We've had a busy few weeks since my little melt-down and hiatus from blogging. All the things that I mentioned needed getting done did indeed get done. The jam for my sister's wedding (177 little jars) are finished. Sam, Sadie and I all are in possession of our proper attire for the wedding and those of us who needed hair cuts have had them.
Tomatoes have been rolling in at a steady but manageable pace. As I write this, my canning of tomatoes is complete. I am still roasting them and will keep it up until I have plenty packed away. There is a chance that I will can some Curried Green Tomato Sauce, but that's only if I really feel like it and that would be several weeks out from now.
My sister and her one-year-old spent four days with us. We had a wonderful time. We made a batch of tomato sauce for her, browsed a discount book store, spent an afternoon at a nearby lake (until hurricane Bill dumped on us- even that was fun), made food, watched our children play and talked about how we look forward to the day we live closer (hopefully within a year).
The chicks are growing and still oh-so cute. Even though the yellow-brown meat birds are only 4 days older than our laying chicks (Silver-Laced Wyandottes), they tower above them. They are still enjoying sharing the chicken tractor, although we really must figure out (ahead of time) where their next move will be. Before long, they will be too big for the tractor, but still small enough to be chased out of the main chicken yard by the older hens who are bossy (and that's a nice way of saying it).
My brother and his wife came over and made dinner for us the other night as part of my birthday present- chicken pasta with tomatoes and spinach, lettuce and egg salad, bruschetta (I'll tell you more about that next week), chocolate cream pie and chocolate chip cookies. It was delicious and such a treat.
Jamey has started back to school. This begins his third (out of four or five, if he chooses to specialize) year of pharmacy school. Having him home this summer was wonderful. His help with Miriam, Sam, Sadie, the garden, canning and everything else made this summer so enjoyable for me. There were times when it was hard for him, not being used to kid exposure all day everyday and lacking almost all types of personal time, but he pulled through and the kids and I will always be grateful for the gift of him being at home with us this summer.
The red raspberries are in full swing and we are enjoying them. I am picking almost 2 quarts every other day. We are eating them fresh and freezing the rest. Also, on our raspberry agenda is to make Raspberry Frozen Yogurt. We have made this recipe many times this summer- with blueberries, frozen crushed strawberries, and peaches. All have been amazing and we're excited to try the red raspberry version.
My freezers are full. The upright freezer is packed (almost to the gills) with frozen produce, zucchini pumpkin bread and our remaining few quarts of applesauce. The chest freezer is holding frozen strawberries, pesto and enough meals to get us through the month of September. You heard me. There are about 20 meals in there, but do not think for a second that that has been one of the things I've been doing the past few weeks. Oh no.
These meals are meals that I squirreled away before Miriam was born and that family and friends brought us after she was born. You know, for us to eat while we were enjoying our newborn. Well, once our church meals were delivered, I was feeling pretty good and with Jamey (unexpectedly) home to help, we decided we'd save the meals for once he and the kids went back to school. Well, that's now. And if we don't go ahead and start thawing and eating this month, there won't be room in that chest freezer for applesauce and meat birds that will need space come October. I won't have to cook for a month. Who knows what I'll blog about. I sure don't. But, I'm not complaining. No sirree Bob.
Preparing lessons and our school room is coming along and I will show you pictures of our the room and tell you what we'll be studying next week. Next week will we do a light, transition week and then jump-in with both feet the following. The kids are actually begging to start school as they see me getting things ready. They do so well with structure and are craving a change just as I am. Let's just hope our enthusiasm lasts. At least for a little while.
Back to applesauce. Here is where I need some advice. There is a chance we may not be able to get Red Cortland apples this year (booohooohooo). In the event that we have to choose another variety, would you lovely people please tell me what kind of apples you use for saucing and why? The why? is very important to me.
Thank you ever so much. For the advice and for listening to (ok, reading) my rambles.