Such a Busy Time of Year

Some of you may be wondering why you haven’t been hearing from me. I’ve sent very few emails and made even fewer calls. Well, it’s been busy. August begins the harvest. The pickling cucumbers have been prolific and then there were the black berries to deal with.

Besides the various ways previously described of making refrigerator pickles I have been adding to our half gallon jars of refrigerator dill pickles. I have five jars all together. I am thankful for this easy yet tasty way to make pickles. I’m also thankful for the refrigerator space.

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I did manage to pick enough pickles of a relatively small size to make nine pints of a sweet lime pickle. It is a recipe from The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook. Mmmmm are they good.

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There is also the pressure canning. I’ve been meaning to use up some soup bones for a while now and thought I would take the opportunity to use my pressure COOKER to make the broth. I had to make it in three batches since I had nine pounds of bones. I just followed a Cooks Illustrated recipe from a pressure cooking cookbook they recently released. It went nicely. It took me two days to get the three batches made and then I pressure CANNED them today. Seven quarts and then two more pints. I forgot to put the vinegar in the canning water so my jars have a little white film on the outside. I have to put the vinegar in the water since we use well water. Never had to do that back in the city.

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I also made up a big batch of chili. Pressure canned that and now I have 6 quarts for emergency dinners or more likely school day lunches.

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Speaking of school, since we school year round this is our last week of the 2013 school year. We will take a vacation (not one of the kind where you go somewhere, just the kind where you stop doing something) next week and then begin 2014. Wow. The boys will be in fifth and sixth grades and almost all of our subjects are with new curriculum. Why oh why did I do that? Don’t we have enough “new stuff” in our lives right now. Oh well, we will manage.

I’ve been storing up food for the freezer as well. I like to have breakfast items (pigs in a blanket muffins, french toast, breakfast muffins etc.) for those mornings when making breakfast is just out of the question. I also like to put things in the freezer for lunches. Do any of you know just how much I hate lunches? I want them to be healthy but that takes time of which I am usually lacking. Most things that are quick are pretty junky as well. So I store up lunches in the freezer. I currently have some shredded beef on dinner rolls that I can toss in the oven. I will make other types of freezer sandwiches and then “meals in a jar” which are basically something made up that I portion out into half pint canning jars and freeze. Those go into the microwave.

Last night we had tuna salad on bagels with cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from the garden. The boys seemed to like it. Nicholas asked for it again tonight (I’m sure the chips he got to eat with dinner had very little to do with that request) Joshua however said “No, I want mommy to cook something.” Joshua, of everyone, really likes my home-cooked meals. He can only handle the “freezer”, “quick”, “easy” stuff once in a while. He really has no idea of the “real world”. I’m sorry, I just had to chuckle to myself when I pictured him in his first “place of his own” and having to prepare a meal.

So all that cooking added to all the school prep and I really rarely know what my boys are up to. I often hear a saw running in the garage. Sometimes I look out the kitchen window and see them with a bunch of kids playing with the light-sabers they fashioned out of PVC pipe. And then there are the times like now when all I know is that they are playing at Dylan’s house.

I made up a quick batch of freezer biscuits and now I think I might sit down for a bit.

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I need some of those things they put on the eyes of horses or steer. I don’t know what they are for but they seem to make them look straight ahead. I need a pair right now so I don’t look at the bathrooms that need cleaning or my Latin homework that I still haven’t finished. If I can avoid those things then maybe, just maybe I’ll sit and read a book.

Ta Ta For Now,

Karen

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8 Responses to Such a Busy Time of Year

  1. NJW says:

    hello Karen Lesley and Sophie and I just read all about the stresses of home school a little vacation k.
    Leslie says, “You are doing a lot. Much more than me. I’m glad that you get to do all those things. You will be happy this winter. I do think you need a vacation- from working so hard. Michael should give you at least half a day for some pampering so you can rejuvenate.

    • kespalin@gmail.com says:

      Hi ladies!

      Michael isn’t going to have time to do much more than sleep and eat. Friday he begins the work of building his pole barn shop. It has been put off for a few weeks due to interruptions so now it is time to hit it hard. Miss you all. Love, Karen

  2. NJW says:

    hello Karen Lesley and Sophie and I just read all about the stresses of home school a little vacation k.
    Leslie says, “You are doing a lot. Much more than me. I’m glad that you get to do all those things. You will be happy this winter. I do think you need a vacation- from working so hard. Michael should give you at least half a day for some pampering so you can rejuvenate.

  3. Leslie T says:

    Wow! You are very busy. Much more so than I. You deserve a spa day or at least half a day. I don’t envy school starting again, especially new curriculum. Let me know how it goes. ,;-)

  4. Lisa G says:

    Just remember, harvest season isn’t forever. Pretty soon it’ll be cool and dark and you’ll have time for Latin.
    Xoxo Lisa
    Ps be proud of what you do now.

    • kespalin@gmail.com says:

      Yes, it is nice to know that eventually the rush of harvest will be over and then comes the fun of eating all of it. Thanx for following along in this crazy journey of ours. Hugs, Karen

  5. Bryn Gillem says:

    Hi Karen,
    Your latest post leaves me exhausted yet strangely hungry… :o)
    I marvel at all you do and am so glad you are at least still thinking of the occasional book break…the Shire is beckoning… can you hear it?
    Your biggest fan,
    Bryn

    • kespalin@gmail.com says:

      I went outside and sat in a chair and read my book! Woohoo. Kitty came and joined me. He curled up in my lap and slept while I petted him and read. It was nice. Hugs,Karen

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