I snapped this photo a week or so ago. I was soaking in the last heat wave before temperatures started falling towards more Midwestern Fall appropriate range. We had a week of 95 degree plus temperatures and I was melting outside with the kids as they swang and swam merrily along.
I decided to do a little self care after the kids went to bed I headed back to the kiddie pool with wine, a good true crime podcast and SOLITUDE. I spent 45 minutes floating and watching the sunset. No one was screaming “MOMMY!!” or climbing all over me. I may have scared the neighbors with my true crime obsession but I came out the other side much more relaxed.
Our current temperature in Kansas is roughly the surface of the sun with like 1,000% humidity. So why wouldn’t I want to haul out all my canning supplies and heat up my kitchen? I was having some anxiety related to world events and general unrest so I felt the need to make something. That feeling turned into one batch of strawberry rhubarb jam, two batches of blackberry jam, two batches of peach jam and one batch of strawberry jam.
Jellybean helped me off and on saying that he “didn’t like the hot and sticky parts”. Which we all know is almost the whole process. He did like how dark and ruby colored the blackberries cooked down into. All this fruit, except for the strawberries, was homegrown from my families gardens. To me this gave me a grounded feeling and a connection to people I can’t visit right now.
This project did make me feel a bit better. I did have a tiny bit of frustration when my peach jam didn’t set and I had to haul all the supplies back out to re-cook and add more pectin. But the re-do process did seem to work. Now I have some jelly stores for the next year and enough to give as gifts this holiday season.
We are in the middle of a long heat wave in the Midwest right along side big increases in COVID cases. So my family and I are doing our best to find ways to have fun and stay safe at home. This week’s adventure had water balloons, lots of driveway swimming pool time and me knitting in the shade.
This photo was taken 10 minutes before I dropped a stitch and made a huge hole in my Rainbow Habitation Throw. I literally spent the next hour tinking back two and a half rows to fix my mistake because it just wouldn’t ladder back down and back up again correctly. So that means I’m still in my fourth color of twelve.
But the good thing about knitting garter stitch is that you can just knit and knit and eventually you look down and a blanket has popped out of nowhere!
P.S. I completely see the irony of knitting a lap blanket during a heat wave. I’m a special kind of crazy!
When one has access to A) free babysitting and B) large volumes of tomatoes…..you make sauce!!! Here are my happy three pots of sauce bubbling away on the stove.
I only managed to burn myself once, spill a million times and actually finish the day with 20 pints of pure tomato goodness. My house uses this all the time instead of store bought sauce. Note: I don’t season my canned sauce. I prefer a blank canvas to be spiced up later.
Between keeping up with a two month old and doing some late summer traveling….we sorta lost track of some of our garden. Our tomatoes and bell peppers aren’t doing diddly squat and worms ate our jalapenos. But wowza our zucchini went nuts and we didn’t notice…..
Here’s my hand for scale….
These were too woody and tough to eat but we made a nice vegetable dice for the deer in the nearby woods, lol. And fingers crossed we can salvage some more produce yet this summer that isn’t ginormous.
My husband and I have been taking turns in the garden this summer. Okay, to be fair he’s done most of the work because Jellybean has been in a “mommy only” phase that has absorbed most of my time. But this morning I snuck out before Jellybean woke up and picked these beauties.
We planted basil, tomatoes, jalapenos, green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and onions. All but the onions are thriving! I believe we will either have BLTs or fresh chunky garden salsa for supper tonight!
My apple tree set like gangbusters this year. Unfortunately I didn’t get it treated in time earlier this spring due to my morning sickness and the worms have done a number on my apples. There are still a number of good apples. Just going to take a little extra time to peel and trim away the bad parts.
I don’t think they will be in good enough shape for apple pie or apple pie filling. But good news…I think they will be just perfect for apple jelly. And after my last experiment in apple jelly, I have a few tweaks I’d like to try!
I’ve picked a five gallon bucket of green apple goodness. They are now cooling their heels in the fridge. Now I just have to wash, core, trim, and slice a five gallon bucket of apples….crap. Didn’t I just process 8 gallons of tomatoes yesterday? I must be a glutton for culinary delicious punishment.
I’ll let you know how everything sets up! Hehe, see what I did there? I love a good pun! That or the delirium has set in 🙂
I promise to get back to knitting content soon! I have another update on Jellybean’s blanket coming, a #sockswithsarah update, and one last sweater WIP I want to work on before Jellybean gets here!!
My family has a ridiculously large garden. And I’m blessed to reap the rewards. Right now I have 8 gallon bags of frozen home grown delicious tomatoes in my freezer. Ripe and ready to hit the sauce pot. And that is literally just the tip of the iceberg so to speak of what the plants produced.
I learned how to cook, season, and can my own tomato sauce and salsa last summer. And boy….let me tell you how delicious that was all winter to have yummy jars to cook into my casseroles and crock pot!
Jellybean is growing and growing so I don’t quite have the get up an go of last summer. But my plan is to work slow and steady today with lots of water and sitting breaks. All so I can convert those juicy tomatoes into sauce. It’s a rough day when your food cravings crash against your swollen pregnancy feet, lol.
Wish me luck! I hope to have some good foodie photos to show when I’m done 🙂