so it would appear that I lucked out.  As I limped out of the house on the way to pick up my kid from school, I thought to myself, Who am I kidding with this stuff?  Why can I not just be a normal human being who buys the overpriced jam with mysterious ingredients and doesn’t think, I could make this better for cheaper?

Is all this even worth it?

Then last night as I uploaded pictures of the peach fiasco, I came upon this picture that I had taken just yesterday morning.  This is what we had for breakfast:

Fresh eggs from the chickens.  Homemade bread.  Homemade jam with strawberries we picked together.  And blueberries from the back yard.

Before you go getting all worried that I might not be as half-assed as I claim to be, I’ll just clarify.  When I gathered those eggs, there were nine in the laying basket because I hadn’t had time to bring eggs in for three days.  The bread was stale and could probably knock a person out cold if used as a weapon.  The jam is not really jam.  I like to call it “preserves” because it didn’t gel and is instead kind of a chunky strawberry syrup.  And half the blueberries are from the yard, but the other half are from the farmer’s market because usually berries don’t actually make it the hundred feet from the bush to the kitchen.

Despite all those caveats, I still feel pretty good that this is what I gave my kid for breakfast, and that she takes it for granted that this is the food we eat.  Also, it was delicious.  I think that sticky arms, a slight limp, and a kitchen that looks like a bomb went off in it are small prices to pay for the privilege of eating so well. So, once my peach leather has dehydrated, we’ll find out what a person can do with sixteen pounds of peaches, four hours, too much ambition and too little common sense.  In the meantime, as I try to complete the seven other things that were on my to-do list yesterday that didn’t get done, I will probably find myself asking myself at least once if it’s really worth it, and I will picture this:  a three year old with sleepy eyes and tousled hair, hands sticky with jam, face smeared with blueberries, shouting “Mama I love breakfast!” Yes, it is definitely worth it.

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