The beautiful days of the past week are continuing into the next. I am delighted, especially as I have a day off tomorrow. A DAY OFF. On a nice day. I intend to sleep, walk, and take care of my home environs.
Sleeping and walking may carry the day. The last weeks have been brutally full of work, but that's just because the projects are big. BUT, I am happy to say, I still carried on with the summer resolve. Cooking, a little knitting, still in practice.
Actually knit a hat during tech week. It's not the hat I wanted, but it can at least be a hat to wear while walking in the mornings when the weather turns. The weather will turn, I know. Working on a sweater as well. It's an out of season knit, but since it's miles of stockinette, I'll be able to get it done by spring. It's definitely a warm weather sweater wrap.
But that's enough of that. No pictures of knitting today, and those stories aren't incredibly compelling at the moment. Instead, I had promised myself aloud to share other stories with the picture parade of the last post.
A friend (former colleague and neighbor) bought a century farm with her husband as part of their empty nest transition. Visited them in the summer, and we made plans to have a can-the-harvest weekend. We put it on our calendars. As the date approached, I got a call: apples were done. They'd canned though, which was new for her, and she felt very good about her accomplishments. Long story not much shorter, we didn't cancel after all, I went out, and we planned to tangle with tomatoes and see if we thought we might still be able to pick a few apples.
I actually Left Work Early that Friday. I hear people do that. When I arrived we ate supper and read cookbooks at each other. There was a lot of chuckling. Her husband is a hoot. And, as is customary in my family in massive cooking adventures, we called my mother to check on a particular recipe.
My friend's property holds an incredibly diverse assortment of such old apple trees - not an orchard - so distinct that they defy easy identification. Think heirloom. Never-been sprayed trees. Tart ones, sweet ones, pear-like, perfumy, red, green, blush, and yellow.
My friend is delightfully an in-the-moment person. We drove the truck around to check out the trees, as there had been a pretty hard frost. Armed with bags, containers, a ladder, and an apple picker, four of us picked "just a few."
While I've picked a lot of wild fruit and farmed fruit over the years, somehow I had never been apple picking. I think I caught up.
A few here, a few more, oh, there are some here, and before we knew it, we'd probably picked about 10 bushels.
My friends had just picked up the new book Canning for a New Generation. We slow roasted paste tomatoes while we picked apples. (Fit for freezing. If they last.) We made chili with tons of veg from the garden, four colors of tomatoes, zucchini, peppers.
We cranked out apple sauce on the road to making apple butter, mixing up many types of apples in each pan full of sauce. We made and canned a red pepper and tomato relish from a familiar recipe I'm quite fond of. We made jars of apple butter and canned it as well as the balance of the apple sauce. We ate open face sandwiches of roasted tomato on slices of day old cheese bread bowls, toasted in the oven.
It was an excellent weekend.
I came home with a carload of produce and weeks of good cooking ahead of me. Of course, those are stories for another post. I need to check on the matinee.