Saturday, August 8, 2020: 10 a.m.
Yesterday Attila took a day off so that we could visit the Camp. It has been some time since we were last there, the heat wave lasted all of July, making it unpleasant to be outdoors. I had been quite concerned about the bucket mouse trap in the trailer. A dead mouse, in the heat wave, would be quite odoriferous, and not much fun to deal with. But we were in for a great surprise, no mice in the trap! Thank goodness. I really wish they would not come into the trailer at all. We have done everything we can think of to discourage them, but they are still finding their way in.
The burn ban was lifted for the area, so we had a campfire. Where our Camp is located a fire permit is required to have a campfire. Every year I obtaina fire permit. A great bonus is that the municipality actually telephones permit holders to notify them of burn bans, and again when the burn bans are lifted. It is a great program! We are very careful about our campfires. Our fire pit is build to regulation specifications, and we keep a barrel of water adjacent to the area, in case it is needed, and for water to thoroughly douse the ashes when the fire is spent. We love our forest getaway, and would hate to see fire harm any of the plant life or wild life.
The day was perfect. A light breeze blew. The sun shone. The temperature was hot, but not humid. Birds sang in the trees.
I collected dead branches from the forest around the clearing, and kept a campfire burning. Attila used the trimmer to cut the “grass”, which is really an assortment of indigenous weeds. We have a second clearing on the property, and yesterday it was covered with swaying white carpet of Queen Anne’s Lace or Daucus Carota. This native plant reminds me of my childhood on the farm, where it grew everywhere. Attila left these beautiful plants standing, they can be “mowed” after they go to seed.
We saw lots of red ripe Sumac, and I wanted to pick some to make Sumac Jelly. But I forgot. Relaxing has its down side, and for me that means I forget little things as my mind enjoys just being. I don’t need more jelly right now, as I have limited my sugar intake, but still, some Sumac Jelly would have been nice.
This morning I am sitting on the back porch, Attila is sleeping. This quiet time in the morning is so wonderful. I’ve watched the hummingbirds visit the bright scarlet blooms on the Scarlet Runner Beans, as they seem to do early every morning. There is a new bird frequenting the area, a woodpecker of some kind I think. I have yet to get a good look at it though, to try to identify it. The sun is slowly making its way across the garden, and has just overtaken the Heliopsis, creating a dazzle of yellow.
Soon the day’s projects will begin. Attila is harvesting Cabbage this morning, which means we will be canning more Coleslaw, and of course using our garden Carrots as well in the recipe. Basil will also be harvested, for another batch of Pesto for the freezer, using our garden Garlic as well. I need to make Switchel for the upcoming work week, and to bake squares or muffins of some kind, for snacks and packed lunches. If there are any mature Zucchini, I will also be canning Zucchini-Pineapple.
One of the items not available this year where we buy groceries, where it was always available before the Pandemic, is 5% Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar. It does not have the mother, and is a significantly less expensive than the Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother. For canning, the mother is not relevant, as the process of canning kills everything, including the mother. So the less expensive Apple Cider Vinegar is what I use for canning, and I can’t get it right now. I certainly hope it comes back on the market at some point!
We have had a brief few days of freedom from oppressive heat and humidity, but that is going to end over the next day or so, when temperatures rise again. I am slowly acclimatizing to the new weather pattern of high heat and humidity, and can remain comfortable in the shade, as long as I do not move. But if I get up to do anything, feed a campfire, weed a garden, then I overheat within minutes. So when it is hot I don’t move much when I am outdoors, and I drink plenty of fluids. I find that on the low-sodium diet, I also need to eat a little extra salt on those days when I moving around and perspiring, otherwise I get dizzy.
Well, here comes Attila with a bowl full of Basil for me to turn into Pesto, so off I go, it is time to get busy in the kitchen.
Saturday, August 8, 2020: 8:00 p.m.
Phew! What a busy day. The Pesto got made, it is in the freezer. But as I was finishing off the Pesto, in Attila came with a big bowl of Cucumbers, a few English Cucumbers, and a lot of Pickling Cucumbers. There were four pounds of Cucumbers, enough for a batch of Dill Slices. So that is what I did, I canned seven jars of Dill Slices. I took a brief pause to eat a piece of toast with peanut butter and Cranberry Orange Sauce (home canned), then returned to the kitchen to work on the Coleslaw project. 5 jars of Coleslaw were canned, using our garden Cabbage, and our garden Carrots. All of my canned jars sealed, yay!
Then it was time to think about dinner, which I mention because we have discovered a new favourite food. Mashed Kohlrabi and Potatoes, with sour cream. Attila and I had not ever tried Kohlrabi until we grew and harvested our own this year. We added air fried wieners, and there we had a “junk” food meal. It was delicious. Attila planted more Kohlrabi right after supper!
The day turned hot, and humid, so I am hanging out indoors until later this evening, when it might cool down enough for me to sit out on the back porch.
Attila is investigating an intruder. Some of our Kohlrabi leaves were nibbled, probably by a rabbit. It must be a small one, because we have our fenced in area well protected. Two possible entry points are under consideration. Of course, it just might be a wacky squirrel, sometimes they destroy plants just for the heck of it.
Now I am heading back to the kitchen to bake a cake. A long time ago I bought a cake mix, for a pink cake, because I thought we would see our Grandbabies, and I knew they liked Cupcakes, and the girls love pink. But we didn’t see them, the cupcakes never got made, and the cake mix has been sitting in the cupboard reminding me that I shouldn’t eat it. So tonight I am going to bake that cake, and eat a little of it, and freeze the rest for Attila to take in his lunches next week.
Stay safe dear friends!
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Saturday 8 August 2020
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Dew point: 20.5°C
Wind: SSE 7 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.”
H. L. Mencken
1880 – 1956