I sent the children out to harvest veggies from the garden yesterday, knowing it had been a couple days (no more than three) since checking it myself. But 2-3 days in the land of zucchini is a lifetime, and all of the ones lurking under leaves were huge. One weighed five pounds! (they weighed each one!) So yeah- no worries about running out of zucchini any time soon.
While they were at it, they discovered monster BEETS which lead to picking monster beets which then lead to picking 40 beets (they counted!)....and beets were NOT on the agenda for yesterday. (Well, not SUPPOSED to be anyway.)
So instead of just canning some pickles, I canned a batch of bread and butter pickles, a batch of spicy pickled beets, boiled beets (to do more today) and sorted, washed, blanched and froze the beet greens. Needless to say, yet again I did not get my school plans in order. This weekend?
I just remembered too---I really wanted to paint the school room before school started! YIKES!
Speaking of canning~ I took a picture of my canning cupboard yesterday. It is downright worrisome to me. See that teensy little space left? I haven't finished canning beets yet. I haven't even STARTED canning tomatoes. I have no idea where I will put everything. NO IDEA.
As I canned, I was listening to George Grant (ever hear of him? He founded the Franklin Classical School and has written many good books) and his lectures on Modernity. Which are brilliant, by the way. I listened to three lectures- all on World War I. Whenever I listen to him I feel like I am learning things for the first time. Pretty great.
At one point in the morning, Judah got super crabby. Inconsolable, really. I tried to make him happy with books, distractions. I offered him food and drink. I tried to ignore him. But nothing was working. So I found a spot I could stop at in the canning process and I sat down with him and rocked. Wouldn't you know it, he fell right asleep. With him being almost two now, his falling asleep in my arms is a very rare occasion. Him sitting in my lap for any length of time at all is rare, in fact. It was so sweet feeling his heaviness against me and looking at those poofy lips that have enamored me since Day 1. These moments are rare and fleeting. And very, very precious.
The zucchini recipes for the day were thus:
Flourless Zucchini Brownies. (I modified the recipe here by substituting peanut butter for almond.) We aren't gluten free but we have loads of friends who are, so I am always on the lookout for gluten free recipes to entertain them with. So the "flourless" part had me alter my course slightly. They were delicious in their own right, but what I was looking for (craving) was a dense, fudgy chocolate brownie and these were more of a breakfast bar with a muffin texture. Bake them for that reason and you will be pleased. I'll try again with a different zucchini brownie recipe this weekend to get my fudge brownie fix.
Now, completely unrelated to canning or zucchini~ I have a girl who will be turning 9 in exactly 16 days (so she tells me a million times a day) and I asked her to write me a list of ideas I might be able to look through for her birthday. Not because I would get her any of them (necessarily) and CERTAINLY not all of them but more because I knew she would have fun doing it and I would have fun reading it.
The list read like this:
1) A camera that you don't take to CVS and they break (you know what I mean) (she means disposable.)
2) Any art supplies like paint or a SHARP!! paintbrush
3) a horse stuffed animal
4) a very good, very interesting, very LOOOoooooooong good book
5) a purse
6) surprises (the ones you make, Mama, are superb!)
P.S. (If this list is too long, you may erase some of them...)
So there you have it. I *do* happen to have a surprise up my sleeve but I would love to get her a very good, very interesting, very LOOOOOooooooong (DOUBLE GOOD) book and would love to know, especially of you twaddle-free junkies out there,if anyone has any suggestions.
Now today, I fully intend to light an apple pie scented candle and do something decidedly UNRELATED to food. (AFTER I finish canning the rest of the beets, that is.)