Saturday, September 21, 2019

Back in the Groove...........

The year is three fourths over and I feel as if I am finally getting my feet under my body again.   Cancelling a big 4 day show I think has a lot to do with my blood pressure dropping and finding my feet again.  I just did not have the inventory I needed for that show and not enough time to produce that inventory.  Hindsight bites me again.  I really though I could do an 8 day show in June/July, head to Alaska for a 12 day trip, crank out 200 bowls, do all the canning and gardening and still make enough inventory for a four day show.  Ok, I really did not see how crazy this was until I just wrote it all down.  I also am having a hard time recuperating on the fly like I used to...... 

I went to breakfast for a yearly catch up with a dear old studio mate and was truly hobbling around, you know like an old person, which I am NOT!  One knee was quite swollen and I kept thinking sheesh; I eat all this healthy stuff, garden surplus, organic, no milk, very little meat, no eggs, no soft drinks or sugar, steel cut oats and cucumbers galore and I can hardly walk.  Then over breakfast I heard the magic words...... foods in the nightshade family.  I have been eating massive amounts of; tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, peppers and paprika (because I am Hungarian and it's a food group).  Hell I just filled the basement with all those things.  On Wednesday I banished all nightshade foods from my meals.  It's now Saturday and my knees are much better, I can touch the floor without bending my knees, I walked three miles yesterday and worked most of the day in the studio.  So I will stay off the nightshades for a month or so and re-introduce it in very small increments around Christmas, when I can blame my stiff and sore joints on cookies!   

The canning is winding down but the recipes are still stacked high, so many more things I would like to try this year that will just have to wait.  This morning I dashed out to the orchard to pick up another "final" basket of peaches but alas they had been replaced by apples, squash and pumpkins.  I've added to the shelves in the basement; 6 jars of cowboy candy, maple peach bourbon butter, peach butter, more caponata, tomato jam and still a few more jars of soup need to be filled. 

 Here is the almost finished inventory list for anyone interested.  I think there are right around 360 jars on the shelves and probably close to 400 by the time the canner goes back in the basement. 

Oh and when worlds collide!  
I watched a YouTube on the "new pear corer" promised to save loads of time when canning pears.  YES, a new gadget I might need to add to the kitchen artillery.  When I can't listen to one more hour of NPR or audio book I watch YouTube videos on gardening, canning, pottery etc.   I fervently waited in eager anticipation for the visual of this new gadget.  OMG I had one in my hand as I was trimming pots and watching YouTube, drum roll .........

Hey fellow potters, does this thing look familiar, as in, your favorite loop tool?
In case you need a designated kitchen gadget, here is the link:

I scrubbed and bleached my Dolan trimming tool for de-seeding jalapeño peppers and it worked like a charm.  I will be trying it on pears next and then returning it to the studio.  Oh and I am positive the Dolan loop tool is a lot sharper than the pear corer listed above.

So happy the crisp northern winds have started blowing in; nice to head out for morning a walk before the world wakes up.   
Finally seeing a few honey bees!  I can count on one hand how many honey bees I saw in my garden this year, so scary.  This one was in a feeding frenzy on Ageratina altissima or more commonly known as White Snake Root (and it is poisonous to mortals, cows, goats, horses and sheep,  contains the toxin tremetol, causes milkfever).  No bees, terrifying.  Poisonous Plants and botany, way cool...... 

It's cool enough to get back from walking and do a little weeding.  Head down, butt in the air and moved through the backyard pretty fast.  Fast enough to be in the studio by 10 am.  Sat down to throw and my hand was on fire!  Have no idea and never saw anything but my hand sure was breakfast for some critter living in the weeds! On a good note, a bucket of cool water and clay slip took care of this by evening.  Amazing and again proof I'm doing what I need to be doing, although a bit of smashed up plantain and comfrey would have worked too. 

Speaking of snakes, this cute little garter snake showed up to sun himself on the rocks next to the studio.  In the 35+ years of gardening this property I almost never see snakes so this was awesome!! 
I have a feeling Rufus the tail-less, killing machine and neighborhood cat has done his fair share of snake wrangling in the garden but this one has escaped the jaws of death so far. 

I had lunch on the patio yesterday and I saw the orange flash out of the corner of my eye.  I left the seed heads of the echinacea up for the goldfinches.  The orange flash, Rufus rocketed into the garden and yellow feathers were flying.  I jumped up from lunch and chased him on a good run to his house.  His owner and I cornered Rufus in the bushes.  In complete disgust he spit out the tiny yellow fluff ball.  Disoriented and dazed the goldfinch flew high into a white pine to recover.  Rufus has not been seen in the yard since.  

Speaking of worlds colliding or maybe it's just that time of the year.  
Rachael's, Fancy Lumberjack got a moose for the freezer this year.  And on the exact same day I finally got one of the groundhogs, (not in the freezer)!  Winning! 
The Mom: 1
Fancy Lumberjack: 1

Although Rachael is going to need two freezers for her winter meat supply.  
Moose burritos, moose stroganoff, moose bacon, moose chili, moose for everyone!  

I am finally in the studio daily.  Catching up on orders and getting ready for Holiday shows. 

 I am working at a nice pace and not burning the midnight oil.  There is a wonderful cadence to the day, the week and the month.  I am happy and Kirby is very happy!  

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