Okay, that title isn’t accurate in a literal sense. It’s mid-morning at Northbrook as I write this. But metaphorically, I can’t help feeling some closure as we are two days away from the new year starting. In my world, the year starts in September – back to school, back to life, back to everything. While I hate to leave the farm behind, I’m also glad to be getting back to it. Of course we’ll still be up on weekends, but the long wonderful weekends of summer are done for this year, as are week-long stretches of happiness on the farm.
Over the past week we’ve had a wonderful time with our dear friends who travelled huge distances to be with us – and we are so grateful they did. While they were here the WorkHorse and Don tinkered and got lots of projects done around the farm – while Cathy and I hung out, chatted and even squeaked in a few workouts – culminating in a very exciting pullup session! I put Cathy’s very capable kitchen hands to work to help with my annual salsa production. Here’s what it looked like when I was throwing everything into Big Bertha (if you had a pot this big you’d name it too):
and here’s what it looked like when we were done:
This salsa is perfect in our books – it’s great with eggs, meat and of course chips. I’ll post the recipe at the end if you’d like to make use of it. It originally came from Cathy – I take no credit for it.
While Don and Cathy were at Northbrook we all ate (and drank) to excess and generally enjoyed each other’s company. As always, it was a sad goodbye when they pulled away yesterday.
After they left the Girl and I set out to cheer ourselves up by working on a monkey-themed cake for a niece’s birthday this weekend. We’ve got banana cupcakes to make today as well. The WorkHorse and the Boy had other cheering up projects in mind. Here’s what they got up to:
Yep, that’s a catapult they built. I’m told a trebuchet attachment is forthcoming. In the meantime, the Boy is delighted. When I gave him a rotten tomato from the garden to launch against the shed he whooped with joy and I even felt better about my rotten tomatoes!
Looking back, I have to say it’s been a perfect summer – I can’t remember a warmer, sunnier one, and we were so lucky to enjoy the company of many of our family and friends as well as the beauty of the farm. Now the countdown to the end of summer is on – the house needs to be put back in order, shopping for school lunches needs to happen and the WorkHorse is even squeaking in a painting job before we leave. All that remains is to enjoy the last few drops of the season. I think we’re up for it.
2 lbs minced jalepeño peppers ***wear gloves!
32 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
12 cups chopped green peppers
8 cups chopped onions
4 cups white vinegar
4 cups cider vinegar
4 cups red peppers
4 cups yellow peppers
17 cloves garlic, minced
8 – 5.5 oz cans tomato paste
8 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp salt
8 tsp paprika
4 tsp oregano
½ cup chopped, fresh coriander
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring often. Transfer to jars; process 20 minutes in a water bath.
Yields approximately 61 cups. note: this makes a very runny salsa – we strain it, which reduced the yield but makes for a preferable end result in our books.
1 large pepper ~ 1 cup
1 large tomato ~ 1 cup