This past weekend was to be a staining weekend. Son #1 and Grand #1 came in on an early morning bus Saturday, but the day dawned as many have lately, overcast, foggy and high humidity. As the fog cleared, it was still overcast, so the staining was put on hold yet again and since he was here to work, we tackled the garage door that hasn’t worked properly in a couple of years. We have had to hold the button constantly to raise or lower the door and the electric sensor was not working at all. This rendered the remote in the car useless. We made a trip to the nearest hardware store, in the next town since our local one went out of business and purchased a circuit tester and a few odds and ends. He was able to isolate where power was no longer reaching the sensor and with a bit of rewiring and door adjustment, it now goes up, comes down gently and reverses when it hits an obstacle or the light beam is broken. The morning harvest sat on the counter throughout the day.
Yesterday was similar weather, but he managed to get the garage doors caulked with me following as clean up before he and Grand caught a bus for home. Once back to our farm, I tackled the Saturday harvest and made and canned 10 pints of Tom Tom Salsa, though I left out most of the lemon juice as hubby felt it was too tart for his taste. Yesterday’s afternoon’s storms brought a significant temperature drop. This morning dawned quite cool and still cloudy.
Each time I can, I get my exercise hauling empty jars up to the kitchen and full jars back down to the root cellar. The shelves in there are quite rewarding now as they fill with jars of tomatoes, chili tomatoes, salsa, pasta sauce and XXX hot sauce. The drying shelves are filling with garlic and Burgess Buttercup Squash. There are many more of them ripening in the garden and I can’t get to the sweet potatoes anymore until the squash and pumpkin vines start dying off.
As I was taking Son #1 to the bus, I asked him if there was a good way to reinforce the bottom of one of the pseudo orange crates that I purchased years ago at Michael’s Arts and Crafts so that I could load the full jars to the basement and for bringing canned goods and produce to them when I make my trips to their house. We started purchasing the crates when he was in college and his library that he hauled from dorm room to dorm room to apartment were shelved in them. Each semester, adding a few for new texts and other acquired books. When I moved across the state to our new farm, my handthrown pottery, china, and books were packed in similar crates for the move. Some of those crates have the bottom slats stapled on at an angle, others straight in. I have feared having the bottom drop out of one. He suggested taking a 1/2″ thick board cut to the width of the crate, drilling pilot holes and screwing the boards on the bottom across the slats.
One of my projects this morning was to reinforce one of those crates, then to prepare and can 11 pints of pasta sauce and a pint of Pickled Jalapeno peppers. My past two days have produced 21 pints of tomato products. The garden is still full of tomatoes and peppers, but the jars are getting scarce. I haven’t been able to locate any on Craigs list this time of year and I don’t really want to buy more in Big Lots or the Grocery. I will can using the last 5 pints and last 11 quarts then start freezing bags of tomatoes. The freezer us under utilized this year, other than chickens. Unless we end up buying apples to pare and freeze, there will be plenty of space for quart or gallon bags of frozen tomatoes.
Today as I was boiling a pot of water for peeling the pounds and pounds of tomatoes, one of the burners on our flat top stove failed. I had mixed feelings about a flat top stove when we bought our appliances 7 years ago, but for it to match the refrigerator and dishwasher, that was my only choice. I guess we are going to have to get a repair estimate, but this isn’t good timing with canning going on and with estimated taxes due.