What’s shaking around here.

As if Betty’s departure and the beginning of school wasn’t enough to shake things up, Mother Nature has really thrown us for a few loops around here this week.  The little earthquake over in Mineral apparently had quite an impact all over the place.  We’ve felt a few of them before, but were absolutely shocked that it was felt so far away this time!  I think the 4.5 aftershock at 1 a.m. the next night threw us for more of a loop than the ‘big’ one, especially with the weather report as we were heading to bed predicting widespread destruction from Hurricane Irene. (or maybe because I was at the pool with a gaggle of girls for the first one and sound asleep in my bed for the big aftershock, which is infinitely more jarring in my opinion).   Thankfully for us, she stayed east, and we got to stay on the western most fringe, which meant a rainy, breezy day that felt like it should have been a college football Saturday.  One more week….
Meanwhile, school started, soccer practice started, I attended my first PTO board member meeting, I vaguely started planning the year for our Girl Scout troop AND, inspiration has happened on my plan to not really go back to work for someone else!!!  Turns out reality has thus far been quite kind. (See, I knew if I ignored it, it would be fine. It always is.) Although, I am sort of not too pleased that I am suddenly back to waking up every morning at 5:30 again.  I suppose it will make it easier to get back into that early morning gym routine that I swear I’m going to get back into one of these days…
And that’s not all that we’ve been up to.
We dog sat our favorite old, brown dog this week, who handled the earthquakes much better than the hurricane.  (Although he certainly dilly dallied on our walk in the middle of the storm on Saturday, which bothered a certain someone to no end.)

I braved the muggy, windy, rainy morning to haul my rear to market early Saturday morning and picked up this case of scratch and dent tomatoes for $10 and spent my Saturday canning ‘maters.  I got 18 pints out of it, bringing my stash to 3 full cases for the upcoming winter season.  Not too shabby.
I also whipped up a wicked roasted salsa the other night and then canned the leftovers (after adding vinegar to maintain the acidity).  I’ll open a jar this week to see how it fares. 
Saturday night, we had friends over to try this out for dinner.  We let the kids roll their own and they loved it.  I added some marinated tofu to the mix, which just hit the spot.  In this cookbook there is an eggplant teriyaki recipe that has a quick and easy sauce that is my go to.  Basically, it’s equal parts sesame oil, OJ, and tamari, with some garlic.  Boiling your tofu beforehand makes it firmer, and I’ve heard that it also makes it more amicable to soaking up a marinade.  I use Twin Oaks tofu, which is local and infinitely better than any other tofu I’ve found in any grocery store.  It’s one of those things that’s always in my fridge.
And last, but certainly not least, the squirrels finally decided to back off the garden and I picked a whole bowl of tomatoes!  Okay, so it’s a candy dish and it’s grape tomatoes.  Still, on principle, I’m pretty darn tooting happy about them.  I broke out the china for them!

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