Friday, September 2, 2011

August 33

I refuse to acknowledge the month of September.  There might be school buses on the roads again; the days are getting markedly shorter, but I'm keeping August going in my head as long as I can keep up the conversion.  That would make today August 33. 

Honestly, I have no clue where the summer went.  It's the same thing every year, summer just blows by, and before you know it, there's frost on the ground.  But it was scorching hot again today which is why I can fake August easily.  We measured 30C in the shade, and it was so humid the slightest effort caused me to break out into a sweat.

And what, pray tell, were we up to today?  Thinking about heat, that's what:
Our trailer of firewood was delivered today.  We've got about 6 cords on here, give or take.  Eric puts the forks on the tractor and off-loads everything in one happy pile:
Over the next few weeks, Eric's going to haul out the chainsaw and cut everything into 16" logs.  That's the maximum size our wood-stove can take.  He splits the wood when he feels like it.  During the winter, when the mood strikes him, he'll grab his favorite Gränsfors axe and have a swinging session.  This stresses me out to no end.  My parents lived in Sweden before moving to Canada, and the woodpile beside the front door represents not only a comfort, but a necessity.  I want everything chopped and stacked, and I want it done yesterday, but I'm willing to compromise.  Eric likes the exercise, and it gets him out of the house in the middle of winter.  Me?  I'd rather be beside a hot wood stove with a cat on my lap, a good book within reach, and some knitting by my side, knowing I've got 6 cords split and stacked.  C'est la vie!
With it being August 33rd and all, it's hot in the kitchen.  I'm busy canning, making another batch of my golden bread and butter pickles.  This time, I bought a 10 pound box of seconds.  The thought is much less daunting.
Since the last batch was such a success, I'm putting these in the fridge overnight.  I should be able to get about 18- 500mL (one pint) jars out of the crate.
Speaking of heat, Robin at Farm Folly blogged about her candied jalapeños.  I was in the mood to try something new, and these sounded so delightful I had to try them.  Off I went to the grocery store again, for some more canning jars and of course, the requisite jalapeños.

Three pounds of jalapeños is a lot of jalapeños:
Proceeding with caution, I actually used rubber gloves to clean and slice the jalapeños.  My hands are so raw from all the slicing and weeding and window washing I've done lately, that I didn't want to risk the burn.  It's hot enough as it is.  I even managed to restrain myself and not gnaw on the seeds.  Last time I made habañero pepper jelly, I was a bit too curious, and bit down on one lonely seed.  I felt like taking a paring knife to my tongue to ease the pain, it was so hot.  I had tears streaming down my face, and even though these jalapeños don't have as much bite, why risk it?
I had a one 250 mL (1/2 pint) jar of syrup left from canning the jalapeños which I processed in the hot water bath.  The remaining syrup is in the fridge, and I'll probably brush it on some BBQ pork tenderloin or chicken.  The taste is simply sublime.  I had a few teaspoons' worth, and it is fabulous.  If those candied jalapeños are only half as good, we're in for a treat.
Little Dude has to be segregated on the other side of the kitchen while BobCat eats.  I've got 3 cats, each on their own diet, and meal-times are a bit of a logistical nightmare.  To top things off, Schatzie is on antibiotics for a respiratory infection, and just trying to give her a pill, let alone do it 14 times this week, is challenging.  Tesla's digestive system was a bit upset also, which is why I don't want him hoovering in BobCat's food dish.  I'll save you the sordid details of how many times I cleaned his messes off the kitchen floor the day of tropical strom Irene last weekend.  I had my own tropical storm Tesla inside the house.  The poor kitty had NO control.  If diapers for cats existed, Tesla would have been wearing them that day.  He's now on a boiled chicken and rice diet, and he's getting better and friskier every day.  He's a very cute little guy with good manners, the kind of cat who rises on his back paws when you go to pet him.  All he wants is affection.  He slept with me last night, and woke me by licking my fingers.  It didn't thrill me that it was 3:30 AM, but what the heck.  He's really gentle too, and knows enough not to use his claws when he plays.  Slowly, they're growing back in again, as well as his whiskers.  The wound on his jaw has healed remarkably well, and when the hair grows back, he'll be good as new.  We'll give him a few weeks of recuperation and then we'll have him neutered.

Tomorrow, I have more canning on the agenda.  Some crab apple jelly, maybe some mango chutney, and a few more batches of bread and butter pickles.   I'll keep you posted of our collective misadventures.


Robin said...

I feel the same way. Where in the world did summer go?? Ok, I say that and the forecast for this week is miserably hot. Lee and I were working on sawing up house renovation debris for firewood today. It wont be nearly enough but the cold winter coming is on my mind and firewood collecting is a huge priority for me. I HATE being cold!!!

I hope you like the candid jalapeños! The gloves are a must when you make them. Last year I learned my lesson after handling peppers with bare hands. Then I rubbed my eyes. I was a pathetic mess walking around with my hands held up limply and watery eyes. lol

I'm glad the new guy is getting better in the potty department. You only need one shitzie in the house at a time. :)

Shim Farm said...

I second the motion regarding firewood. I think we burned through 6 cords last year, and if memory serves, it wasn't even THAT cold, but we started using the wood-stove in October, and were still heating in April. Every year is different.

We're into another hot-spell as well, mid-to high-eighties. It's sweltering with high humidity. Of course I picked this weekend to do some canning - it figures! I can hardly wait to try those jalapeños. If they are half as good as the syrup, we're in for a treat! I love to add new stuff to the repertoire, so a new recipe is always appreciated.

Yeah, I am so happy I used gloves yesterday. My right index finger is so chapped the skin cracked open. That would've been burning all night! I feel your pain regarding your eyes. Last year, I wasn't wearing my glasses, and wouldn't you know it, one pepper squirted into my eyes as I cut it open. Oh the pain. It really hurts!

Tesla is doing better. I gave him his de-worming meds from the vet, and he's eating up a storm. He has two spazz-attacks a day, just like the kittens did, but he's really gentle when he plays. A stark contrast to the kittens whose scars I still bear LOL! He's a real sweetie-pie.

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