"whoever touches us, teaches us....."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Seven Pings

Last night, at 11pm I realized my kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off...now while I am not a neat freak by any means, but I hate coming in the kitchen in the morning and seeing a disaster area. It unnerves me for the rest of the day. It makes my mind just as cluttered as the counter tops. So, after the men had gone to bed, I cleaned it up and it took until almost one in the morning. And one of those men was the instigator of the much involved kitchen project..... I'm just saying. What kind of event would lead to such a mess, you ask? Well making pickles, of course!!! Which, for some reason, two rational people who have full time jobs and can't seem to find a spare minute for breathing, felt the need to use a holiday weekend to do something they have never done before ....make bread and butter pickles. And make pickles we did. Now all you pioneer women out there, who do this for multi food items every year, and, on a large scale; I do a little "kneel on the floor and kiss your feet" dance for you. I think witnessing one of those annual events would be like observing a NASA coordinated Mars launch. Because people.... it isn't easy. There seemed to be pots of boiling water everywhere and no where to put anything and jars seem to need to all be hot at the same time for some reason. And you can't tell me all those pots fit on your stove at the same time? And boil?? Don't even mention waiting for a pot the size of a washing machine to boil. Some day I will have to have answers to all these questions. As I waited for sleep, I did hear the satisfying little pings as the lids sealed (I hope). Seven times, one for each of the seven jars. Yes; seven jars is all we have to show for all that work.When my adult son came in mid production stage, he said "Why are you doing this?" My answer..."because its fun and satisfying, and we wanted to see if we could do it. Just for fun. " He then stated "Going to the store can be fun; do you know they sell these at the store for $1.89 a jar?" I wanted to do the Visa commercial for him, cucumbers...eight dollars, spices... ten dollars, experience...priceless. And it was. Lots of fun and laughs, and learning, somewhere in the middle of all that madness.
But for right now I don't care if my lids sealed, if the juices stay clear, or if they promote clostridium botulinum....I just want to taste them! There will be a pickle tasting event in my kitchen in a month or so.....stay tuned.

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Garden

How can something that looked this horrible...look so much better after a load of dirt and some free manual labor?  The bare side yard (complete with an old gas grill) was an eyesore...now after less than 6 weeks, it looks like this!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

North Carolina Vacation

I was lucky enough to spend another week in North Carolina's beautiful western mountains. A free house, outdoor fireplace and chilly (alas,with some rain) days, made for a wonderful week. Over the last few years we ave been exploring the western area, looking for that perfect area to dream of relocating to. Each time I discover new towns, I fall in love with a new place. In my mind I have already moved from Banner Elk to Blowing Rock, to Linville, to Brevard and to Marshall. This year I think I moved to the Burnsville area. We made a drive from Linville to Hot Springs, through Mars Hill and Burnsville, and along a beautiful road along a rushing creek (that forks north from Hot Springs) that ended up on Cutshall Town Road. There is some gorgeous land up there. Hot Springs has a beautiful setting; like Marshall, it snuggles up to the French Broad river. Burnsville has the most scenic town square and courthouse. Its a postcard....unfortunately I don't ever take any pictures in the towns, I don't know why. Instead, here are a few pictures , most taken right off the parkway. I love you North Carolina!