We had a helluva storm last Saturday night. The weather radio went off and said, "Take cover NOW!" but it was high wind and rain outside so Hubs and I just cowered in the hallway downstairs with all the surrounding doors closed, rather than trek outside to the cellar. It was past us in pretty quick order but neither of us had a good night's sleep. If sleep loss and a leaning pea trellis is all we have to show for the night, I reckon we got of easy.
Paula's been off for two weeks, recovering from surgery, and it has rained nearly every day of her time off. In my imagination, I have idly wondered, when she arrived back at her desk on Monday, if Gil got out his guitar and sang "Ain't No Sunshine When You're Gone". HERE
The cabbage plants are growing right along. I didn't grow very many so I'm going to let them stay in the garden till they get a little bigger. With more rain coming, that shouldn't be very long, and they will be very sweet and juicy.
I did finally settle on a recipe for "Freezer Coleslaw", though. This recipe calls for a lot less sugar. OMG, TWO WHOLE CUPS of sugar to a medium-sized head in most of the other recipes? Just hand your family a box of candy and save yourself the trouble of growing cabbage and making coleslaw, is all I'm sayin'. The recipe I'm going to use is HERE.
The first tree fruit to ripen are the Nanking Cherries. Small, tart.
These in the picture are being refrigerated till after cataract surgery and the follow-up appointment for the next day are over. The juice stains my fingernails and cuticles and makes my hands look just filthy. I won't go in for cataract surgery looking any grungier than I normally am. At least they're used to that. I can pit them afterwards, it'll give me something to do. I won't go out in the garden for a few days after cataract surgery. I have restrictions about not picking up heavy things and not bending over for a little while, but Hubs is over-protective to cap that all off, and what the hell, I'll humor him.
Last year there weren't many cherries and so Hubs just ate 'em as he saw 'em. Didn't share with me. But that's ok 'cause I ate almost all the strawberries. Heh. The year before, I mixed the cherries into some homemade fruit cocktail and they just fell apart in the cooking and turned everything else red. I think they actually would make better jam than anything so that's what I'm going to do with them this year. But I'll just pit them and freeze. So much better to make jam as we are ready tor it in the winter, when the heat from the cooking helps to warm and perfume the house.
I just love to walk into a house in the winter and smell something good cooking, don't you?
On Monday we took a little day-trip and went to visit our friend, Carole. Carole and I had never met face-to-face. We met on GardenWeb, and have e-mailed back and forth for a couple of years. She's only an hour and a half from us, just across the line in Missour-uh. There are several people that I've met over the years, through the blog or on this forum or that, that I'd love to go visit with in person, but usually the miles between us are more than they are between Carole and us, and I kinda hate to invite myself and impose on them unless I know they'd like me to. Anyway, we had a great time. We worked out a plant swap beforehand and that was fun. There were several places in her vicinity that she knew we'd enjoy going to and we did that, too. We stopped at a 1960's style hamburger joint and had lunch together. It was like stepping back in time.
We headed back home in plenty of time to be back before dark, we hadn't been home very long when we saw Joe get home. We went over to give him his rat trap. He was very glad to get it and said he was glad we got back home safely. Joe and Cathy keep track of us. They notice if our light is on every morning and call and tell us when we forget to close our garage door. So whenever we're going to be gone, I make sure that I tell Joe. He is our go-to guy whenever we need help or advice with something. It's nice to be able to do something for him since usually anything we can do for him is such small payback for the things he does for us.
Our rat count is now at 100 since the start of spring. We've seen something in the garden, but have been unable to trap it, it eats the bait but seems to be too small to trip the trap. I put out some D-Con and then it rained. And rained. And rained. Today Hubs saw a bigger rat in the yard so the trap has been baited with peanut butter and left between two of the sheds.
The AT&T repairman came and said the problem is in the house. The
hum on the phone was not as loud by then and I told him I'd rather not
have him fix anything in the house because I don't want to pay that high
price. It's $100 to step in the door and $45 for each ten minutes
beyond that. Wowsers. The repairman was nice about it, said he wanted to look at the box on
the outside of our house and would do so without charging me. He
disconnected the connection to the phone in the office and the humming
went away. But of course, now the phones don't work in the office and
garage. We still have working phones in the kitchen and bedroom. Then a
day later the rain started again and the hum came back. Every time something like this happens
it just overwhelms me and makes me feel depressed because I'm trapped
in an annoying situation. Obviously, AT&T doesn't care if people
give up their land lines. They, afterall, have a big presence in the
cellphone market. But I talked to Joe and he said, "I bet I can fix ya up". Bless his heart. I remember when life was so much simpler. Appliances were a forever investment. There were repair shops for all kinds of things from toasters to shoes, and it didn't cost more for the repair than buying a new one would cost. And we never had trouble with our phone. Now we live in a disposable society and there is something that's not working right at every turn. *Sigh*.
Could not get any inspiration for supper last night. So I dug around in the refrigerator freezer, where I stow away bits and tads of things: an extra chicken breast we didn't eat, vegetable broth, small amounts of side dishes, that sort of thing. What I came up with was the last of a sliced beef roast and four corn muffins. I cooked about a cup of chopped winter onions, from a bag in the freezer, four good-sized carrots and four medium potatoes, chopped, in a quart of vegetable broth, from the freezer, until the vegetables were done. Then added the pieces of roast at the end and simmered till all were hot. I also found about a quart of sugar-pod peas, which Hubs won't eat because he thinks the pods are not food. I guess I didn't change his opinion very much as I didn't get them picked till after they'd started forming peas and that was probably too late. So I simmered those in some water and after it cooled, discarded the pods. The "baby peas" and some of the water they cooked in were added to replenish the broth in with the roast, which by then had cooked down and needed it.
Heated up the muffins in the oven, after putting a little real butter on the top of each one. I don't know, microwaving bread just seems to make it unappetizing. So a full meal for Hubs and me with left-overs for tonight. One quart-sized freezer container and three ziplock bags of stuff removed from the freezer. Stuff that somebody else might have just thrown away or let lay in the bottom of the refrigerator till it was fuzzy. Botta Bing.
I might mention here that I have finally used up a full pound of ground beef that I had made into Sloppy Joes some time ago and got a little heavy-handed with the spices such that Hubs said he couldn't eat it. Rather than throw it out, I poured it into a muffin tin and froze it. After that, every time I made something that called for ground beef with some of those same ingredients in it, I'd stir in one or two little frozen Sloppy Joe "muffins" while it was cooking, and not add spices. I am also working on using up some pork roast which I had ground to make sausage with and was too enthusiastic where the garlic was concerned. I made those into patties and froze them, and then when I cooked the first two and discovered how garlickey they were I just left the rest in the freezer. Every time I make meatloaf, I use up some of it and just don't add spices. There are two patties left now. I absolutely WILL NOT waste meat. It's so expensive. I usually deglaze the pan after I have cooked hamburgers. There is plenty of beef flavor in that skillet. As soon as I remove the meat, I just pour on about a cup of hot water and stir it around. Pour that into a bowl or a cup and, after it's cool, put it in the refrigerator. The fats will come to the top and can be discarded or saved to make soap with, but it'll have to be cleaned. Of course you know that. Then freeze the liquid. If I want to be fancy, I might deglaze with wine. Depends on how I think I'll use it.
Cataract surgery on my left eye was done this morning and I'm just fine. They run their surgical center at Grisham's like a well-oiled machine, and you're in and out before you even know what happened to you. Dr. Jeff does not tolerate mistakes and he has a lot of long-term nurses and nurse-techs who have been doing their jobs flawlessly for years. I'm glad I'm getting this done now, as they are beginning to retire, and I don't trust that people have the work ethic now that they had in the generation that I and people near my age have. I really love those Grisham Girls, I was once one myself. I was their transcriptionist, computer tech and forms generator for four years. I tell 'em I love 'em whenever I see 'em and I hope they know I mean it. I dread the day when I'll go in there for my annual exam and there's not anybody left that I worked with. Becky and Janice are now deceased. Jeannie, Renee and Donna have already retired and Linda retires this year.
Well, that's about all I have for you this time. Till next time,
Rock on. Hugs xoxoxo