Friday, September 30, 2016

Last Day Of September 2016


This picture was taken years ago, when Riley was young, slim and very shiny.  Today, I am wearing the same socks and rolled up jeans.  Today's jeans are only rolled up to the top of my shoes.  I often wonder why my jeans are always too long.  I am 5 foot 6 inches.  Short waisted which I think is the term used if you are more leg than torso. I have never liked having my pant hems drag along the sidewalk.

And, I was 5 foot 6 inches in high school and I am still 5 foot 6 inches at 70. Quite a thrill for bone density.

Yesterday's acid reflux is now gone.  None of the excess weight that came with it has disappeared.  I am going to make a smoothie for lunch even though I don't think I will enjoy it now that the weather here in Maine has "gone cold".  It even feels like time to turn on the furnace.  Drinking something cold seems.......unpleasant.

The covered green bean plants were still producing.  I picked the few eggplant still on the plants--small but eating baby vegetables is a treat.  I cubed and roasted a large pan of eggplant.  I also pureed every ripe tomato I had ripening on the kitchen floor (on brown paper bags) into 3 pints of marinara.  G had some with meatballs. There are more waiting for their chance to get cooked.  Pepper plants were good--only none of the peppers had achieved any color---I may have to freeze the rest as green pepper strips.  Today is sunny (but not warm) and they might start to color.  Once they start I can bring them into the house to finish turning red.

I pulled up and dragged (too large to carry) the huge pattypan squash vines to the compost bin.  Took three trips.  They are sitting on top of the bin with yellow flowers still upright.  Don't want to give up.
It's like science fiction!  The Zombies of the Garden.  And they are shaped like little flying saucers.

I don't feel like doing much of anything today.  Tonight is the 10x10 sale of artwork.  Benefits the Arts Are Elementary program.  Brings working artists into the schools to work on projects with the students.  I don't understand why the artists can't do this for free.  But they expect to be paid so we have the art auction to raise money to pay them to work in the schools for a few weeks. I have two pieces in this year's auction.  I have sold one out of the five things I have entered so far.  Another fiber artist makes only seashore landscapes.  Sells all of them.  And they all look the same.  Shoreline, pine trees, sunset pinks on the blue water.  Dyed strips of cloth.  Well, as she said to me--if it works, why not?  Perhaps I should just do appliqued carrots year after year. That's the one that sold.

This year I have a very nice patchwork of silks (golds) and velvets called Blackberry Hedgerow.  And another made of commercial batik and my own painted fabric.  Soothing greens. I like them both very much.  I really liked the carrots.  Perhaps that is a good sign they will sell?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Making More Marinara


I use an old-fashion hand crank food mill to crush the tomatoes.  I cut them in half and remove all the seeds (bitter) and then, skins still on, run them through the food mill.  Nice, thick puree.  Makes a very good sauce.  Takes an hour or more--possibly two hours--to get to the consistency I like.  Then into freezer containers.  I never have gotten comfortable with canning tomatoes.

Up next will be a tour of the garden.  Picking more peppers.  Freezing them as well.  I gave a very generous bagful of peppers to the gal who cuts my hair.  She has the same name as my sister.  And she gives me tomato seeds and even seedlings if I forget to start the seeds she gives me.

Picking more green beans. I hope.  We have had some cold nights.  I'm hoping the row covers I pulled over the beds in the garden saved the peppers and beans from frost damage.

A young guy at work promised me more tomatoes from his very large garden and even some freshly dug potatoes.  Yippee.

I am still eating stuffed cabbage.  It was having a very low calorie effect on my weight until yesterday.

I have had the rash and weeping, burning eyes for about a week.  Today, still dry skin but no wetness from the eyes.  Acid reflux.  We ate Chinese yesterday, and I absent-mindedly dipped my dumpling in the soy sauce bowl.  That was enough, I guess, to get the acid reflux going and gain 3 pounds overnight.

I have an appointment to see the dermatologist--In January of next year.  The Allergist's office has never called and I don't remember the doctor's name.  I think the Allergist is going to be more responsive to a rash than the dermatologist but who knows.  By January it will be gone.  It usually is.

While the sauce cooks, I am going out to the garden.  Then I am going to read a book.  G has gone off to weed at someone's seaside vacation home.  Riley has finally eaten his breakfast and lunch and is now full of food and taking a nap.  I am wondering what to have for lunch that would be soothing to acid reflux.  We have NO gummy candies to treat my reflux.  And that cute fireman hasn't shown up with a bottle.




Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How One Red Pepper Became Too Many Red Peppers


The garden is producing (presenting) 8 to 10 peppers a day right now.  I have a tray filled with a dozen and the freezer contains large bags of frozen pepper strips for future Winter meals.  I have taken some to work to give away. Sigh.

Perhaps I did grow too many?  I am reminded of the Elimination Diet and my JOY at adding red pepper to my limited vegetable list.  Those red peppers were purchased.  Long before the garden even was thinking of making any.  I think lunch will be a French dish of red peppers, onion, a bit of chili peppers and some tomato.  Piperade.  Saw it on Cook's Country last weekend.

G decided he didn't actually like stuffed cabbage.  And I have so much packed in containers.  Yesterday, at work, I had one serving for my lunch at 3pm.  I had a second serving for my supper at 7 pm.  Then a very hot shower.  Pajamas.  The Debate.

After 30 minutes of the debate, with one person constantly interrupting and the moderator not doing anything to stop the rude interruptions---I got up and wandered off to my sewing room, too irritated to watch anymore.   Somehow in my sewing room, sorting things, stitching things etc.  I returned to a calmer state and 2 hours passed peacefully.

I like Lester Holt.  But now I am disappointed in him.  He faded when he should have been strong. I hope this is not a foretelling of what might happen in November.  Not being strong.

My day at work had gone well until about 4pm.  Then the really difficult customers seemed to be coming back to back.  Customers already angry before even speaking to me.  Customers interrupting when I tried to answer.  It was that kind of day.  That kind of atmosphere.

Today it's cold. No sun.  Wet.  I may need to find a sweater to pull on and some socks.  Perhaps find the down lap throws and a good old fashioned mystery to read.  The water has boiled and the tea is brewing.  The dishwasher is running.  The dog has gone for his walk.  I need to turn on some lights, before 12 noon.  Summer might be over.  I already miss it.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I'm A Little Teapot-Short & Stout


Remember singing that?  I had a lovely electric kettle which I used for over 12 years to boil water for tea and anything else that needed boiling water added to it.  Then it started being fussy about if and when it would work.  I had to buy a replacement.  White plastic from Sunbeam.  Couldn't find something I liked.  Wasn't going to spend "good money" on something I didn't like.

Now---that has changed.  I like this.  I like it's handle and I really like it's spout.

Worked all day today and then home to pick peppers, eggplant and green beans before tucking all those beds under cloth--we are expecting a freeze tonight.   We also dragged the Fig Tree into the house (only sacrificed one green, unripe fig) for safe keeping.  All the front porch plants were moved to the house wall and then covered with cloth.  Our huddled masses.

Spent Friday running errands.  Mailing things.  Goodwill shopping.  Goodwill returning.  Church clothing sale.  Ice cream.  Staples to buy a  desk calendar.  Highway robbery.  But they had 4 large boxes of Kleenex for $3.90.  I got two packages.  Then grocery store.

G asked for stuffed cabbage so that is what I am cooking tomorrow.  Had to buy all the parts.  Huge cabbage for 50 cents a pound. I guess I'll be eating a lot of stir fried cabbage next week.  I like it with onions, red peppers and anything else I can find in the produce drawer.  I haven't made stuffed cabbage in years.  I hope I remember.  There never was a written recipe.  I hope there is some "body memory" to help me remember.  Mixing, rolling and then the tuck (pushing the cabbage ends into the roll).  Then into the oven and hope it all turns out.  What's not to like about cabbage, ground beef, tomato soup and rice???

They had a pile of snacks at work today.  Some for employees and some for customers.  Cookies, donuts, more cookies, ice cream treats in the freezer, carrot cake and finally pretzels.  I had a handful of pretzels.  Period.  Even though the donut was a raspberry jelly filled.  The kind I LOVE.

It was okay saying "no".  I am getting used to it and, unlike 9 years ago, the saying no isn't making me angry.  Saying yes would mean the chance of making the rash come back, having acid reflux etc. so, saying no to tempting foods is the best thing to do.  Not easy, but the smart choice.