Mmmm...it's a chilly 44 degrees here this morning. They were saying last night that it would be the coolest temps we've had in 5 months. Pretty chilly, willy...even Miss Roxie didn't want to go out to weewee this morning. lol I just made a fresh pot of coffee, from a freshly opened bag of coffee, so it's particularly good. I've tried lots of ways to keep my bag of coffee fresher, but there's just nothing like that newly opened bag...oily beans and all.
Been a full week already. Sunday I attended the earth oven building workshop. It was awesome. There were about 10 people there, mostly women and the 2 guys who live there at the CSA...the farmer and the assistant farmer. One other guy in the group itself who kinda sat on the sidelines for most of it and barked "suggestions" at the rest of us. You can imagine how that went over with a crew of muddy women. LOL
To be fair, although he never got his hands dirty, he did mix up some wet mortar (clay and water and sand and straw) in a wheelbarrow with a shovel, towards the end. 3 of us took off our shoes and socks and danced in the mud, mixing the cob. All but one of us took turns setting stones, and building the sand castle mound that becomes the baking part of the oven, and then making mud bricks and patties to build up the walls and dome itself. Here is what it looked like towards the end:
I can't wait to build my own next spring...I'm going to plan it along the lines of the old one they built that has a cooking grill area off to one side of the oven itself. Later I should have access to some more pictures of the finished product too...I may just have to go out there and take some of my own, as I didn't take my camera. It was a very good time and a very educational one too. This would work really well as an alternative cooking source as well, should there be power outages or unavailability of fuels (gas, charcoal).
I am SO grateful that I have met and gotten involved with this bunch from the La Vista Ecological Center--they are such a blessing in my life on so many levels.
Monday my ankles hurt so bad from the mud dancing that I hobbled around all day. But it was worth it.
I went to my cousin's and picked up the canning jars. WOW! There must be over a hundred and twenty five canning jars. A few of them might be mayonnaise jars, some headed for the recycling, but it's mostly all canning jars. And all FREE! I am one lucky duck. Unfortunately, it was raining when I got home and so I left them in my car. They are still in my car...but coming out this morning. (Into the garage, at least.)
Yesterday was filled up with cooking and canning pinto beans. I had a gallon of dry beans in the pantry that were dated 8/2011, so I used them all. I canned 21 pints of pintos and there was still enough to put a large yogurt container of beans into the freezer to make something with sometime AND beans for supper. And there's enough of those leftover to make a batch of baked beans for the picnic lunch we're taking to the powwow on Saturday. Perfect. I love it when things work out like that. :) I made beans and tortillas, Tex Mex Millet, Guacamole (avocados needed using) and chips (and homemade salsa of course) for supper last night. It was most excellent. The recipe for the millet was one I couldn't wait to try...I had bought millet (not a lot) as part of my grain stores for my pantry, but wasn't exactly sure what I would do with it. It was perfect for this meal and incredibly tasty...better than Spanish rice, maybe. So, except for the guacamole, it was a meal made from items in my pantry. WooHoo! The avocados were such a good price, I was thinking about buying a bunch and making guac and freezing it. I don't know...it's a nice treat once in a while, but it's certainly not a remotely local food...sigh...
So, yesterday I got a couple of loads of laundry done while beans were in the pressure canner--lord! The processing times for the beans was 75 minutes. IN THE PRESSURE CANNER!!!! But I didn't do any house cleaning and of course it needs doing all the time with all these critters in here. So, today maybe I can get some stuff done. I was supposed to go sit with my neighbor today, but there was a change of plans. I am still scheduled for Friday. So, I have today and tomorrow to get the house cleaned and the spare room straightened up for my brother and family to come. We're heading to a powwow on Saturday morning, about 2 hours northeast of here. It will be all day and fun fun fun. It's my little niece's first time to go to one, and she can barely breathe she's so excited. She emails me every day, making sure we're still going, lol. I really need to go get a pedicure...dancing in the clay and sand kinda messed up my toenails (it was about time anyway), but I don't know if it's going to happen or not. Might just have to do a rush job on 'em myself. If it's going to stay this cool, we'll all be wearing shoes and socks anyway, lol
Alright...guess I have stalled about as long as I can. I have some chicken maintenance to get done today too, and haul those jars out of my car. And start cleaning up the mudroom so I can have a place for those extra jars. And vacuum. And can some more jalapenos. Maybe. I'll just put some of this stuff on my never ending running list. It'll all get done eventually.
Won't it ??? Or will I be that old woman being dragged kicking and screaming into the hereafter, shouting..."I'M NOT READY!! I STILL HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!!!!!!!!"
Happy Hump Day, y'all...