Tuesday, July 12, 2011

early-morning musings

Yesterday I froze more carrots and sweet corn; that used up my first planting of corn, but the next round isn't far behind.  I picked green beans, just enough for dinner, and dug some beets and pickled them.  I didn't can them, just pickled enough for us to eat with meals for a few days.  
I asked myself if all the mess is really worth it.  Because honestly, it would be easy to simply buy carrots as I need them; and really, a jar of pickled beets isn't all that expensive and would last the two of us quite a while.  Cooking food from scratch is very time-consuming, and it does make a mess.  Yesterday after dinner I walked into the kitchen to get our coffee, looked around, and sighed, "Look at all these dirty dishes."  
"I wouldn't do it," said Cliff.  "As good as the food is, I wouldn't cook it if I had to clean it up."  
It was about that time that I remembered I have a dishwasher.  
It's the first dishwasher I've owned, a portable one, and for over two years, anything that could be crammed into it was washed therein.  Sometimes I had it going twice in a day.  I loved the dishes being out of sight, whether they were dirty or clean.    
Then I read an article about saving money on utilities, and one thing the author had given up was the dishwasher.  With the electricity bill skyrocketing (of course, we're new to air conditioning, too), I once again started hand-washing my dishes.  I also started using the clothesline Cliff put up when his sister moved here.  Every little bit helps. 
But yesterday, weary from freezing garden produce and producing a meal totally from scratch (dug, washed, peeled, chopped, cut from the cob, etc., and cooked that very forenoon), I remembered my dishwasher and rejoiced.  
With all the pots, pans, cups and plates hidden away, I was left with only a couple of canners to wash by hand.  It was a gift, I tell you, just one of life's little treasures.   
On the garden front, we have yet to taste a single tomato.  There are good-sized green ones, but I am pining away for a fresh tomato.  
Squash bugs are still decimating my zucchini plants.  Why is it, with all the people in the world begging folks to PLEASE take some of their zucchini, I languish here, squashless?  It's karma, I'm sure.  I'm pretty hard to get along with these days.    

I'm still wishing I could find an old-fashioned, big, seeded watermelon.  Next year I might just plant a few of them.  Black Diamond, perhaps.  Of course, they'd probably fall prey to squash bugs.  I just feel so sorry for people who eat those puny seedless melons and think that's as good as watermelon gets.  

Several years ago, with my son's guidance, I bought Cliff an XM subscription radio.  He doesn't hear well, but he loves country music.  Real country, not the stuff the commercial stations have been pushing for the last several years.  He soon found a station called "Willie's Place" that plays the old stuff, and that's where it stays.  That radio plays all day long if the shop is opened up.  
Several weeks ago, the radio started skipping and drifting.  It would drive anyone crazy, and Cliff would end up turning it off, frustrated.  I kept saying I was going to call the XM/Sirius folks and complain.  I wondered if we needed to buy a new radio.  The trouble is, by the time I got to the house I would forget all about it, and Cliff would too.  
Finally a couple of days ago I remembered the problem and went to Google on a search.  Somebody on a message board mentioned repositioning the antenna, so I mentioned that to him.  Cliff looked up at the radio on its perch high above the bench when he went out there and immediately noticed the antenna had been bumped out of its normal position.  He repositioned it, and is now back to listening to Willie, Waylon, Hank, Tanya, Kitty... well, you know.  All the old country singers.  He's a happy camper.


Vicki said...

With all that freezing and canning and Sir Loin your grocery bill will be naught. I picked my first tomato this morning, I'm sure it will be history by supper. Vicki

madcobug said...

You're right pickled beets go a long way and carrots are not all that expensive. It is a lot of work to do all of that. I just can't stand on my feet long enough to do any of it. I did cut off a mess of corn and cooked some fried Okra to go with it and our first tomato off our vines on the 4th of July. I cut the okra up the day before and put it into the fridge. I run my dishwasher not over two time a week. I remember those yummy black diamond watermellons. Never cared much for the stripped ones. Helen

Hyperblogal said...

You have a dog and you still wash dishes?

Anonymous said...

I don't know what it is this year, but all I have is green tomatoes too! I have had a few cherry tomatoes turn ripe, but I also pine for a large, red, home grown ripe tomato. Karen

JCWillow99@gmail.com said...

you are a good worker and a good wife. Cliff is a lucky man.

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

We had our first tomato sliced to go on hamburgers last night. They are slow to ripen this year and not very big. I'd love to have a real sweet watermelon like we used to get. The one I have chilling now is fairly good, but it's a seedless. Stay cool and enjoy the rest of the day. ~Cheryl


Glad you used the dishwasher. It doesn't hurt to use a modern convenience every once in a while. Besides you're saving a bundle with all your homegrown meat and veggies. Try to stay cool in all the heat.

Sister--Three said...

Donna, thanks for stopping by my Dog house and listening to the singing!

patsy said...

i never eat beats pickled or other wise.

Lori said...

Don't you just love Google? Glad it was a simple fix so Cliff can continue to get his "real" country fix. That's the kind of country I like too.