Monday, August 16, 2010

Week 33 - Preserving the Harvest

After the blazing heat wave we’ve been in, it’s hard not to mention the break in the weather. With not so much as a drop of rain, a front came through on Saturday afternoon and the heat and humidity were gone. Yay! I opened the windows and got what felt like my first breath of fresh air in weeks. I didn’t sleep very well because of all the outside noise I was used to but a pair of ear plugs solved that problem for the next night. I can only hope the heat is over for good. I’m looking forward to fall – turtlenecks, cool air and pumpkins. Bring it on!

Otherwise it was a pretty normal week. I skipped Wednesday knitting in favor of sorting a huge amount of donated yarn at Anne’s. She’s recovering from surgery and I had some food for her so was planning a visit anyway. Sorting all the yarn was just an added bonus. There were 4 leaf bags and 3 big boxes, all destined for charity mittens. I left with a bag of feltable tapestry yarn and 7 skeins of some French yarn from the 50’s that’s so old it’s not on Ravelry. I’m not sure what I’ll do with that but the tapestry yarn will probably end up in felted bowls, which seem to be my current project of choice.

I decided to take Friday off just because I could. I’ve been looking for a long weekend so when Layton cancelled lunch, I grabbed this one. The intent was to do all my chores on Friday so I could head outside to do yard work as soon as the weather broke. I also bought some orange paint in hopes that I could start painting stray bits of furniture orange. Well, you know how that worked out.

Friday I did clean up the kitchen but, as usual, as soon as it was clean, I wanted to cook. I had some cukes my neighbor had given me so I started chopping and made sweet relish – something I had only done once before in the late 80’s. The good news is it tastes great and no high fructose corn syrup. It didn’t make as much as I’d hoped but hopefully will get me through the winter, when I eat less hamburgers and dogs than in the summer. As soon as I had the relish ingredients soaking, I started squeezing the grapes Lorri had given me for concord grape jam. The jam is delicious! So incredibly grapey - yum. By the time I was done with my canning, it was 8:30 so I was done for the day and went to bed early and read.

I had thought I’d have all day Saturday outside but the front didn’t come through until late in the day so I ran errands in the morning and then spent most of the afternoon reading The Passage and doing a few chores. On Sunday, I headed straight outside, not even stopping to read the paper. I used Andrea’s cordless hedge trimmer to trim the yew out front (that was long overdue) and then did some major pruning of the crab apple and cut the suckers. I stopped for lunch and then was back outside to cut out the out of control rose bush in the parking strip. By the time I was done with that, I was done. It was getting warm (not hot!) so I showered and sat down to finish The Passage, which was a fabulous book. I do love a post-apocalyptic story. Once my arms were no longer rubber, I finished my chores and put a load of wool into the washer to felt. When it was done, I delivered Donna's booties to her house, went to Lorri's to water (she's away so I'm watering her garden and containers ) and went home, calling it a nice week.

Here’s a recipe for something I made up last week that was quick and yummy. I was just using up leftovers but the result was so good, I’d totally make it again. I hope you like it. I call it…..

Southwest Casserole
2 cups pulled pork (cooked chicken would work too)
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can pork and beans (~15 oz)
1 cup frozen corn
shredded cheese
Jiffy corn muffin mix, prepared as directed

Mix the meat, tomatoes, beans and corn and put in a shallow baking pan. Layer on 1/2 inch of shredded cheese and top with the corn muffin mix. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (until cornbread is golden brown). Flip it upside down and you end up with a cornbread crust with all kinds of goodness on top. It's relatively healthy too. Enjoy!

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