Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday? How can it be Monday?

After a week of wrestling with the small, fat eel, AKA Pepperoni, trying to get his nails trimmed and give him a much needed haircut and bath, I gave up and took him to the groomer on Friday.  There is one on the way to work (big box store) that charges WAY too much.  But it was convenient and I can drop him off early and then pick him up at lunch time.  He got to spend the afternoon in the office with me.  It was sooo exhausting.

What do you mean you don't have treats here?

Wake me when you come to your senses,

My officemate - whom Pepper adores, as he shares his lunch with him - was on vacation.  Pepper was greatly disappointed and went back to his nap.

Now that processing time has arrived - rather in fits and starts, which works just fine with my little windows of processing opportunity - I've made blueberry jam with the leftover berry mash from my steamer - and it JAMMED, people!  I also made a half-gallon jar of new half dill pickles.  I love pickles but have never been able to can a crunchy dill.  I will get to taste test on Wednesday - fingers and toes crossed, as I have tons of cukes in the garden.  Speaking of tons...

This bad-boy was lurking under some cuke leaves....insert music from was the size of a quart canning jar!  The chickens loved it - and I'm glad I got a photo because I love the colors and patterns.  I may be painting it this winter in all my free time (snort, choke.)

The best thing I can say about it, is that
it's still standing.
Another job almost completed was staining the run-in shed.  I painted as far as I could reach without a ladder - next weekend I will finish it.  I am now forcing myself to finish projects before I start new ones.  It is tough to rein in this frenetic mind.

I had a nice visit and lunch with my parents on Saturday, followed by locking my keys in my car, having a birthday shopping foray flummoxed by a streetwide tag sale and finally locating new tires for my big Bertha wheel barrow.  I had been very remiss over the winter and did not store it wheels-up as I normally do.  The tires were shot and there was a valve problem which rendered it useless.  I am now learning how to remount a tire.  Tricky.

I also had a new friend over for dinner on Sunday - the meal was resplendent (if I do say so myself) with food mostly from the farm.  We spent a very convivial hour or so on the deck with black bean tortilla chips and whipped feta dip.  For the main course, I boned out one of the Nuggets and marinated it in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and fresh herbs, then grilled it.  Wax beans were steamed and tossed with bacon and shallots.  The salad was cubed tomatoes with homemade mozzarella (thanks to Jasmine...) and basil.  The whole thing was topped off with homemade peach ice cream.  Yowser!

Kramer was exhausted by the entire process and from all the attention he received.  He is a tall, skinny drink of water.


Fiona said...

What variety is that giant cuke?
I have noted that anyone who grows their own food always has such eloquence describing the meals they make with afore mentioned produce....your gourmet foodie side is showing!

Michelle said...

If said new friend was male, he should have proposed by the end of THAT meal! ;-)

Sue said...

Kramer is exhausted? Honey, YOU should be exhausted!
The meal sounds so yummy. Did we all miss the invite?????

Joy said...

Half dills?! I LOVE half dills. Can you share your recipe, please?

Susan said...

Fiona - I wish I knew - because of the constant rain and cool temps this spring, I had to replace my cukes twice. I think these plants were bought in desperation from a big box store! And you are right - the sky's the limit when faced with such an abundance of fresh food! I enjoy it to the hilt while I can.

Susan said...

Michelle - No way. I have declared a moritorium on male friends. This is a woman who raises endangered Randall cattle in a community just south of me. I met her at a farmers market and we hit it off.

Susan said...

Sue - Yes, the poor thing. All that pampering and blow-drying just wore him to a frazzle. You can come on down any old time!

Mama Pea said...

Like Sue, my invite to your Sunday evening meal did not arrive. Sigh.

My pickling cukes are just now gherkin size. If we would ever get a good dowsing of rain, they would balloon up like your giant, mutant cucumber, I'm sure. I'm so eager to begin my pickle canning this year.

One of my biggest laments (whines?) is that I never seem to find the time to create the luscious meals I desire using my fresh garden produce. I don't know how you manage to find the time to do all you do PLUS working a full-time job away from home. Time to fess up, girl. What are you on? And where do I get it?

Susan said...

Joy - I think I found it online. I didn't want one that used pickling spices - I wanted a true kosher-tasting dill. I'll put the recipe in my next post.

Susan said...

Mama Pea - Well, you gals know that you don't NEED an invitation! You can come down any old time you want, day or night! You are so right about the cooking. I am much more creative during the winter. I try to invite friends once a month on a Sunday because a) I am forced to stop working and b) I'm afraid I will forget all the cooking skills I've developed. Thank goodness I don't do manual labor like you two or I'd be lucky to have the strength to boil water!

Kristina said...

That dinner sounds absolutely wonderful! That is one big cuke!

Unknown said...

Pepper it too cute! Atleast your office lets you bring him in, and he looks very well trained!

Sandy Livesay said...


Oh I so hear you on trying to cut a little dogs nails, sometimes it's just better off to take them to the groomers. No fights, or just pick them up :-)

I've seen cucumbers that looked exactly like yours. Good to hear your chickens enjoyed it.

Your meal sounds divine, I know your friend enjoyed it!!!

Joy said...

Wonderful - thanks!

small farm girl said...

Your meal sounds really good! Like you, I've just made a pack about finishing projects before I start a new one. In fact, just finished writing a post about it. Ha!!! Great minds think alike!