Tuesday, July 31, 2012

corny country.

M is in Indiana this week, so it's odd that my day revolved around corn.
Image from IndieBound.
Stella and I dried corn this afternoon. There was a recipe (directions??) for it in my new book, and since the only thing we eat corn in other than popcorn is Corn and Bacon Soup, I decided to give it a go.  Thus, my girl and I sat down this morning to shuck two dozen ears of corn.  She gave up when a giant worm ended up in her hand on her first ear.  She squealed like she'd been hit with a branding iron and threw the worm halfway across the room.  Her role was then downgraded from "co-shucker" to "girl who halfheartedly pulls silks off cobs after her mother shucks them and makes double sure there are no worms left." She also decided during this venture that we were playing prairie girls who were putting up food for our families for the winter.  She stacked all the ears of corn on the counter, and when we were done she said, "Look how much corn I have to feed my family during the winter. Where is yours?"


After parboiling all the corn, I cut it off the cobs and dried it and dried it and dried it and dried it.  The book said it would take two hours.  It took four hours for one pan and six for the other. And now we have one quart of dried corn to rehydrate for soup during the long, cold, evil winter.

I will say that she has been a great helper during my food preserving experiment.  She helped peel all zillion pounds of tomatoes that I canned, and she added the lemon juice to each jar.

For now our food cache has 21 quarts of tomatoes, three half pints of strawberry jam (we've eaten two jars since May), four half pints of drunken cherries, and four half pints of dried corn.  I've also got a pound of green beans strung up in the kitchen drying.  They're called leather britches, and with a name like that you know I had to try it.
Image from Friends Drift Inn.
We're planning to buy a freezer soon, too, because you can barely open and close ours as I'm constantly making and freezing chicken and vegetable stocks, and I loaded the fridge with frozen strawberries earlier this summer.

Also, I bet you're wishing I'd just stayed gone because the past two posts have been the opposite of riveting.  Now you understand why I've not been blogging.

Friday, July 27, 2012

there was an old lady...

...who lived at my house.  Her name is Me.

I realize I've not been blogging, but we're going to ignore that and jump right in.

I am an old, old woman.

A few examples (some of these are repeats.)

  • No matter how hot it is outside, and we've had plenty of 100+ days this summer, I almost always have a sweater on in the house.  And slippers.
  • I have a head full of prematurely gray hair.  At some point in the not too distant future, it will cease to be "prematurely gray" and just be "gray." I'm not there yet, though.
  • I have noticed that my parking jobs are becoming increasingly wonky.  (I may soon be the blue hair driving the wrong way down a one way street. In addition to parking like a geriatric, I ran a red light the other day.  I was stopped at the red light, and the turn arrow turned green, so when the person next to me moved, I went right through that red light. I immediately realized what I'd done and felt like a prize fool, and when Stella asked why I gasped I told her that I'd run a red light.  She thought I said that I'd run over a boy. She was not alarmed at all.  I must already be driving questionably.  Look out Oakmont Elementary car riders, Ouiser's going to be rolling through soon.)
  • I have BURSITIS, which is something for old people, I'm sure.  I was having to take arthritis meds, which are just really heavy duty anti-inflammatory pills, but they were making me sick, so I quit. Now my hip just hurts if I sit still too much or move too much or get cold.  And I take a lot of Aleve.  
  • Did you read what I just wrote about not being able to sit still too long?  Because if I do, I groan like an old person upon standing and then have to do some stretching and cracking. Bring on the Chondroitin.
  • I wear pearl earrings like Barbara Bush wears pearl necklaces.  
  • Lastly, and this is my totally new thing that has taken over my life for the past two days, I'm canning.  That's right, I'm putting up food for the winter.  I canned Strawberry Jam a couple of months ago, but this is a new beast.  I'm canning tomatoes.  Lots of tomatoes.  When I finish with the tomatoes I got yesterday, I'm going to get more.  By golly, I'm going to be making fresh pasta sauce and salsa all winter long. I bought a book and everything.  
Image from StoreIt.
So, that's it.  I will tell you that I had to get up a moment ago to help Stella (who starts kindergarten in THIRTEEN DAYS...which means that there's basically just enough time to squeeze in a Cuban Missile Crisis before school begins), and when I got up my hip was all stiff.  Go ahead and laugh because it's absurd.

Happy weekending, peeps.  It's good to be back.