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Unfortunate events, and planning despite them

June 7, 2011

Anytime you take an amazing vacation, the return back to reality is always a bitter let down. More often then not we return form vacations wanting to pack up and move to wherever it is we just came from… I am not alone here, right? Well our triumphant return from Spain had us already wishing we could move to Barcelona, day dreaming about how easy things were in Europe and how silly American’s can be so often. Only to be greeted as we walked in the door of our house by the warm pungent smell of a fridge and freezer that had obviously not been properly functioning for 11 days. 

Yup.

Welcome home.

Some combination of the freezer being slightly ajar, the compressor constantly running to try (unsuccessfully) to keep the whole thing cold, and the fridge finally just plain getting tired of trying and giving up meant that we came home 20 some odd cubic feet of warm moldy mess.

I think this is something you only experience once, because the moment it happens you want so bad for it not to ever ever evvvverrr happen again that surely you get a full time house sitter for every vacation from here on out. Right?

While the whole debacle was miserable to clean up and stunk about as bad as you can imagine, for me that really wasn’t the worst part. It was the stuff we had to throw away that hurt more. Peaceful Pastures amazing bacon, oxtail, shrimp, salmon burger, bag upon bag of veggies, sauces, stocks, you name it. (Praise the Lord that 95% of our  CSA meat was all in a freezer downstairs untouched… that would have been a whole other story). But the biggest kicker for me, was the strawberries.

Fresh. Seasonal. Local. Mostamazingstrawberriesyouhaveevertasted. Strawberries.

The end of our Bountiful Blessings CSA and the beginning of our Delvin Farms CSA had brought us a plethora of strawberries, so much that it was impossible to keep up. So I had frozen several gallon sized bags worth to deal with once we returned from Spain. Preserves? Smoothies? Beautiful Strawberry Tarts? who knows. 

But it was all a bag of juice. Warm juice.

So I am forced to move on, no preserving the TN strawberry bounty for me this year. But despite that I do still want to make my first attempts at canning this summer. Since plan A is gone, its time to move on to the next cards this growing season has to throw me. Blueberry preserves are definitely in the lineup. Lots and lots of canned tomatoes in my future. Pickles will for sure be on the list. 

What else do I need to try my hand at preserving this summer? Anyone have any killer recipes we just have to try? Any recommendations on pick-your-own farms around Nashville to check out? Would love some suggestions!

Oh and if anyone just has some extra strawberries lying around that they don’t want…. you know where to find me.

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