Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Tomato Cycle

My feelings on tomatoes go sort of like this....
we go outside and happily pick all these beautiful tomatoes and think what a great year it has been for the garden.  I bring them inside and give them a wash and set them here and there around the kitchen and living room (there's not enough room in the kitchen alone) and then they start to feel like clutter and work to be done....they're nagging me.

Most often I roast our tomatoes and freeze them, sometimes I can them.  I admit my patience for canning tomatoes runs low, this year I managed about 20 pints.  Thankfully I have a mother in law who  enjoys (tolerates?) canning tomatoes and she likes to share.  I slice them all up, Amish Paste, Big Rainbows, and Purple Prince and whatever else we planted this year.  The tomato jungle was so thick I can't read my planting signs.  They get tossed in the cookie sheets and baking dishes, they mingle with onion and garlic, basil, olive oil and sometimes some balsamic vinegar and I kinda curse all their work.

They roast for a bit, they smell so good and they come out of the oven all delicious and I'm thankful for all those tomatoes and all the work they bring.  Over the weekend we discovered they're delicious with hummus, and this soup recipe is what led to my love of roasted tomatoes.

Friday, September 6, 2013



Nicely enough we started and ended our school break at a favorite beach with my sister and her children.  The perfect kind of beach; a beautiful view, some sand and lots of water.  Before school ended in June I made myself a short  list of priorities for the summer.

1. time with family
2. food preservation
3. keeping the shop filled up

Over all it worked, the summer break went pretty well.  It was very full and busy.  I said yes to many more functions and events than was within my comfort level, but all was ok and memories were made.  

Our garden has never produced so much, the freezer and shelves of canning are filling up (still with much more to add).  Sadly, all 20 of our chicks were killed by a weasel in July.  It was upsetting, we've done so well with our little groups of chickens we weren't expecting this, it was upsetting and defeating.  We've decided to take a break from raising chickens, we've found an affordable source of farm raised eggs and at this point in our lives we need to focus our energy on other projects.  I think there will be more livestock in our lives over the years, and I need to remember that just because it's not happening right now doesn't mean it won't happen.

I managed to keep the shop active too, thank you for all your support over the summer.  I've got big ideas for the fall and find my mind is very full these days.  Our youngest will be starting kindergarten next week.  I have so many mixed feelings about it but she is so excited and at 4 1/2 years old, she's ready for it.  Rowan is bright and loves to learn and make friends, I think kindergarten will suit her well.  I will continue to be a stay at home mom, but my role is changing.  My days at home will now be more structured (even productive?) and I will be able to be more involved in my children's school which has always been important to me,  but being home with Rowan has made volunteering challenging.  I'll be able to put a lot more energy in County Cloth Creations and after starting this business over seven years ago, the opportunity to give County Cloth my full attention is really exciting!