Preservation of Food (and Sanity)

So when does school start? Asking for a friend…

I just reread my last post. How quickly I forget all the things I want to do. I haven’t given replacing the carpet a thought since I wrote that. Same thing for ordering garlic and working on the fall garden. New week, new concerns, new plans…

We’ve been keeping things low-key and not spending too much. We were at the pool a few times last week and mostly brought snacks from home. I also remembered to bring my new glass water bottle. I do like drinking out of glass better than anything else. Of the four reusable water containers I bought before Maine, I left one in the rental car and another one seems to be missing as well. Grrrr. So we’re doing our best with the remaining two. Aidan needs water for basketball and soccer practices.

On Tuesday, we went back to the Nike outlet to exchange clothes that didn’t fit Aidan. I walked out $2 richer when the exchange was done. Then we went to see The Secret Life of Pets because it was discount day at the theater (only $5.50; thanks for the tip F.!). I also had money left on that Fandango gift card I won a while back, so it was only $11 for the four of us (plus $15 for drinks and popcorn).

Doctors’ appointments, a PTA meeting and beers with friends rounded out the week. I made more pickles with this recipe; haven’t tasted them yet.

Saturday morning, the kids and I raced through the farmers’ market. It was ungodly hot. Here’s our haul:


That’s ribs and chicken wings down at the bottom, from Hillacres Pride. Sunday morning, I took the green beans (that’s just a handful of them in the photo; there were lots) and blanched and froze them.


I hope to do the same with the broccoli today. The corn needs to get eaten tonight, and the eggplant, I guess I’ll experiment with. Eggplant fries?

So the question is, how much more summer produce should I try to preserve, and what kinds? Should I just preserve my own tomatoes, or buy more? Peaches? Corn? I suppose before I go nuts, I should taste some preserved items and see how they are. Like these beans. And keep in mind that I’m still the only major vegetable eater.

Last night, I found an interesting small farm for sale. Relatively close to the beach. I’m starting to think, though, that all my interest in new properties of late is just another escape fantasy. The heat, the yelling, the fighting, the mess, the clutter, the flies that keep getting in… I feel so blah about being here. I think we should have done our Maine trip in August; now we don’t really have anything to look forward to. But I suppose it’d be better to simply get a sitter for a few hours and get out of the house by myself than buy a farm. Cheaper anyway.

I shouldn’t really complain because on the whole it has been a good summer. I happen to be extra grumpy right now because I’m trying to write in the early afternoon which seriously is the worst part of the day, lately. The mornings and evenings have a sense of purpose but the afternoons are one big struggle. We should just start taking siestas.

We did go to the beach yesterday for the afternoon/evening. I just had to get away. It was fun — definitely cooler there. The water felt great. I brought our leftover ride tickets from last year, and after the beach, we went on rides til they ran out (four or five). Pizza, ice cream and arcade games added up, but well worth it. And getting to see my BFF, who lives there — priceless.


In the garden, there has been a groundhog sighting. I’m debating whether to try to trap it myself, or call someone. Or let it be. Some tomatoes and some pumpkin vines seem to be the main casualties so far (and that could be squirrels too). I wrapped the tomatoes in bird netting individually, and that seems to be working. I also bought black pepper powder and sprinkled it around all the beds. He probably needs to go, if only because his tunnels could harm the house. Assuming one truly has set up shop.

This week: more meetings, more pool, more soccer and basketball, shopping for school supplies (maybe), setting up allergist appointments, hopefully catching up with some family members, family party on Saturday. I just finished reading The Returned by Jason Mott (very good) and the first Game of Thrones book. On to the next GoT. Also interested in Underground Airlines by Ben Winters and The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver. All books that mess with reality in some key way. Again, a safer choice than messing with my own reality just this minute 🙂

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