Thursday, September 11, 2008

Three Signs that Summer is Gone... Gone... Gone.

1. Eric and I scrambled to complete the one house project that, left incomplete, would have meant a giant hole in the side of our house.
I wish I had pictures of the actual process of replacing this bathroom window with glass block. But actually, if I did have pictures, it would reveal that truth -- that Eric's dad, Loren, did all of the real work. Loren removed the old window and then grinded down the concrete in the wall to give us a nice, smooth space to work on. He also did all the math and measurements to make sure that the blocks would fit precisely into the opening.

Installing a glassblock window is surprisingly easy -- if you have a handy, multi-talented father-in-law. We still have to grout the blocks, but at least now we won't have a big opening in the wall this winter and we won't have water dripping all over a wood window once our new shower is installed. (Our house previously had only one bathtub. How did people live with only baths?)

The next thing will be to get the fireplace in working order and load up on some firewood.

2. We're preserving the harvest in our giant freezer. I packed away some corn and raspberries this week: blanching and cutting the corn and washing and freezing the raspberries on cookie sheets before vacuum sealing them into plastic bags.

This isn't nearly enough corn for us, so I'll probably be doing more in the next week before the corn is all gone. Apparently, my timing is pretty good. I heard at the farmer's market that you want large corn kernels for freezing. I'm not sure whether or not this is true -- I'm going to experiment by freezing some young niblets next summer and seeing which turns out better mid January.

Hopefully I have enough raspberries so that I can make some preserves when things are a bit quieter around here. I already have some blueberries and peaches in the freezer, which means fruit and berry cobbler in the middle of the winter this year. (When I take my pathetic, last grabs for summer even in the middle of two feet of snow.)

I tried to vacuum seal them using my sister's Foodsaver Vac 550, but the darn thing vacuumed and sealed about ten bags and then broke -- it just stopped sealing. Laura, I know you hate it when I use my blog as a means to communicate with you, but I think it's the best way to tell you: your foodsaver is broken.

But don't worry, I went out and bought a Foodsaver v2440 yesterday and I think it's much better than the one you had. It's chugging along and, although pricier, seems to be overall a better machine: a few more bells and whistles, but more importantly, it feels more solid. We can share it -- you know -- like those pants that you bought last year for us to "share" that I haven't seen for months and months?

Who are we kidding? When are you ever going to vacuum and seal food items?

3. The Canada Geese are passing overhead, honking loudly with a course set due southwest. I wish I could follow them, but I have cobblers to bake and stews to stir and fires to stoke.

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