Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's spring!

no,'s just undecided.
Talked to a friend back home, and Anchorage hasn't had snow yet. Heh. How did we get so lucky?

I finally got around to making a draft stopper for the front door---took an old pair of Chuck's jeans and cut them right up the middle, sewed across the bottom, up the middle, and stuffed both sides with packing peanuts. Then I sewed across the top and slid it under the door and closed very well. I don't know if I read this somewhere or not, so if credit is due, my apologies.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Working on barbeque sauce....I think it's going to be really yummy once it mellows out a bit.
I used a five gallon bucket full of house-ripened tomatoes, they aren't as juicy as the vine ripened ones and I thought they'd be ideal.
Dipped in boiling water, peeled, & squeezed, then pressed into a sieve and drained.
Cut up three onions & chopped.
Simmered tomatoes, onions, 2 TB celery powder, 1 TB paprika(smoked), 1 TB chile pepper, ground, 1 TB mustard powder, 1 TB ground black pepper, 1 cup brown sugar and 1&1/2 cup white vinegar.
Simmered for about 45 minutes, then I ran it all through the blender because the onions stayed tough for some reason, then through a food mill to get the seeds out.

Hubby came home and added 4 cups of applesauce and 2 TB liquid smoke.

Today I put it in the oven in an open roasting pan at 250 for four hours, stirring it's ready to can.

Next time I might add cloves or a cinnamon stick, something "warmer".

Friday, October 16, 2009


The snow is gone and it feels like fall again....the last couple of days were odd--it smelled like spring, that deep, cold, wet smell you get at breakup. Then the breeze would be just so, and the scent of the neighbor's cottonwood would intrude and it would be fall yet again.

The flock of robins appears to be gone, the clock must have turned over and they left. We had probably fifty robins in the back yard, a flicker, a dozen jays, a cranky woodpecker, and assorted sparrows and finches. It was an uproar, to be sure!

Since we are planting garlic, we needed some mulch---so yesterday we got a pickup load of straw in bales. Con immediately decided she wanted a straw-bale house and commandeered the mulch for a house. I think we have a couple more warm days before I have to get the garlic in the ground, so she can play house for a bit..

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Crossed a line

I crossed a line today.
Something like 17 years ago (am I that old?) I worked at an auto dealership in Anchorage. Our finance manager, who had one of the four coveted upstairs offices, was a fairly young guy, almost seemed too young for the lofty position he held. Over time I noticed that you could tell what day of the week it was by his clothes, and that if he wore a suit jacket, it was the same one. Either that or he had a closet full of the identical jacket, one for each day of the week. One day, the elbow tore, and I pointed it out to him. Next day, he was wearing the same jacket, with suede elbow patches. He commented that it had a lot of life left, so he had his wife fix it for him. I really thought he was a bit odd, since he obviously made quite a bit of money, why wear patched clothing? One day I had some paperwork for him--- as I came into his office his shoes were off, and I noticed that the insides of his shoes were lined with silver duct tape. That was really a bit much for me, and he went from thrifty to just plain weird in my estimation.
Fast forward 17 years. I had a pair of deck shoes that were perfectly comfortable, and were set to go at least a couple of years. Til the puppy ripped the insoles out and exposed the plastic honeycomb that composed the heels, that is. He also shredded the insoles and ate part of them, which he then threw back up. There was nothing to put back together, had I wanted to try. This morning I was looking for shoes and found them, remembered Todd, and grabbed the duct tape. You know, it's not half bad after all...I might even add a couple more layers for padding.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Almost snow

The forecast is calling for snow later on this week.....which means a frantic scramble to get those last minute things done in the yard, putting away hoses, pulling the last weeds....

Indoors, the beets are finally conquered---I'm quite sure they were reproducing in my bathtub at night when I was sleeping. No time to rest, though, the six boxes of apples, mostly windfalls, are waiting to become applesauce. I just washed all my bowls and pots and picked up the layer of newspaper on the floor---now to do it all again! And there are potatoes to wash, before it gets too cold.
During the beet canning the counter was covered, so we ate beets for dinner, with butter and salt and a whole loaf of 5 minute bread with cornmeal...we liked the texture and flavor, so I'll add that to the variations. I made the small batch, and substituted a cup of cornmeal for one cup of flour, then sprinkled the top of the loaf with salt-free seasoning before it went in the oven.

I'm debating harvesting the rest of the sunflower heads from the sunflower fence....the jays are enjoying them at the moment.