Pepper Jelly and Applesauce

141225_1Last Monday I walked into my old co-op for groceries and in addition to filling out my list I was gifted a bounty of veggies and fruits.

This is all cull. Food that can’t be sold because of bruising or other blemishes that will cause spoilage too soon after purchase. It usually goes to food shelves but sometimes they don’t have enough room to take it all. Right time, right place and I’m walking out with a banana box overflowing with good eats.

That night I whipped up a passel of greens that will last me a week. I also started a sugar cure on four Meyer lemons and yesterday made lemon simple syrup from the first overrun of juice. 141225_3In my freezer there are now a handful of lemons and a half dozen frozen bananas and apples for smoothies and cooking. I’d forgotten how good a feeling it is to process food. Especially working with raw veggies and fruits in the winter.

The tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms made a great red sauce for last night’s supper. Yesterday my kitchen smelled of roasting peppers and right now my house has the perfume of cooking apples.

141225_2All throughout the cutting and chopping and cooking, I found myself grinning and humming with gratitude. Remembering the smile on my friend’s face as she presented me with the box. Feeling fortunate and loved. And happy to have a simple enough existence that what some other people wouldn’t purchase is a welcome addition to my cupboard.