"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

High Tide of August (Fair and Food)

view from the top of the ferris wheel

Tuesday I took the kids to the fair. All the usual fun was had... visiting friends who are exhibiting animals; watching the chariot races, with their pretty, shiny shetland ponies; ice cream and greasy fried zucchini; sunburn and heatstroke. This year as in the past few, the temperatures have been absolutely cruel during fair week. 

This time around, I actually sprung for those ridiculously expensive bracelets that let the kids ride all the rides they want, and so we stayed as long as we could so they could take full advantage, and so that I could spend as much time as I liked lingering over the quilts and the green beans. For the first time, my girls are old enough to let them roam around on their own, as long as they have a phone with them. I met say, I enjoyed fair quite a bit more than usual without two little girls hanging off me every second, moaning "how much LONGER are you going to STAY here looking at WOOL?"

my feet, about 6 pm

We ended up spending something over 8 hours at the fair. My fitbit is broken, but I'd guess I covered 6 or 7 miles, easily. At the end of the day my poor feet were killing me. In fact, even now, most of a day later, I still feel like I've been beaten with a stick. Hope was invited to fair again today, with a school friend's family. I didn't think she'd be interested, but she was. So she is off getting sunburned all over again. I am at home alone, doing a much needed food preservation day. 

My sister-in-law has been visiting, and she has boundless energy and motivation. If not for her going out and picking a gallon of blackberries, I would never have made all this blackberry jam. It came out very well this time around. Eight half-pints, of which Temy will probably take four home with her. I only had eight jam jars, but there was enough jam to fill another quart sized jar which is in the fridge and will be consumed quickly. In addition to the jam, we have about 8 quart-sized ziplocs of blackberries in the freezer. 

Milk season is winding down. We are getting only about a half-gallon of milk a day now, but that is still quite a bit. Today I am making chèvre. Some of it will be traded to a neighbor for a dozen bales of hay that her horses won't eat. My ponies will. 

Also today, I am dehydrating Italian plums. A different neighbor has a surplus of plum trees; I have a surplus of pears. She came over last week and carried off a bushel or so of Bartletts, and then a few days ago we went over there and took home a cardboard box full of plums. I don't need any more jam, but school is starting soon and dried fruit is a school-lunch staple. A couple of dried plums, a peanut butter-and-blackberry jam sandwich, and maybe a hunk of goat cheese, a few cherry tomatoes? Sounds like a good lunch to me. 

Speaking of tomatoes. My next door neighbor (the HSH, or he of the Hotel-Sized-House) is out of town and his wife asked me to please come over an harvest some veggies from his enormous garden. "He's really into that," she said, waving her hand in a slightly dismissive manner, "but I'm not, so much." Into it he certainly is: he has a garden that could provide for a troop of hungry boyscouts. I really ought to go over there and see about tomatoes. 

There is also a gigantic bag of slightly over mature green beans in the refrigerator. I haven't even decided what to do with them. Maybe I'll think of something as I am pitting plums.