If it seems like food is taking over this blog recently, that's only because food is TAKING OVER MY LIFE. No, really. The harvesting, processing, and preparation of food is all that I've been doing for the last few days (along with some other piddling things like sleeping and laundry). Before moving here, I never realized how much the season could dictate activity, but there is no doubt that the rhythms of our lives adapt to the changing weather and season. How profound. Jesus, moving on . . .
It's such a bountiful time of year that there is literally fruit falling from the skies. We have a huge mulberry tree that is raining down mulberries by the pound. Being the total plant ignoramus that I am, I had no idea that there was such a thing as an edible mulberry. I am told by A., who knows everything about anything nature-related (seriously--he won some kind of environmental quiz contest two years in a row in high school), that most mulberry trees either produce only ornamental fruit (read: not edible), or some nasty sour berries. But ours is some kind of Chinese variety that produces some absolutely DELICIOUS and huge berries. As you can see in the photo, they look sort of like elongated raspberries, and taste similar, but they're sweeter and black when ripe.
The problem is that the tree is so monstrous that we can't reach any of the branches. Unless you're a monkey, which I am not, or able to scale large trees with no fear, which I also am not. It doesn't help that it's all on a slope. There is literally tons of fruit on that tree that we can't get to. But mulberries fall off the tree by themselves when they're ripe, so I devised a clever scheme for harvesting at least a small fraction of the fruit.
I put a tarp under the tree. I know, my brilliance astounds even me. I also will move the tarp under the couple of branches that are reachable with the rake and whack them to get the berries off, but I prefer to let gravity and the tarp do the work for me. I'm lazy like that. But it totally works. That container you see there (what is that--a quart container?) in the photo was what fell onto the tarp just last night. I went out this morning and gathered them. The jar you see is how much juice I got out of that size container of berries. I decided to make juice from them because they're really too soft and perishable to freeze or store for very long. Which is also why you will not be seeing mulberries at your local Safeway. Sucks for you.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I believe there is some food somewhere that requires my attention. We must all work to gather the harvest before the snows of winter close in. Or something . . .