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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Questions and answers

It's another one of those nights where I can't focus on anything long enough to sit down and really write a "real" blog post....so I cheated again and asked on my facebook page if anyone had any questions that they wanted me to answer or anything in particular that they would like for me to write about tonight.

Here's what they've come up with so far....

Angela asked: Do you have fun crafts you do with your kids?
Funny you should ask that tonight. For whatever reason, when the older 3 kids came home from their father's house this morning, they brought waterpaints with them. Oh, yay. Anyway, we were out running around this afternoon and we had to stop at the store, and they decided that they were going to use their money and buy some posterboard. Next thing I knew, the five of them were sitting on the living room floor, painting and arguing and having a good time.

They all do like to do artsy stuff, but they like to do it on their terms. They usually don't like to sit down as a group and work on something with me leading them. They just want to do. The girls are into it more than the boys, although the boys are definitely into the coloring thing at this point. The girls have also attempted to sew some, and they are both working on some needlepoint coasters that they want to sell, but they don't have the stick-to-it-iveness to get them done, although what they have finished looks really good.

*Mental note: don't forget to scrub paint off of the hardwood floor before going to bed tonight.

Shannon asked: have you ever had or made tomato preserves?
I have had them, but I've never made them. When I was growing up, we had a huge garden in the backyard, and we grew just about everything and Mom did the canning. I've never had a big enough garden to do much in the way of canning (see the question after the next one....).

Stac asked: Do u sleep?
I do. Nowhere near as much as I should, but I do sleep. This summer, while the kids have been out of school, I've typically been going to bed around 2:00am. Depending on how many kids are here at the time, I can sometimes sleep until anytime between 7:00 and 9:00am. I don't get the chance to take a nap during the day because we're either out running around or I just have too much to do in order to get a nap. Once school starts, I have to force myself to go to bed at a more reasonable time because I have to be up by either 5:30am or 7:00am, depending on which kids I have that morning and which school district I have to get to first.

Angela asked: If you have not had tomato preserves, what do you anticipate most about our jam trade?.... Seriously though, you do a bunch of canning. I know you pick your own plums. Do you grow any of the rest yourself? Or purchase? And why?
Our jam trade - Hmmmm....I really just can't wait to see what you come up with! You mentioned several different things that you make that I would love to try, so when we get around to it I think I just want you to toss in some different stuff and surprise me with it! ;)

Right now, I don't grow any of the stuff myself. I do have a couple of jalapeno and tomato plants in buckets on my porch, but with the summer's brutal heat, I'm not getting much off of them. My house does not have any outside water source, so it would be impossible for me to plant a garden and keep it watered - plus my neighbor has walnut trees that puke their nuts all over my yard in the fall, and from what I understand they release something into the soil that makes it virtually impossible to grow anything. So, as much as I would love to have a huge garden, it's just not in the cards until I move out of this house.

The Dude and I have already talked about this at length - when I move out of this house (next summer at the latest) we will most likely be moving in together - and we plan on having a huge garden and doing tons of canning and trying to be as self-sufficient as possible.

When I do have to buy stuff for canning, I try as much as I can to buy the local stuff. I pick the majority of the stuff that I can though. In fact, we have to get out again in the next week or so to pick sand plums again (next time The Dude has a day off and we have a minimal number of kids) and hopefully by then the pears will be ready as well. The property where we pick is owned by friends and they have given us permission to pick as much as we want to, and so we happily oblige!

But for right now, I am going to head back into the kitchen and work on a batch of watermelon pickles - and yes, I will be posting the recipe that I use to make those in the next few days sometime!


  1. Watermelon Pickles? Uhm.. no. Try whole dill pickles soaked in jalapenos. *drool*

  2. Non Stop Mom,
    telling me to pick and choose could be interesting this year... I have the canning bug early, in a very creative way... I actually found a recipe for pickled pineapple. I suspect they are going to be great in a summer martini next year. You will definitely have a selection of tomato jams... With suggestions for use. Between my Great Grandma Xula and a neighbor that every one called Grandma Ada, I will grow, can and preserve almost anything... I draw the line at pickled chicken gizzards in aspic. Chinese delicacy to serve with tea..... (shudders) Just as horrible as it sounds.

    I wish the Dude and your family a great time when you start your garden. Ada would have recommend that you raise rabbits as they take up little space, are easy to butcher. One rabbit fits in a half gallon paper milk cartoon, fill with water, duct tape closed, fits in freezer nicely. Mom always let the kids choose a doe for a pet. That way they don't get to freaked out when the young become tomorrows stew. Although if it turned out to be a buck instead, then the male was traded with a nearby farm so that we had fresh breeding stock. Their droppings are great fertilizer as well.


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