Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Harvest time in Russia

This is the time of year when everyone is walking around with buckets, baskets and bags full of produce from their gardens or mushrooms and berries from the woods. We have gone out several times in the past few days to get raspberries. Raia explained in no uncertain terms that she likes garden berry picking better than forest berry picking, though. In the forest, we pick berries at one patch, then move on to another, while Raia protests long and loud about the interruption of her snack. She only calms down when we find another good spot. And we tend not to come back with full buckets like our neighbors do; our two helpers are too efficient when it comes to eating!

Last night we pleased Raia and joined everyone else coming home with arms full. We went over to check on our garden for the first time since before the congress in Bryansk. We brought back a huge squash, our first few heads of broccoli, a bag of apples and bunches of basil. The tomato plants were falling over, they're so full of fruit, and our pumpkins are big enough (and numerous enough!) that Jaan was able to recognize them and get very excited. Raia was very happy to sit under "her" berry bush and eat berries uninterrupted, until her face was red with juice and black with dirt stuck to it. She's finally figured out how to pick berries for herself, and she only ends up eating a leaf or stick every once in a while.

We spent this morning making applesauce and pesto. I froze my first batch of pesto last night, too. Now we've processed what we had, and we'll be going back for more when the children get up from their naps.

It's a good thing that the congress was so wonderful, because we're still paying the price. I'm very glad that Will and Raia are back to normal with their stomachs and that Jaan and I never got that, but these colds are still dragging on. Blah!

In case anyone was wondering about Jaan's imagination: while he was helping me wash the basil this morning, he was telling me all about the dog who lives--with his owner--in the drain of our kitchen sink. I just nodded and occasionally said something like "Really?" Later I noticed that he was stuffing garlic cloves down the drain. I quickly asked what he was doing, and he replied, "The dog is hungry. She wants garlic, and if I don't give it to her, she'll bite me!"


Lindy Johnson said...

It's interesting how similar our seasons are. We arrived on Sunday from Alabama and I spent most of Monday harvesting and filling buckets of beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, lettuce, beets, squash, and peppers. Now I have to start canning and freezing! We missed you in Alabama. Love, Lindy

Anonymous said...

I have missed your picturesque decriptions--but the mental pictures generated by this one makes it well worth the wait. I do hope you have kept your camera close to the action.

Will you be canning tomatoes? Making jelly?

How I would enjoy being able to help you....Much, much love....

Mimi said...

Yum, it sounds so lovely.

You know, on the Feast of the Trasnfiguration in the Orthodox Church (it was this past Sunday on the new Calendar - you'll see it celebrated on August 6 on the Old Calendar) baskets of fruit are blessed in the churches. After your description, I can see why.

Anonymous said...

oh, that sounds great, Phyllis. I wish I could've seen your garden while I was there. I've been enjoying the benefits of dad's garden and made some fresh salsa last night. Quite different from dad's salsa- roasted corn and garlic, bellpeppers, onion and tomato, a little vinagar. Very good.

Anonymous said...

All the garden descriptions sound great! Our summer squash didn't make much this year, but we have some of the nicest tomatoes in years (yummy sandwich today!) and the most prolific crop of black-eyed peas and limas ever. Cukes have been good, but not very prolific, but Julie's made tons of pickles with lots of cukes from the Barker's garden. Peppers haven't done very well with the exception of jalapeno. Anyway, I'm trying to keep up with pea picking and shelling, especially with Julie and Abby at Awana camp this week! Looks like the squirrels have discovered the pecan crop this year, after last year's monster crop and not a varmint to be seen. So may not get to many, as this would be the off year anyway. Tell Jaan that Grandaddy's dog Howie likes garlic too, especially if it's in very hot salsa. He licks his lips for 5 minutes after eating! Much love to all--D/B/G