the farmwives kitchen :: salsa under the stars

It sounds like I’ve been out dancing with my Fellow Man, doesn’t it?  Heh heh.  Not quite.  Though fitting two people into our small kitchen makes for a bit of dancing!

The day had already been full.salsa 1

Between other projects I weighed out a big batch of paste tomatoes that had been waiting for the time to make salsa.

At 5 p.m., we realized that if we didn’t make salsa today, it wouldn’t happen until the weekend, and the tomatoes wouldn’t wait that long.  The shorter days and cooler nights have made the tomatoes seem all the more precious than they already were in this funky growing year.  That bit of thinking lit a fire under our tail.  We made a pot of rice for dinner, sent the kids to bed on their own, and got to work.

Back in my carefree younger years, I did all my canning at night.  It was cooler.  I was busy during the day.  It worked for me.salsa 3

It doesn’t work quite so well now, but it happened anyway.

With the well-choreographed help of my Fellow Man, we chopped, mixed, fired up two canners and put up 28 pints of salsa.  All mild, for the kids sake, bless their sleepy hearts.  We could easily eat more salsa than that between now and the next tomato season, but by golly, if that’s the salsa we’ve got, we’ll be thankful for it when tomato season comes to a close.salsa 4

Tightening the last jar lid in the cool night air, I took one more glance at the stars.  Isn’t it fine, this life?  The days are full of things to do, and the nights are full of salsa, and stars.

salsa 2

thankful

I’m thankful today for generous, well established friends and their well-tended gardens and orchards.  And I’m not the only thankful one.

jelly

jelly 3This friend made a statement in passing about “having to pick those grapes again”.  “So many grapes!”  I told her I would be glad to help her with that problem, and she brought me a big bag of gorgeous purple grapes.

Last time I got my hands on grapes, I juiced them and canned the juice.  But we are not huge juice drinkers.  This time I made jelly.  With pectin, and sugar.  Isn’t that awful?  Awful yummy.

Isn’t the color amazing? Like a glowing jewel, on toast.jelly 2

I’m thankful for this kind of treat.

hands on

I’m trying, really trying, to not stop making things with yarn just because it’s growing season.  This is my late-March attempt.  Nothing too challenging.water bottle 2

Around here, we generally carry water around in glass jars.  Quart mason jars are plentiful in our lives and not as easy to drop behind a couch cushion as a pretty slim stainless water bottle.  Of course this also means we field jokes about moonshine when we carry our select water bottles into town, which is just fine.

Ever since we had an unfortunate, and expensive, episode with a broken quart mason jar on our way up the hill one afternoon (it involved the local emergency room and stitches, ’nuff said), I’ve been thinking of creative ways to carry glass jars.

This is my favorite idea so far.  The pattern is based on one found in the very fun book, Crochet One Skein Wonders by Judy Durant and Edie Eckman.  The yarn is from Hill and Hollow Farm, color Indigo Meets Goldenrod (just enough left over after making my wonderful hat) with a little cotton trim to cover where the green left off.water bottle 1

Drink water, breathe deep!