Google+ What I Made Today: July 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Garden of Blessings

Yesterday I canned the plums that I picked up Saturday at the Watertown Farmers' Market. I processed the excess syrup too, because it's so good and will be a delightful addition to a number of things, including cocktails.

Today I jarred up the fermented summer squash that I started the other day. Five days and they are fermented to what I can only call perfection. The two quarts would last for months in cold storage, but I'm certain we'll eat them up long before autumn arrives, let alone winter.

I continued planting in the gardens and got more beets, turnip, kohlrabi, cucumber and even peas into the earth, though I may have jumped the gun on the peas. But I'll be planting more later anyway, so no harm. I tossed more lettuce seeds, as I do every two weeks or so, for a steady supply of salad greens all season. Life is pretty sweet.

I even made time for some art today. Not a lot, but enough to placate me.

I made time for friend who brought me a pan of her amazing Italian-style sausage and peppers … enough for several meals! And, hey, who wouldn't make time for that?

It's been a day of sun and clouds and I hear there's rain on the way, but no sign of it yet. It's been a day of many blessings, and the signs for those are everywhere.

That's what I made today.


PS   You can read more about how I ferment summer squash here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Black Currant Rhubarb Preserves

Yesterday I harvested the last of the viable rhubarb and tidied up that garden bed. I cleaned, chopped and measured it, and from there decided to make a variation of my Rhubarb Preserves using some black currants that needed using.

To ensure that the dried herbs, especially the citrus peel, softened nicely (which was an issue with a batch of black currant preserves I made earlier this year), I placed them in the giant pot that everything would eventually make it to, added just enough water to cover, brought it to the simmer and then let it steep, covered until cool.

The chopped rhubarb was tossed with the sugar, which draws out the moisture of the "fruit," and eventually added to the pot, topped with the black currants and covered to sit over night. It's amazing how juicy it gets!

This morning I lit the flame beneath the pot to bring it, gently, to a simmer and let it simmer while the jars were sterilizing.

The jars were packed and processed with love. It's quite beautiful and delicious.

And for those who want my ratios, here they are:

26 cups rhubarb, chopped
6 cups black currants
1 cup dried rosehips
¾ cup dried orange peel
8 cups cane sugar

That's what I made Today.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Canning Adventure Back Home

OK. So the new pressure canner arrived yesterday afternoon, and I was psyched. I've been canning since 1978 and have never used a pressure canner. In the canning vein of preserving, I've always canned high acid "vegetables," fruits and pickles. But today … after I pickled some eggs and beets, I chopped up what was left of the yellow squash that was gifted to us from our dear friends Jes and Bruce.

I canned 12 pints of squash and started a ferment of what was left (about 3 quarts) in the style of my fermented squash from last year, which rocked my world. It would seem that there's conflicting information out there about canning summer squash and it delights me that it was my first canning adventure with my new pressure canner. I'll now have my own experience from which to make my own decision. I can dig that. After all, it's a core modus operandi of mine.

Yeah. After so much time of focusing outward, or acting on situations external, I'm finally returning home to me. It feels Good. I can dig it.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Waiting in Randomness

Today is a day in-waiting for me. It's the kind of day one fills with randomness.

A few details were tended to this morning.
Clothes and other take alongs are organized for packing, which I'm putting off until I grasp a bit of understanding as to why I'm putting it off.
I had a nice thank you card, but I can't find it now. I guess I'll have to pick up another.
I tidied a bit, even collected a little dust, but there's still plenty of it, and dog hair too, to help my weekend angel feel comfortable. That's my story and, yeah, I'm stickin' with it.
Lunch take-alongs for tomorrow are thought through. I think. Some are prepared and ready for the cooler.
I'll be making some flat bread shortly for the travels.
I have kale to cook.
And broccoli  to harvest.
Files holding papers that might be handy when meeting with the attorney are packed and ready for the ride.
Directions are reviewed, documented even. Even for the places I know, and know well. And if I think about it, I know them all.
The less thinking I have to do over these next few days, the better. I'll be more able to keep myself present, in the moment, as a witness to the Eternal Now.
Ashes, Mass, reception and the assorted details are in place.
The cars are gassed up.
All I need to do now is unwind my mind, enjoy some of this glorious afternoon, and later, get a good night's rest.

Tomorrow is the travel.
Saturday is the Memorial Mass.
Today is a day for my mind to wander, with absolute randomness, as I await this closing bell.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Prepositional Rest and Refinery

These past several days have become a blur of reflection and action. The weekend, as folks call it, seemed to fill and flow with the ugliest of memories, the memories so deeply buried beneath the shadows that they are almost forgotten. And I'll tell ya, I don't care what anybody says, these menacing places-n-spaces are the mines of Love Most Infinite. These are the places-n-spaces that are most challenging to face candidly, and yet when faced with conscious awareness and with the un-judging eye of The Witness, they yield forgiveness, compassion, grace, the essence of humanity with all its flawed perfection … it yields what Love is made of.

And that sentence needed to end in a preposition.

Monday coalesced with the confirmation of the date for Little Rita's Memorial Mass. This was followed by hours of phone calls and various plans and decisions and assorted activities of contemporary convention as well as personal need. More came together yesterday and again today, and I can feel this chapter preparing for closure.

As my dear friend Kate said to me on the first day of July, "I hate doin' grown-up shit …" and I laughed. I laughed because we're both, from my view, very adept at the "grown-up shit" when we need to be, and equally skilled in pure play and assorted merrymaking.

And I'm juicy-ripe for some play and merrymaking. Alas, the time is not ripe for me … yet. But I can feel it coming in the next chapter. And I look forward to it.

So, I suppose, my life in this moment (and in the coming days) is akin to a dangling preposition, complete in the moment, making sense, acceptable to many, yet feeling a need for refining.

Had to do that, too, just for the merrymaking factor, such as it is.

Yeah. OK. I'll sit with that and see what I can do to manifest refinement in the chapters ahead.

PS   I read what I've written and I'm sensing that the next chapter shall be rich in rest. Yeah. Refinement after rest. I can dig it.