A little processing

Yesterday afternoon before dinner prep, we set out to do a walk. My energy and blood pressure had been in the dump all day and I was hoping it would help. We generally walk two figure 8 loops around the double pond, so about 2-2.25 miles, and I only managed one. As a result, I never went back out to the garden in the evening.

This morning, while it was still cool and the sun low, the fall bed was planted with spinach, spinach mustard, kohlrabi, and radishes. Last night I planted the two hydroponic gardens on the kitchen counter with spinach, spinach mustard, mesclun mix in the 12 cell one, and an herb garden in the 6 cell one and set my alarm clock for 6 a.m. to go down and plug them in. At 6 a.m., I was sound asleep deaf ear up and didn’t hear the vibrating alarm go off. I turned them on when I did get up, but will have to try again tomorrow to get them on a reasonable schedule so the lights don’t keep us awake at night staying on too late.

We decided that we needed a day off from our walks, hubby had a bad calf cramp that has him sore. And I called the primary care Doctor to get my access to the portal reset to see my results. My RBC, hemoglobin, and hematocrit are unchanged from the morning I left the hospital inspite of eating dark leafy greens, meat, eggs, or seafood at least one a day, and taking the probiotic and multivitaminn with iron suggested by the hospital releasing physician. I expected a call from the P.C. Dr. as he said he would call when the results were in but I haven’t heard from him.

Because we weren’t breaking up the afternoon with a walk, I decided after lunch to process the bucket of apples as many were going bad, and the basket of Asian pears that were very ripe by making apple/pear sauce. We found a 4 pack of pint jars with lids last week and I had 1 remaining lid, so jars were put in the canner, the fruit cut from the cores and chopped to cook down until it could be run through the food mill to remove the skins. I ended up with 4 1/2 pints of fruit sauce to add to the shelf and with the metal lids, heard the satisfying pop of each lid as they cooled.

Don’t you love the unpaper towel they are sitting on. They are made by a friend with an Etsy shop. I love her stuff and no, I don’t get a cut for advertising for her.

The hot peppers from yesterday were brined and stored in the refrigerator for use later in the year.

That was about all I can manage in one day, so I will sit and spin for a while.

It isn’t fair. . .

I know, life isn’t fair, but having the hottest part of the summer just when everything is ready to harvest and be canned isn’t fair.

Since I am heading out for a few days later this week, and leaving hubby home to hold down the fort, I decided that the apples, pears, and gooseberries, should be processed before I leave, so in spite of today’s brutal heat, I heated up the huge canner. Since the ground cherries (gooseberries) would only make a small batch, I was able to cook them in a small flat pan. The large pot filled with pears as I peeled, cored, and sliced them and a thinly sliced orange to make Asian Pear Marmalade. Once they were both in the canner, I began to core and chop the apples and put them in the large pot to cook down. The apples after cooking down and pressing through the food mill, provided 5 1/2 pints of applesauce for the shelves.

There is now more jam than I will consume in a year, and since each pint of applesauce is two meals and there is still at least one jar left from last year, this will be enough for us. I still have 3 more pounds of of pears on the counter. I’m not sure how I will use them, maybe some pear sauce or pear jelly. Or maybe they will be peeled and frozen to use in a holiday dessert. The rest of the tomatoes can wait as they are frozen, but pizza sauce and crushed tomatoes still need to be done. Maybe it will cool down next week when I am back home and I can heat things up again.

While the applesauce was in the canner, I finished the test knit for my friend. After this photo was taken, it was soaked in vinegar water to set the dye and is now blocked on the bed downstairs. If it dries before I leave, I will take it to show the designer. I haven’t decided whether to add a pompom or tassle or leave it as it is.

It is time to get back to spinning, very little was done this past week.

Whew it is hot!

The blue tub of tomatoes were bagged and stuck in the freezer, the tomatillo frozen, the ground cherries husked and put in the jar with the rest of them. There are enough to make a batch of jam now. Maybe tomorrow.

Two of the gallon bags of frozen tomatoes, mostly the paste variety, were dumped in the cleaned out blue tub and water run over them until I could slip the skins off. They were put in the medium stock pot, crushed and chopped, seasoned, and simmered for hours and just before time to prepare dinner, 7 pints were canned. The remaining bit and a jar of frozen pasta sauce with some kibbles of Italian hot sausage were simmered more to provide the sauce for tonight’s spaghetti.

I was happy to find a flat of pint jars with new lids on them in the basement, so all 7 sealed properly. After canning season when the lids return to shelves, I will stock up for next year and reserve the reuseables for freezing. I have dozens of jars, plenty of rings and dozens of the reuseable lids. I will use them when the product being canned can be frozen if they don’t seal, but the regular mouth pints don’t freeze well, they tend to crack as the contents freeze. The regular mouth half pints have straight sides like wide mouth pints, so they work in the freezer.

The hat I am test knitting and ripped out a few nights ago is back where it was, 8 more rows to go before the crown decreases. I will finish it before I leave for the retreat and the designer of the pattern can see it for real, not just photos.

We need our daily walk, it is going to be hot, but at least the sun will be low and nearly dark when we end.