‘How Much Is Too Much?’

The Produce Dance

I’m currently staring at a giant butternut squash on my counter.

I have about a zillion green peppers, carrots, peaches, apples and other types of produce in my fridge.

In harvest season when fruit and vegetables are cheap or free, I tend to go a little crazy with my inability to say no and end up accumulating a lot of food.

While I get a lot of satisfaction from being in the kitchen, working with my hands and creating edible stuff, I regularly end up making work when I could use to put the time in elsewhere.

It’s a fine dance between my love of prepping and cooking and not wanting to waste food.

Produce can turn so quickly and I don’t have much room in my fridge so many apples and tomatoes ripen before they are able o be used fresh so then I get myself into having to cook more.

Anyone with me? How much is too much? When is it time to say no thanks to your friend’s 3 enormous zucchinis? How much banana bread are you really going to make from those brown things on the counter?

Though I’m getting better at saying no these days, I’m not so sure my no muscle works for free food offerings. I’m determined to make the season of harvest work for me each year.

As beet heads are starting to pop up, I look at the container of borscht I still have in the freezer. Do I really need to accept or buy any? But I love beets. Maybe I’ll can them instead of making soup this fall. Maybe I’ll try pickling them.

So many options.

What I need to do is learn to can spaghetting sauce and soup. I have no idea about the pH and safety details that would be required for each recipe yet do know a few canning wizards. Aunt Joanie, Harmony, Rachel…get ready for the questions! ;)

Creamy curry butternut squash mulligatawny soup has been calling my name for a while so that might be where the one on my counter ends up.

The peppers? They’ll go into fresh salsa and greek salad along with the tomatoes if they ripen in time. The rest of the peaches and jalapenos I want to use for peach/pepper jam, the carrots might end up in a jar with some dill and I’ll improvise as I go with the rest.

I’m sure my attitude might change and my hands may continue to stiffen but until then…the term ‘too much’ fresh produce doesn’t apply.


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