Friday, October 03, 2008

Real Life

I had to laugh today: My kitchen felt like Alecto’s on a Sunday.

I’m used to having a lot going on in there, mostly because multitasking at it is how you can get it done. Nothing in itself takes up much time, but most of everything in the kitchen involves waiting, so if you can combine the waiting, well, you can get a lot done.

So I had two quarts of cream warming on the counter to make butter. I had two gallons of milk warming in a double boiler (two stock pots actually) to make cheese. And a pint of cream and a quart of skimmed milk in a pot of warm water actively making sour cream and yogurt. I had my mother’s old stainless steel pressure cooker on the stove to soak the dried lima beans that would be for supper. Since we had a larger leftover lunch planned, I was only fixing a pound of beans for supper. Usually we do two pounds, but with a large lunch and a generous portion of corn bread, a pound should be enough. And we've the sheller set up trying to get through shelling all of last year's corn before this year's is harvested, which means I don't have to shell the corn before grinding it for cornbread at least. We have I don’t even know how many quarts of apple leavings to make into jelly in the fridge so I’d put on my agenda to try to do as much of that today as possible. I only cleared out about four of the quarts and one lonely pint but at least it was a dent. And it was about eleven pints of jelly in the end. I think to make the apple mint, though, I’m going to have to take the apple leavings and then heat them again with chopped mint to get a strong enough mint flavor, so what one batch was today was Apple Hint jelly. Ok, so that is butter, cheese, supper and jelly going. And dishes, always dishes and floors to sweep. And on the counter a bowl of apple quarters in salt water to slice up in my spare time to put in the dehydrator. Gosh but I do love dried apples. And did I mention that we are on water conservation, have been for months now, so all the water from washing dishes (which wasn’t five gallons for the whole day) is dipped out of the sink and into buckets for flushing with?

All this while husband is back up on the mountain to get another load of apples. One daughter is busily and happily sewing her Halloween costume. One son is on a Pokemon adventure. And the other two children are mostly engrossed in their current books. The garden has escaped two nights of frost advisories and has lots of good looking things to mature if it has time. All among other endeavors.

What I think I never convey well enough is the pleasure in all this. Like the other day on a town/library day, we had a zillion stops to make, and things to get, and not enough money to eat out, and, you know, things that would seem to be problems to handle, and what we had was an extremely pleasant outing and a welcome homecoming.


Jerry Critter said...

You make me tired just reading about all the things you are doing. Ahhhh, the advantages of youth!

Alecto said...

It is the best day of the week and when it doesn't happen (even though we've got plenty of reserves to fall back on) I am saddened and somewhat lost until the next Sunday comes around. I told both Nomans and Cletus the other day that there will be no additional trips out until the harvest (mine and the farmer up the road) is complete and this year there was no resistance.

CG said...

There are pleasures to it that are too much missed and that is a shame and a pity.

kaat said...

You *do* convey the pleasure! I love reading your posts, and each time I read one, I am moved to make some changes myself. Thanks for sharing!