Monday, August 29, 2011

Sneak peek

Justin has been hard at work sanding and cutting and nailing. So far, he's prepped 3 of 4 of the windows and he's nearly done with the 4th. It'll be my turn next to caulk the seams and touch up the paint.

A twilight shot: preppin' windows.

Stairs: The big reveal

And, the stairs are painted...

While this was not the most satisfying job we've ever hired out, due to a little sloppiness by the painters, we're pleased with the results. The painters had to come back a half dozen times to clean up and touch up and in the end, they still missed a few places. We think we can fix them though and it will be a lot less tedious than if we'd done the whole project ourselves.


I serendipitously came across a box of peaches on a return trip for work last Friday. Peaches weren't in the plans for canning this summer, especially the when the plan included leaving town for the weekend. But since it was the season and a box of juicy, ripe peaches can't call my name and not get my attention, I packed up 25 lbs of stone fruit and took them to the cabin with me for a canning extravaganza. It was a little more difficult working in a foreign kitchen without all of my gadgets or sharp knives but I managed. Justin helped by eating seven peaches in 2 days, a feat I didn't think he was up to. In the end there were 5 pints of spiced peach preserves and 8.5 quarts of sectioned peaches in light syrup....and an electric stove that about to cash in on its pension and retire.

Monday, August 15, 2011


 Isn't it wonderful to have abundant fruit trees everywhere you turn in this city? It's even better when there's a free-for-all pair of plum trees less than a mile away. On Sunday, Justin and I went to pillage the plum trees in preparation for the inaugural annual canning rituals. Someone had beat us to the low-hanging fruit so Justin, brave as he is, pulled himself up a small cliff holding onto ivy vines to get to the higher branches. Then he tossed each plum individually down to me to bag up. Truly a team effort!
Honey-ginger plum jam.
Today, I boiled and peeled and mashed and stirred those plums into a jammy slurry and canned my first* bounty of the season. Seven half-pints ain't too shabby.

*Technically the refrigerator pickle and dilly beans were the first but I forwent the water bath canning and opted for a simpler approach.