Sunday’s are for football…

…unless you are not a fan. Whilst hubby watched the early game, I disappeared to the outdoors. Several of the empty garden beds were freed of the weed cover that had bloomed, most of the corn stalks were pulled and the weeds under them cleared, the fenceline along the east of the garden where the chicken run used to be before the dogs and free range chickens decided they could coexist was rank with horsenettle, lambs quarters, cheese head weed, and other tough coarse weeds and that fence line was cleared as well. The garden weeding involved some pruning back of the tall asparagus tops and some of the sprawling tomatillos and many tomatillos were harvested along with a hand full of red serano peppers. The orchard was mowed as I had failed to do it earlier in the week and apples picked again for another basketful to eat and another batch of applesauce to make and can. There are still hundreds of apples on the trees, they were quite prolific this year. There is nothing better than picking an apple fresh off the tree to eat while riding the mower around and through the orchard trees and mulching up the pulled weeds from the garden fence with the mower. A couple of years ago in the fall, I was helping Son 1, DIL, and GSon1 move from the rental they had been in for many years to the first home they bought and mentioned the difficulty of picking the apples and pears each year, when the last spring frost didn’t kill off the blooms. They asked me if I had a fruit picker and I must have looked like the proverbial deer in the headlights at them as I had no idea what they were talking about. During that trip when they went out for some supplies, they returned with this implement as a gift to me.

Last year there wasn’t much fruit, so it didn’t get a lot of use, but what a boon it has been this year as buckets of pears and apples have been harvested using it. The extendable handle allows me to get to the very tops of the trees. It was a wonderful surprise gift that I have thoroughly enjoyed having.

The Tomatillos and Seranos sat on the counter overnight as I debated whether to chop and freeze them or use them now. This morning, the decision was to make a batch of Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde. I had made a small batch a few weeks ago in late August, used a half pint and froze a pint. I now have canning lids and decided to can it in half pint jars. The harvest yesterday was roasted with garlic and onion, the lime juice, cilantro, and salt added and chopped in the food processor and the frozen pint thawed and added to the freshly cooked batch and heated up. Since half pint jars don’t require that I haul down the super large canner, I often use my largest stock pot, but always have an issue with a rack or layer in the bottom to keep the jars off the bottom of the pot. Today, I realized that the shallow steamer basket from the smallest stock pot fits perfectly into the larger pot and holds 7 half pint jars exactly.

I haven’t tried to see how many pints it will hold, but this pot heats up so much faster than the huge canner pot. And 7 half pints of too spicy for me salsa were made and canned.

This was sort of an experiment as I ordered 100 canning lids from Amazon, just prior to a friend texting me to tell me she could get me Ball brand ones from a location near her. I responded with a please, yes, get me some, but I wanted to test the Amazon lids out too. My SIL said she had very poor results from some she had gotten online. Six of the jars this morning have the Amazon lids. If they don’t seal properly, the jars can always go in the freezer, but I am hopeful as between those lids and the ones from my friend, I should have enough for next year as well.

I still have the yarn for one more breed blanket square spun, but not knit. The last one knit has been blocked and dried and is ready to be added to the blanket. The pattern I am test knitting for another friend is being knit in some of my handspun yarn and the first mitt is complete, the second one begun. And I am continuing to spin the Ruby Blue Faced Leicester wool on a spindle.

I still have yesterday’s apple harvest to cut and cook to can for more applesauce, but I am waiting to see how the Amazon lids do before I use us the ones from my friend. The next few days will be a return to summerish temperatures, but I think still cool enough to do a bit of canning. A pot of tomatoes need to be cooked down for pizza sauce which will require canning as well.

It is nice to have the produce to put away, the energy returned to do it, and the time to can and craft in the early fall weather.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.