I didn’t mean to take a week break from blogging. I’ve been busy puttering about the homestead, but nothing I was up to seemed to make an interesting enough post on its own. So here’s a dump of some of what I did last week.
I cleaned out the happy corner in anticipation of projects I can feel coming on. The transition from summer canning season to the upcoming holiday season means I’m moving from the kitchen to my sewing corner. I have a tendency to pull that corner apart in the heat of working on something, then walk away, leaving it a mess. Which means that the next time I get inspired about a project, I find myself having to clear a path in which to work in before I can do anything – essentially, cleaning to make way for the project can sometimes become the project.
I do not have that excuse this time. The corner is ready to go for when inspiration strikes me.
Friday morning I came to the conclusion that every bowl larger than a cereal bowl was being used to hold either tomatoes, apples or tomatillos. Inspired by Patience, I whipped up a half batch of marinara sauce entirely from tomatoes I grew. That’s right. Those rotten, no good squirrels (of which I found two dead in the street this past week) finally let up on the tomatoes and I managed to pick close to 15 pounds last week.
I do not even want to begin to imagine how many pounds I could have grown had the squirrels let them be. Nor how much money I could have saved by not buying tomatoes at market every week.
I have a solid plan for how I’m going to get most of my harvest instead of the squirrels next year. It involves an off-site garden. I don’t want to talk about it here too much just in case those squirrels are reading. They are sneaky like that.
Meanwhile, I’m just so stinking happy I harvested enough tomatoes to can this year. Tomatoes are why I learned to can in the first place, they are why I have a garden. I’ve grown tomatoes since I was a little girl. My whole thing about knowing exactly where my food comes from started with tomatoes. I might have only gotten 6 pint jars of marinara on my shelves, but 6 jars of marinara that I grew? Pretty much all is right with my world.
I whipped up a small batch of tomatillo salsa Sunday morning to take to the swap with me Sunday afternoon. Edie girl was kind enough to help me chop, which lead to a lovely Sunday morning kitchen chat with my girl. My tomatillos have been going gangbusters this summer, as have my jalapeno plant, so I tried the tomatillo salsa recipe from the Food in Jars cookbook, which uses both. I think next time I’ll roast the tomatillos, onions & peppers when I make it.
I got my first not-quite-full bushel of apples (I used the coupon on Henley’s website to buy a peck, get a free gallon which adds up to 3/4 of a bushel.) I’m slowly working through them to make applesauce and things like sausage, apples & biscuits for dinner.
I also spent some time pondering creativity, the meaning of life and exactly what do I want to do with myself as canning season winds down. I have a few ideas for some cooking classes I’d like to organize and teach, but I need a space to work out of. I spent some time asking around about that. I have acquired a nice, new to me camera – not a point and shoot, but a real DSLR, something I’ve wanted for quite some time. I’m attempting to teach myself how to shoot with it manually, knowing not a thing about it. I just fiddle with it until I get a shot to turn out. Needless to say, there’s a steep learning curve. I’ve got quite the stack of books from the library sitting on the coffee table right now as I attempt to figure out what I’m doing. Or maybe I’ll just continue to muddle through in that special way of mine.