Thursday, October 2, 2014

Say Cheese

A picture is worth a thousand words, can this be true? Since my last post was in June of this year, I'm easily behind in writing by around 1,000 words. And let me tell you people there isn't any picture out there that could cover what's gone down in my world since June.

Garden update:
  • Asparagus took well, survived the summer and I will be trimming back the fern portion soon.
  • Onions rocked as usual. Red, yellow, and white, a basket of bounty in the basement.
  • Potatoes were plentiful. The current supply should last at least until the new year.
  • Peppers were one big failure this year. I just don't get it. Normally my pepper plants are amazing.
  • Tomatoes...I'm over it. Next year...2 plants and that's it. I swear. We just don't use them up and the canning of tomatoes is way overrated.
  • Pinto beans were amazing in their growth. We had an entire bushel basket full. I hang my head in shame to admit this. Brain surgery took priority over pinto beans. I promise you, on one day that basket full of gorgeous musical fruit was sitting pretty as could be on the back porch and then it rained. As I sat reclining side by side with Mister the damned mildew overtook those beans in that basket. Which didn't seem to bother the local squirrels and chipmunks or birds. Who knows what ate them. All I know is between movies on Netflix, I wandered outback, dumped out those nasty mildewed beans and something took care of them for me. I never give it another care. Convalescing won over the beans this year.
  • Peas were a wonder to behold. Sweet and tender. The dream pea.
  • Carrots were gnarly and woody and left in the ground too long. Again, local critters didn't seem to mind.
  • Apple Trees, not one single apple. The freezing cold of last winter must have done them in.
  • And that's all I have to say about Garden 2014.
Canning Round-up
  • Salsa... check...we canned about 48 pint jars. Thank God because there is no way in hell I will doing that again next year. Exhausted and stumbling around with a bag of tortilla chips is not my idea of a fun weekend anymore. Thank you Amish dudes for growing tomatoes, peppers, and onions.
  • Jelly. So many wonderful combinations of jelly rolled out of the kitchen this year
 Strawberry Jalapeno jam was a great new recipe which Anna brought to my attention. I think we made 12 pints. The jalapenos were mellow and fruity. A nice match to the sweet strawberry.
 Also, our standard strawberry jam saw a turn or two or three.
Black Raspberry jelly which is of course my all time favorite was put up again this year. It won't last through the winter. It stains my teeth but, I'm a junkie for the stuff. It's a bit of a labor intense project due to straining all of the tiny seeds through cheese cloth. So worth the effort. Remember boys and girls don't squeeze the juice through the cloth, otherwise your jelly will be cloudy. Or so I've always been told. I dare not squeeze the cheese cloth.
Red Raspberry was the crowning glory of the jelly making adventure this year. Truly a scrumptious product. Expensive as heck to make. I will be a bogart with my red raspberry jelly stash. HA. I did not take photos of that beautiful batch. but, look out below for the strawberry and black raspberry variety.

The only photographic proof of the sticky business of preserves are these two fine specimens.

This summer while on our hiatus we shopped and thrifted some fantastic bargains.

Exhibit A

One skinny dollar bill ($1.00) was forked over for this pair of great mid century lamps. Yes, they are in the spare room and work as an excellent night light. The bases even light up. Score!

Exhibit B
This janky little chair cost all of .50 (fifty cents) and me being a penny pinching tight wad, counted the money out of my change purse in nickles and dimes just like a cranky old lady. Just you and wait and see, I am making this ole girl into a beauty. More on that later. Crosses my fingers and makes promises.

This year we grew vegetables, herbs, flowers, and weeds. The weeds were by far the most successful.
And that's okay. Mister has fully recovered and life has almost resumed a normal pace once again. Or maybe the new normal is stopping to pause between tasks. I always strive to single task my days. I like living life on those terms. Never biting off more than I can chew. One thing the events of this past summer hellish year 9 months has taught me is sometimes single tasking can be overwhelming too.

Hip Hip Hooray, It's like a Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin moment. We survived the kidney surgeries and brain tumor and all of the other out of our control bullshit nonsense to finally arrive here in October. Walking hand in hand with a red balloon, and whispering philosophical cliche`s to one another.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, priorities. Glad to hear Mister is doing well-to hell with the beans. I'll bet stray cats ate them-they'll eat anything.

    Oh yes, I too fear squeezing the jelly bag, but I'm too thrifty to let it all go so I salvage what I can after the juice drains for fruit rolls and candy. Your jellies look beautiful.

    Good score on the lamps and chair. Isn't it amazing what people will get rid of just because it doesn't match their d├ęcor? Change a lampshade, paint a chair and you have a new look-but no, People sell them for a buck and then go buy crap at Walmart instead. Sigh.