Hello, friends. Last week, I made green salads using our pears, and made pear vinaigrette for them. A batch of chanterelle mushrooms was sauteed in ghee and frozen. I harvested cucumbers, red noodle beans, a few tomatoes and pole beans, an eggplant, pawpaws, pears, figs, apples, peppers and hazelnuts. I found a watermelon that had started rotting on one end. When I cut into it, it was a yellow melon. Though not fantastic, the heart tasted pretty good, so I saved that for us, and gave the rest to the chickens. I'm gathering pear recipes, and decided to use some of the bounty as gifts. I made two batches of low-sugar cranberry pear jam, which perfectly used up all the ripe pears at that time. I started a jar of fruit scrap vinegar with the skins and cores. The vinegar I've made in the past has been weak. This recipe is a bit different, so I'm hoping for better results. A meals worth of lambs quarter was blanched and frozen.
I invited M to dinner one night, and his request was for whatever was fresh, so I made a green bean casserole, sauteed squash with sweet onion and basil, and caprese salad. The apples are piling up, so I decided to work with some of the smallest ones, many with bad spots. All that could went through the apple peeler/corer, but many had to be hand peeled. With this batch, I decided the easiest thing would be to steam them in the Mehu Liisa, to get any juice, then put them through the strainer for applesauce. There wasn't a lot of juice, only 1/2 pint. I'll decide next time, if I want to skip that step. I canned the juice and eight 4 oz. jars of applesauce. They weren't the best quality apples, and rather bland, so I added lemon juice and honey to perk it up. I brought the leavings out to the chickens, who scarfed them up. I shelled some noodle beans for seed, and have them drying in a pan.
Laundry was hung on the line. Two items were hand washed, and hung on the line. After delivering soap, I made quick runs to two nearby thrift stores, and a food co-op in that town. I didn't get much, but found a rug and a pretty divided file folder for $1 ea., and got a handful of groceries. After grabbing some lunch at home, I headed to our local community. I bartered soap for a replacement pump for my soap dispenser, and was given a pot of Korean chives. Noodle beans and cucumbers were shared with her, as well as another friend, who also was given pawpaws. It's always nice to share the bounty. I saw many black swallowtail caterpillars on the celery, and a few more on the carrots. With over thirty milkweed plants, I only saw two monarch caterpillars. I hope there will be more.
J has been hard at work on the chicken coop addition and renovation. By Saturday, he had put in the new nest boxes, and torn out the old. A new roosting pole was in place. It's taking shape very nicely, and should make collecting eggs and clean up much easier. The girls are taking to it just fine. Chanterelles and lambs quarter were foraged. Orders were powder coated on Sunday. A watermelon was cut up, and the rinds given to the chickens. A batch of Pumpkin Chai soap was made, using some homegrown pumpkin. It's beginning to smell like autumn around here, though we've still got temps in the 90's some days this coming week. Summer hasn't left us yet. Enjoy these days, friends.