Yesterday I went to the garden and dug these red potatoes (about 4 pounds or more) to make potato salad to go with the fresh catfish the boy caught earlier in the morning. We cooked some corn on the cob and called it supper. I cooked the big fillets with lemon and onion, fennel, baby carrots and a little butter, salt and pepper...folded up in foil in a baking dish. It was outstanding...and some of the sweetest, cleanest catfish I have ever eaten. We had a wonderful supper and it was a good day, all in all. The boy did his laundry and hung it outside to dry, went into town and picked up a few things, and got ready to leave early this morning to go to a job up in Peoria. He'll stay up there all week, because it's about 3 hours from here, a little less.
SO..I'm home, the Irishman's at work, and all is well with the world.
I've been busy already, trying to get some outside stuff done before it gets too hot, as it's headed for 105 today. By 9 AM, I had watered the gardens, watered the flowers on the deck and a few others in the yard, picked tomatoes, fed and watered all manner of critters, cleaned the coop, and put new pine shavings in the floor and extra straw on top of that. The pine shavings really help keep the odor controlled, especially in this hot weather. I also fixed up a new nesting box and put it in the corner where I keep finding the pullet eggs. (OK--I've only gotten 2 so far...but STILL!!) lol Hopefully they'll use it to lay in and not just kick out all the straw and poop there, which is what they've been doing...so I took it out for a couple of weeks. I weeded the garden a little and put the beautiful greens in for the chickens...and they were delighted. They also got a few small tomatoes that had blossom end rot, and they were squabbling over those too. By now I was sweating profusely, came in the house, turned on the computer and poured a big glass of ice water...and saw that it was already 91 degrees. I have the drapes all pulled and am trying to keep the house closed up as much as possible...yesterday the darn condenser line froze up again...I hope we can make it through the rest of the summer. When that happens, I just shut down the AC and pray that it will thaw quickly. lol
I have a bushel of peaches to do today. Saturday I did 20 pints of beautiful salsa. All the ingredients grown right here at Honeysuckle Hill, except the cilantro that I got at the farmers Market. I cannot grow cilantro to save my life. Here a picture of the finished product:
So...today I'll do the peaches...make another batch of peach salsa, dry some peaches and make some more jam. There's probably another bushel and a half at least still on the tree out there. I almost have enough okra for a batch of pickled okra too. And enough tomatoes to can diced...I'm on the fence about whether I';m going to peel them first or not...Any step I can skip, I do. But the skins do sometimes get tough and stringy in the jars of diced tomatoes, and I don't like that either. I never peel them for salsa, though. Never ever. It's so much more nutritious to leave the skins on...
I have my tomato canning workshop out at La Vista a week from this next Saturday. That will be fun...I just hope we can still get tomatoes. They were crazy expensive (I thought) at the Farmers Market at 1.50-2.50 per pound. And I'm sure it's going to get worse as the whole coming week is going to be in the triple digits, and folks' gardens are burning like Rome in the time of Nero.
This Thursday, we have a vegetarian potluck at our discussion group at La Vista--not sure what I'll take, but can't wait, as there's always so much good food that people bring. YUM!!
Okay...I guess I've stalled about as long as I can. I have to get going on those peaches...did I tell you I went to Walcrap and got a package of rubber fatigue mats for exercise equipment?? They interlock and were only 19 dollars. I am using only 2 of the 6 that came in the package as a mat in front of my sink...when I am standing there for hours on end peeling and chopping, my legs and feet hurt so bad from the wood floors. I used them doing the 25 pounds of tomatoes for salsa and I think it really helped. (It was the boy's idea...apparently they had purchased them before for their family room).
Ok-Ok...I'm going. Have a great day, stay cool and drink lots of water.