This week was amazing. Not only did we have plenty to do thanks to our farm partners, but we had a full crew in the Kitchen. Generally, it is just me, Graham, and Jana.
Graham is not only my husband but the Vice President of Research and Development. He jokes it is a better title than chief prep cook and floor mopper. Truthfully, Graham is a really good cook and while he is rarely at the stove in the Can-Do Kitchen, he can analyze what a recipe needs to enhance flavor and he has also developed several recipes that are now part of our offerings including the Plum Basting and Grilling Sauce and the Scarborough Fair herb mix.
Jana was the first new friend I made right after I moved to Oregon a bit over three years ago. She taught me how to can and she has forgotten more than I will ever know. So she is the Vice President of Production and if I need to leave the stove, Jana is on it! She is great at finding fresh herbs in a number of gardens in the area that are accessible and spray-free. She’s a super problem solver and enjoys the achievement of getting a “wow” flavor prepared when we’re cooking.
Mary, a friend from church, asked if she could come help about three months ago and except for a couple of trips to visit family (I can not nor will I even try to compete with a beloved grandson!) Mary has been coming to help daily. She became our tomato prep person extraordinaire and celebrated when I announced no more fresh tomatoes until next summer. She tackles each day with a smile and says being part of Can-Do is better than watching television and she enjoys being a part of such a great activity.
Recently, another friend messaged me asking if she could come help. Since then she has come daily and even dragged her husband in one day. Vanessa has a good amount of experience in the kitchen as she likes to cook from scratch and she was a super quick study in the commercial kitchen, coming up with a solution to a situation that we had not considered because she had fresh eyes.
Periodically other friends have come to help and an extra pair of hands is always appreciated!
With all that help we got a lot done this week:
- two kinds of fig jam and paste…one with oranges and the other with lemon and thyme
- plum basting and grilling sauce
- jazzy grape jam
- apple pie filling
- apple sauce
- quince paste
- vegetarian tortilla soup mix, and
- strawberry syrup for the Coop’s Saturday Breakfast
The inventory in the storage area is great and we will be bringing quite a lot to the Grange Farmers’ Market on November 12th. Our goal at that market will be to help you with your holiday meal prep and presentation. We have a great number of items which will enhance your meal and party enjoyment.
Our goal in the next few weeks is to work through items that have been stored in the freezer while we were dealing with more fragile produce like the tomatoes, and to also prepare more wine wow (jelly spread) as well as salts. Let me know if there is something you are hoping we will have again in the November and December markets. Just leave a message here or email me at BethRankinOR@gmail.com