I have been unemployed now for 2 months, and the days all seem the same to me. Really, I have to think about what day it actually is. So, today, for most, was the beginning of the work week,the dreaded Monday! For me it is just a day, like so many in the past weeks.
I get up, not as early as I used to, I do allow myself to stay in the bed until 7am now, a small luxury, but all the same a luxury to me! I brush my teeth, wash my face, make the bed, get dressed, feed the cat and the crayfish and then take the dog for a three-mile walk. I come home, feed the dog, fix a cup of tea, sit out on the patio and pet and talk to the cat. Then the day begins.
First on the list today was to check the strawberries that were dehydrating and then it was to check email, then it was several hours of looking at job sites and hopefully sending some cover letters and resumes out – this is usually the first thing I do after my tea.
Done with the job search, not much out there today. Then it was to check the strawberries again – and they were done! I have now dehydrated 20 pounds of strawberries, costing $38 and have 4-quart jars filled for the winter. Two years ago I decided that I would not buy fruit during the winter, since it comes from so far away and it really does not taste very good, my daughter was not happy about this since she is a fruitaholic, so I preserve fruit during the summer for winter eating. I am still working on how much do I really need to preserve to get us through the winter. This year I am keeping a very detailed list, what fruit, how was it preserved, cost and the quantity once preserved.
After the strawberries were sealed and put up, then it was on to the pineapple. I have already dehydrated 3 and I have 3 more to go. Pineapple takes a looooong time! I had never done pineapple before and this is at the request of my daughter. I have to say that the dehydrated pieces are even sweeter than the pieces I ate fresh while cutting it up. The nice thing about dehydrating pineapple is that you do not have to treat it with anything since it is already so acidic.
After getting the pineapple going, it was back to sanding. This winter when I was out walking I came across an old drop leaf table and I have always wanted one – so home I went, called a neighbor and the table was carried back to my house. I have been sanding it now for about 5 weeks, on and off. The table had been stained and painted – so not easy to sand it all down. At first I was hand sanding it, but then after telling a friend about my project, he said I have an electric hand sander do you want to borrow it – of course I did! I have been doing this project outside by back door, laying a blanket on the black top. With the heat of the summer and the afternoon thunderstorms, it has been a much slower endeavor then I anticipated. I am so close to getting it done and thought I would have the whole thing sanded today, but does not look that way. I ran out of sand paper and had to make a run to the hardware store for more. I was hoping that I would make it back before the rain, but it started raining on my way home. I am hoping that it stops soon so I can finish, since tomorrow it is supposed to be in the 90’s – no sanding in that kind of heat.
Tomorrow it is off to blueberry and apricot picking. I have already made 2 trips to my favorite blueberry farm up in Red Hook, Greig’s http://www.greigfarm.com/ and afterwards I head to GiGi’s market for the Bianca Skizza, which is a flatbread pizza with fig jam, pear, baby arugula, white truffle oil and mozzarella – it also comes with goat cheese, but I have them hold that – not a huge fan. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Last year I picked 30 pounds and then froze, dried and jammed them for the winter. I lost some when my freezer stopped working, but I think I would have made it to picking time this year. I have 23 pounds, all frozen, and need to get another 7 which I will freeze some, dehydrate and make jam. Last year I made about 12 jars and there are 2 lefts in the pantry. Used the jam and others I made for gifts throughout the year with a loaf of homemade bread. Apricots are at another farm in Newburgh.
I had my radish and edamame salad for lunch today, just keeps getting better!