Having just had a smidgeon of a friend’s strawberry-rhubarb preserves on toast – a piece of toast that made me do the happy dance around the kitchen, exclaiming and ooo-ing – I realized that I have a kitchen FULL of homemade food gifts from various folks.
There’s blood orange marmalade, honey from three different keepers’ hives, vintage sourdough starter that half the town is also in possession of, home brewed beer, a freezer container full of the viscous sugary delicious base for hot buttered rums, homemade champagne vinegar, and the aforementioned nectar from heaven of strawberry-rhubarb preserves. (Seriously, they are unbelievably good, like fresh, ripe strawberries. Better than the preserves at the Big Yellow House in Santa Barbara, and that’s saying something.)
I have been offered, but refused due to lilliputian kitchen dimensions, locally grown and freshly milled whole wheat flour (25-pound bags only!), a vinegar mother, dried chanterelles (honestly, I didn’t know what to do with them), grated and frozen zucchini, a metric-yard of eggplant, homemade dog food (I don’t have a dog), a yogurt mother culture (for making your own yogurt), and on 3 different occasions, homeless swarms of bees.
If I recall correctly, my rental agreement specifically forbids keeping bees in my kitchen.
Despite the ecstatic toast incident, the day has pummeled me. I planned to work some more this evening, but I feel a mouth breathe coming on.