I have managed to keep myself well occupied in the week and a half since I got home form my trip to Michigan, which was very nice. All kinds of things are ripening in the garden, and I have processed and frozen about 4 dozen ears of corn which we will use mostly in an old family favorite, chicken corn chowder, when the weather turns cooler. We have also eaten about as much sweet corn on the cob as we can handle. This is not a complaint. We still have some immature corn on the stalks in the garden, but I don't know if they will amount to anything at this point. We'll keep checking on it and eat it if we can.
I also picked lots of bright red hot chili peppers on Tuesday. Sam bought an assortment of pepper plants last spring and there were 4 of these plants and they have really thrived. And boy are they hot! So I thought I would make some hot pepper vinegar sauce from them. I looked online for recipe ideas and of course I needed some bottles to put them in. I found a blog post from 2010 with nice bottles from the Dollar Tree and I happened to be going to Marietta on Monday and wouldn't you know, they still had the same bottles there? So I did up a couple bottles. They are so pretty. I think it will take a while for the full flavor to develop, but in the meantime, it just looks nice.
I harvested a sunflower on Monday and hung it in the summer kitchen to dry. I have many more which will be ready to harvest before too long. The one I cut was the first one to bloom and the tallest and I was unable to see if it was ready to cut without climbing up and cutting it. It was probably 10' tall. I stood in the bed of the ATV and reached over my head to cut it.
We have one interesting sunflower. It is like a siamese-twin sunflower. There are 2 flowers sharing one edge. Hard to explain, so here's a photo.
We have been enjoying tomatoes on BLTs and hamburgers and I made one of our very favorite pasta dishes on Sunday that I only make when we have fresh Romas from the garden. The sauce is nothing but Roma tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic (also from our garden) and a little salt and crushed red pepper. It is simple and wonderful, but a lot of work.
This evening when I get home I will be canning a batch of marinara sauce. I have cooked down 3 pots of tomatoes and will be adding garlic, onion and basil tonight and cooking it down a bit more and then canning it in quart jars. I have to do it tonight because tomorrow I am taking a class in pastels at the arts center during the day and then Grover and I are leaving in the evening for an agility trial in Youngstown Ohio. I won't be home until sometime Sunday. So I won't be able to do much else until Monday. I am sure there will be more tomatoes ready by then.
This is a photo of the tomato plants from this morning. Many of these plants are taller than I am.
Our weather has been very stormy and rainy. And hot. And humid. Last year we had second cutting hay in the barn on July 30th. This year's is still standing in the field. There has not been a window of time without rain the forecast in which to get it done. Sam thinks he may be able to cut it on Sunday.
A lot of progress has been made on my weaving studio, despite the weather. This is how it looked a few days ago in the early morning just after a storm had passed through.
Yesterday I got home from work in time to help him set the last 4 of 9 trusses in place. He did the first 5 on his own, which I hate for him to do. Too many things can happen. But you can't tell him that. Today, I told the neighbor to drive by once in a while and "supervise". The metal roofing was delivered on Tuesday and I am sure Sam will be working on getting that up today.
We still have gloomy skies today, but less chance of rain than yesterday.
I finished the baby blanket I wove for my hairdresser. I was waiting to hear when baby was born so I could cross stitch the his name and birth date on the blanket. She had him right on her due date I was told. I still have another blanket just like it on hand for a future baby gift. The scarf I was weaving last post is off the loom, but I need to twist the fringes on it before it is considered finished. Most of my time lately has gone into outdoor pursuits, but I will get to that one of these days.
Here is some more early morning dramatic weather moving through. We've had a lot of this lately and a couple of afternoon/evening power outages.