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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Best of both worlds.


A granddaughter is here, and the long weekend is like a fabulous staycation, with things to do during the days: reading Moomintroll books aloud, or picking blackberries for the chickens that are too high for them to reach, or unearthing potatoes.

During Beloved's on-duty times with Granddaughter, Risa has added to the woodpile and finished the "white roof." Temperatures and glare had soared while she was up there, and upon coming down the ladder, she headed straight for the shower -- pure survival mode, as Risa much prefers baths.

We had a day when it reached 91F, and this means the apple slices and the veggie leaves in the dehydrators finished up early, so now we are trying some tomato slices. Not many -- but any is a treat.

Risa's procedure with tomatoes is a bit different from that of others who do this -- wax paper has a meltdown in her dehydrator design, and tomato slices have penchant for sticking to screening -- she takes a tomato and makes silver-dollar size slices off all the sides and the top and bottom, and lays them on the substrate (currently opened egg cartons have done fine) skin-side down. Those will be the solar dehydrated tomatoes. Then the "naked" remainders become canned tomatoes, tomato puree, or are simply sliced and added to various recipes fresh -- thus saving the step of getting the acid-y skins off. Best of both worlds.

We then made four loaves of bread, using for stock the liquid from bathing home-grown organic apple slices in sugar-and-cinnamon water. It also has in it wheat, barley, rye, oats, honey, bits of onion greens and apple slices diced small.

In the evening there have been things to drink beneath the strings of lights on the lilacs on the patio. Last agenda item before bed is to count bats in the gathering night, who are swooping low at present to nab winged termites migrating through. The termites head unerringly for the house, so every time a bat hits one, a cheer erupts from the cluster of lawn chairs. If I were a child facing school com Tuesday, this is how I'd want to spend my Labor Day weekend. How was yours?

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