Hard work. Big Rewards. Bigger blessings. Life on a South Dakota ranch.
Overrun and Run Over
Loving seeing some of the jars of jam and syrup that I made. I was blessed this week as a friend of mine sent down some choke cherries and plums. I now have several jars of choke cherry jam, choke cherry syrup, and plum jelly. I also went through only about a third of a row of tomatoes and came to the house with a 5-gallon bucket. Only a couple more rows to go through. At that rate I should end up picking about 25 gallons of red tomatoes with tons of green tomatoes waiting to ripen. I believe I am over-run with tomatoes. However, I sure love seeing the results lined up on my counter.
Processing now is a big batch (10 quarts) of salsa… mild. I’m a wimp. Truly a wimp. I cannot handle hot stuff. I do have some jalapenos in the fridge to make a few batches with a little more bite to give away. I used some of the jalapeno in the plum jelly, too. The taste is wonderful– cuts the sweet some, but yes– without the heat. The Big Guy asked what kind of jelly I was making and he couldn’t believe I was ruining a batch of plum jelly with jalapenos. I explained that he wouldn’t have even been able to tell had I not told him. “Why did you put them in then?” was the response I received. I’m sure it will still get eaten.
Do you ever look at your counter full of filled jars, rub your aching back, look at your kitchen that is now demolished and needing deep cleaned, and wipe the sweat from your brow after standing over a stove for a couple of days and think “Where the heck am I going to hide this stuff!” You feel like you have just been run over by a truck and you know that it can all be gone in a matter of days. Seriously!! The race is on to find a safe place to hide the jars.
On this round of canning I spent two solid days washing and cleaning fruit, cutting it up, sterilizing jars, making jelly, cleaning up the mess to start over with a new batch, repeat. Then picking tomatoes, cleaning and cutting everything up, sterilizing more jars, etc., etc.,etc. Lots of work and not near enough to show for it when you are all done. Then the locusts attack. The locusts in the form of your husband and kids. You just slaved away over a hot stove for a couple of days and they can eat in a matter of minutes. Sometimes don’t you just want to tuck it away somewhere safe and admire it? Just for a while? Enjoy your accomplishments and hoard it away from prying fingers, and mouths?
I fully intend to give as Christmas gifts some of these wonderful jars filled with love. I have plans for some homemade Kahlua and perhaps some hot chocolate mix, etc. I love getting stuff like that. I hope that those I gift with these kind of items love them as much as me. That is if I can beat the locusts off and get the jars hidden away. Wish me luck.