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.

Maybe I should check more often

This afternoon, with fruit picker in hand, the apples and Asian pears started coming in to the house to make applesauce and pear marmalade.

There are many times that amount of fruit still on the trees. It got too hot to stay out there, so I quit for today. I will leave some for the wildlife, I tried to pick higher than they can reach, but last year the fruit was there and not ripe and a week later it was gone, not a pear, and only enough apples for a few pints of sauce. I will also pick a box of apples to take to Wilderness Road Regional Museum for pressing and bring home a half gallon or two of fresh cider. I divide it into smaller jars and freeze it to enjoy longer. Maybe I’ll make vinegar out of some.

As I was heading out toward the garden after dinner, I spotted these two spring fawns frolicking with each other with two of the hens right by them and no concerns about sharing the yard.

When I stepped out the side door after they had moved farther across the back, they just stood there and watched me as I pulled out the camera on my phone to get a shot. One doe is in the picture, the other just out of the frame.

The garden was generously overwhelming when, I went out to pick ripe tomatoes. This 16 liter bucket has a quart of ground cherries in the bottom, and maybe half a dozen tomatillos, the rest is tomatoes and there are more in a few days. The leaves on the plants are totally devoured by bugs, but that just makes it easier to see the tomatoes. I discarded at least 4 or 5 of the large flat slicers as they were too far gone or were sunburned down about half the fruit. The popcorn was ready to harvest and dry, so two armloads were brought in and put in a box. The husks were pulled back and the cobs spread on a wire shelf to dry out. Some of the short vined Hubbard squash were ready too, so 5 of them came in. While I was picking the tomatoes, I stood up and the corn was right behind me and I got stung on the tender underarm near my shoulder. I don’t know what got me, but it still stings.

And the hens gave me a full dozen eggs today. The fewest I get from these gals is 9 a day, still haven’t gotten 13 which would be all of them providing an egg.

A few nights ago, I finished the second 16 row chart on the hat, placed it flat to take a picture and spotted a “I can’t live with that” error on the 3rd row of the first chart. Totally disgusted with myself for not spotting it earlier, I went to bed. It ended up being a sleep is optional night, so I got back up after an hour or so, ripped the hat back to the first row after the ribbing and started over. I have reknit the first chart and and about a third of the way through the second chart. Yesterday’s dressing up as an 18th century working woman and spinning at a Heritage Day event, put a crimp in my knitting on the hat or spinning for the monthly challenge with my spindles. I use my wheel at events and a top whorl drop spindle or a Scottish Dealgan, as the Turkish style doesn’t fit the period.

Tomorrow, I will have to get more large freezer bags to put the tomatoes in the freezer until I’m ready to can them.

I think I am organized to pack up for the much anticipated fiber retreat later this week. We are all vaccinated, will all wear masks, but it will be so good to see those friends after 2 years.