Canning, baking, company and DS is growing again

DS is growing again and needed new tennis shoes and black dress pants for church and Pathfinders. I recently took him shopping at Wal-Mart for new tennis shoes. He grows so fast that we find ourselves replacing clothes and shoes frequently. One of the brands of tennis shoes at WM actually holds up pretty well and fits his foot nicely. However, he went from a men’s size 101/2 to a men’s 12! Those shoes are bigger than his dad’s! And since he is now taller than I am, his pants and jeans are now size 30 x 32! They fit nicely, but I’m beginning to worry because his waist isn’t getting bigger (and I don’t want him to get overweight), but he’s getting taller. The only places we can find size 30 x 34 pants or blue jeans are online and they are pricey! If you look at Big and Tall stores or sections of stores, they have the longer inseam, but huge waists! I’m so dreading finding him clothes. DH’s aunt used to have to make his cousin’s jeans and pants because he was 6’9″. DS potentially could be 6’4″! Anyone say “HELP”? At least we were finally able to find some 30  x 32 black dress pants at Fred Meyer for $17. They were on sale with a coupon for Buy 1 Get 1 Free, but they only had one pair in his size so I asked the clerk to check for others in the back. He couldn’t find any but his manager offered to let us have the one pair for half price ($17) so we were quite pleased. Hopefully he will be able to wear them at least through Christmas.

After a hectic week, I braced myself for a very busy weekend. We had made arrangements for a friend of DS and DD’s to come over and spend Sabbath afternoon and evening with us. This meant that extra cleaning was required on Friday. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but I also had tomatoes to can somehow and bread to bake for Sabbath supper. And my favorite chore (NOT) of the week falls on Friday as well: grocery shopping!

After I took DD to school Friday morning, I stopped to get gas and then went to the grocery store. Even being very careful, I spent more than I wanted to. I quickly went home because I was so done with that chore! After checking on DS to see how he was doing on his schoolwork, I headed out to the backyard to pick the garden. While I didn’t want any more tomatoes, they were ripe and I needed to pick them as well as the okra. A 5-gallon bucket was quickly filled, which meant that I had NO choice but to do something with them. Unfortunately, it was time to pick DD up from class and take her to the DMV to renew her driving permit. Despite repeated calls to the tester, no calls were returned so no testing time was set up. The permit expired on Sunday, so we had to drive over, take a number, and wait to be helped. This was hard because I knew my list of chores at home was not getting shorter. Finally her number was called, we talked to the nice lady, asked about the tester not returning our calls (“We have no control over what they do.” Arghhh!), paid the renewal fee and raced home. By then it was time to eat lunch–yay for sandwiches!

After lunch, I started some Italian bread. Somewhere on the web I had read that you could add Italian dressing mix to the dough and it would be really delicious.

Bread rising

Bread rising

While the bread was rising, I began to chop 12 1/2 cups of tomatoes, 9 jalapeños, 2 onions, 2 cups of chopped bell pepper, and mince 4 cloves of garlic to cook down for salsa. We had learned a cool trick the night before for peeling garlic. You place your cloves of garlic in a cereal bowl (not plastic–we used our Corelle) and put an identical bowl upside down over it. Then holding the edges together, you shake the garlic cloves in the bowls viciously. It takes about 5-10 minutes but you can check periodically. The peelings come right off with no smell of garlic on your fingers for the next several days. I didn’t believe it, but have now both seen it done and tried it myself and it’s quite “magical”.

So to get back to my day, everything was put in a large pot and heated up ready for canning. Spices and vinegar were added to the pot and as soon as it was boiling, I ladled the salsa into quart jars. All but one or two of my pint jars were already full and I had a little over on dozen quart jars. Three and a half quarts later, I still had room in the canner and plenty of tomatoes. Since we didn’t need any more salsa, or as little as possible added to the stores I began to rough chop more tomatoes and added peeled garlic cloves and jalapeños sliced in 1/2 inch slices to the pot with onion salt, cumin, chili powder, and 1/2 cup vinegar. When this mixture began to boil again, I scooped out several cups of it and put it in the blender. A quick liquefying of the mixture, repeating of the process several times, and all was poured back into the pot to bring back up to boil. When I ladled the boiling mixture into quart jars, I had 3-4 quarts of hot sauce. I put all the quarts in the canner and after boiling them for 40 minutes, I was done, except for cooling and labeling the lids of each. There was about 1/3 cup of the hot sauce left that I put in a cup to cool for taste testing with tortilla chips. When DH tried it, he said it tasted just like the hot sauce they serve at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Jalapeños. I took that as a compliment.

The bread dough was made into three round loaves and baked off while homemade pizza was started for Friday night supper. When cooled, one loaf of bread was placed in the freezer to use another day. In between all this, DH helped to record DS’s speech for his Public Speaking class and upload it for the teacher to view.

Sabbath morning we got up early and after biscuits and egg gravy for breakfast, DD drove DS and I to church. There we met their friend who sat with us during the service. We went home for lunch and then her mom dropped her off with the blanket she is crocheting for an afternoon and evening of fun. We crocheted, knitted, chatted, and towards supper time, I put everyone to work helping get ready for the meal. We sliced the bread and buttered it, cleaned the broccoli and cut it into spears to steam, and chopped lettuce, sweet peppers, carrots, and halved cherry tomatoes to put together for a green salad.

These dishes were added to lasagna, German chocolate cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream for a birthday celebration for another friend of the family at GPID’s house. Then after dishes were loaded into the dishwasher and coffee was brewed, five rounds of WHOT were played. The kids’ friend soon learned how to play and had a great time. She wasn’t ready for it all to end, but we had to come home, pick up tomatoes for her family and take her to her house. I had a full day of work awaiting me the next morning.

It was good that I got what rest I could because Sunday wasn’t a pretty day at work. It started okay, but the end of my 12 1/2 hour shift was not pretty at all. Needless to say, lots of prayers will be said as I work through what happened. I didn’t do anything wrong, but things happened to people who came in that were very, very sad. I hope that the day I am no longer affected by what I see and hear at my job, is the last day that I work there. Sometimes it can be extremely painful, and only prayer can get you through.

When I came home, I was exhausted. Quickly made phone calls caught up with everyone and after fixing bean burritos for DH and eating the vegetable omelet that DH made for me, I was ready to crash into bed. A new week awaited me.


About susanssnippets

I wear multiple hats: wife of 25+ years, mother to DD22 and DS17, daughter/daughter-in-law, crafter, home engineer and too many others to list.
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7 Responses to Canning, baking, company and DS is growing again

  1. I so feel ya on the busyness lately!! I’ve been canning my tush off and still have many more qt to store and another two hour trip to farmers not to make….but this winter it shall all be worth it ❤

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