We’re on day 5 of no kid here and I’ve gotten lots of questions about what we’re up to while our gal is gone. Here’s my week in review.
I cleaned out the fridge and made a small batch of blackberry jam as well as cherries in syrup. Then I went down to the PVCC kitchens at the Jefferson School City Center and taught a small canning & pickling class. We made pickled peaches, bread & butter pickles as well as green bean pickles. Along the way I had to improvise, as there was only so much white vinegar on hand and both my peach and green bean pickle recipes call for white. There was White Wine Vinegar however, which is what I used in the green beans. I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to be a fabulous little discovery, one that will become my new standard – I just have to wait 6 weeks before cracking open a jar. Which may not happen.
I made a batch of curried squash pickles in the afternoon, then headed out for a long-planned girls night out with some of my favorite mom friends. We went to Bang! where we were the first table on the back patio and the last to leave. We may have gotten loud. We definitely ran up a tab and may have been slightly overserved. Planning on having husbands drop off & pick up may have helped that happen. It was a blast. I am lucky to have several groups of girlfriends I can go out and let it all hang out with, but there is something incredibly special about having momfriends to do that with. Their girls were all in my Girl Scout troop over the years and our girls are all friends – among the five of us, our various girls are among each other’s most favorite people in the world, so it sort of makes sense that we would get along so well.
Pat’s employer, The James River Association, was the nonprofit working the beer truck at Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion Radio Romance Tour” at Maymont in Richmond. As huge fans of the show, we jumped at the chance to see it for free, even if it meant we had to pour drinks all night. The weather was gorgeously perfect – being able to see the show live was a big thrill for us and it was hands down, one of the best volunteer gigs I’ve ever had. Our friend Ryan came along as well, putting us up for the night at his adorable new house.
I spent some time in my much neglected garden. It seems I’m growing more grass than anything else in there this year. I did some weeding, some thinning, some harvesting. After spending a few hours outside, I headed inside to deal with what I’d harvested. I spent a few very enjoyable hours making a batch of bread, hibiscus syrup, sweet tea & kombucha as well as dinner and prepping to put up the rest of the produce. I went for a late afternoon stroll with Betty up to her building on Rose Hill and back before having a lovely dinner of mixed greens from the garden tossed with a mix of grains from the pantry.
Trying to figure out what to do with some of the produce from the garden. Pickled jalapenos are a standard in this house (required for my homemade nachos) and while I’ve read quite a bit about those Mexican Sour Gerkins recently, I haven’t come across a pickle recipe that grabs me, which means coming up with my own. So while the beets I harvested roast in the oven before being pickled, I’ve done some research on my mini-cucs. They will definitely be the subject of an upcoming post.
We got two letters from our girl this week – she realized after mailing the first she had forgotten a stamp, so she wrote us another one. We managed to get both interestingly enough. She’s having a blast, friends from years previous are there and could we please send the following provisions.
Snail mail is the only means of contact we have with her over the next few weeks, so we are thinking we might take the hint and pack up and head to the woods ourselves in the coming days, for some quiet unplugged time camping out in nature. With the weather being in the 80’s and low humidity, it’s divine camping weather.