Salsa anyone?

We are so blessed this year with offers of extra produce from friends and acquaintances. Yesterday I received a text asking me if I was interested in any tomatoes to can. Of course, I said “yes” as mine haven’t been ripening very fast. These were reported to be quite ripe and would probably have to be put up fairly quickly. Knowing that my Friday is always busy getting ready for Sabbath, and I don’t have time on Sunday because I am working, I was really hoping they would last until Monday when I could juice them. At that time, I wasn’t sure if I would have to go pick them last night or sometime today, but I was grateful to get them as mine may end up being green tomato mole. The lady who offered them was coming home from a trip with her husband who drives an 18-wheeler. When she texted me to let me know they were home, it was well after dark so we both knew it wasn’t going to happen last night. We decided I would wait for her to call today.

So this morning, I received another text letting me know that there were enough ripe ones for a batch of salsa. And she was also offering plenty of peppers to put in the salsa if I wanted. I arranged to go over after buying groceries for next week. Of course, I had woken up at 7 a.m. and already gone to pick up chicken feed and more jar lids as well as various items at Wal-Mart. Then I realized that I probably should get some gas as I was down to 1/4 tank and no telling where we’d end up going over the weekend. The blessing was that she had already picked the tomatoes and I only had to go over and help her pick any peppers I wanted.

Thankfully, DD and DS decided to go with me. I was hoping that we would be able to go over and come right back just in case I needed to put up the salsa today. We drove over to her house which isn’t that far away and had a nice walk through her garden with DD carrying our bucket. There was a medium-sized bucket of VERY ripe tomatoes waiting and then we checked out her raised beds. After walking through and getting peppers from 5-6 different types of plants, I also had lots of ideas as to how to put in raised beds ourselves. After fighting with the gopher who ruined quite a bit of my plants and seriously curbed what we were able to harvest, I have decided that somehow we need to put in mostly raised beds. She even had soaker hoses hooked up to PVC pipes for watering each of her beds as well as a curved trellis for her cucumbers and large ranch gates down the center of two beds for supuports for plants. And she is also starting a strawberry mint cutting in a pot and a chocolate mint cutting in another pot for me when she harvests them. She had lots of good advice about how to process herbs. Her favorite way is to strip the leaves off and cram them into ice trays with just a bit of water. Then she adds to hot chocolate or other recipes later.

Anyway back to the salsa. We finally started back home with lots of good information and plenty to make a batch of salsa. So before sundown and supper tonight I peeled the tomatoes, added some from our beds that had ripened, onions from our garden, and 1/2 a pint of chopped jalapeñ0s that I had canned two years ago. All of this was put into a 12-quart stock pan and minced garlic, vinegar, tomato paste, salt, cumin, oregano leaves, black pepper, and a bit of sugar were added. After cooking down for 30 minutes, DH helped me fill pint jars and begin water bathing them off. I though I might have enough for 1 1/2 canners of pints, but we ended up with 18 1/4 pints which meant water bathing 3 times for 20 minutes. And this is what we got: 20160923_211403

The three 1/2 pints on the right in the front will be given to coworkers on Sunday while the rest will be tucked in storage. The 1/2 pint on the left will be given to another friend when I see her next. The 1/4 pint is just because that is how much there was in the bottom of the pan and I didn’t want to waste it.

As you can see my “single” batch of salsa turned out to be a nice big batch. DH was very helpful and I am grateful for that. DS also took out all of the tomato peelings to his chickens and DD was a real dear when she washed all but the stock pan along with her supper dishes. So cleanup was very easy and we have plenty of salsa to tuck away. This will be a yummy addition to several meals this coming winter! And my favorite sound from this? The “pop” of a jar lid sealing! Tis music to my ears.

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WIP – Christmas Present

In the past our niece has asked for new mittens most every year for Christmas. This year in my effort to make a few things ahead and not scramble at the last minute I have pulled out the pair I started last year that were still a bit too big. 20160922_195756

These are fairly quick as they are in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn. The second one has been cast on with the cabled portion on the opposite side as well as the thumb. This was after ripping back to the top of the ribbing and trying the cables again as I was going to reverse their direction. However, it just wasn’t working out so well, so I am leaving the cables as they are, but putting the thumb gusset on the opposite side and the cables on the opposite side. So far I am up to the first crossing of the cables just past the ribbing, but I failed to get a picture. Perhaps next time I work on them? Maybe by then I might even have the thumb added.

 

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Done and waiting to be blocked!

While there is no picture yet of the FO, the Color Affection shawl is finished. The last stitches were bound off at 11:45 pm yesterday. Towards the end, I decided to use up the last of the light blue yarn even though it was only supposed to be 2″ for that section. It isn’t much over that, but there isn’t enough left to knit another two rows, so I am glad that I stopped and began binding off when I did. Hopefully there will be a picture soon.

For now, I have pulled out a partially finished pair of mittens that I hope to finish knitting and set aside for a Christmas gift. Just a small project, but it should go quickly. Then I need to begin crocheting on another gift: The Globetrotter’s Shawl. I have one of the colors but hope to order the other two yarns from Knit Picks on Friday and have them here soon. Not to worry as there are plenty of projects to work on, including DD’s stocking which hasn’t been touched in the push to finish the Color Affection shawl.

Also, the second socklet in a pair of Diamond Lace Socklets is slowly being finished. It takes everything I can find in myself to work on it as I really don’t like the bamboo yarn. Maybe I should just pull that one out and get it over with?

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Almost ready to start increasing for the heels

This is an older–and please forgive the blurry picture–progress picture of the first sock. The yarn is pretty. The sock is pretty. The yarn is a very painful, splitty yarn for knitting and won’t be used again. The remainder after the second socklet will be disposed of with great pleasure!

Stay tuned for upcoming pictures of current progress hopefully soon!

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