So I haven’t really written since I left for my business trip last Thursday. For good reason. From the moment I walked out the door at 5:30 AM on Thursday until the moment I got home at 11:30 PM on Sunday, I was running. 7 AM until 3 AM the next morning each day. And then I came home to the “mom has been gone” tornado…and an empty fridge…and a mountain of laundry…and needy toddlers. And, and, and.
Monday was grocery shopping and a trip to the gym to ease my guilt and appease the girls, who were begging to go. Tuesday was dealing with the house and the new household schedule (Daddy is now working a night shift). Wednesday, DD1 and I drove out to a blueberry farm and picked 7 lbs. of blueberries before the whole family went to the park for the evening for fighter practice (for the medieval reenactment we do with the SCA), and then I came home and portioned out the berries and froze them. Thursday morning, I left early early, while my family all slept, to go back to the farm and picked 12 more pounds of berries, and then spent the day making and Blueberry Basil Lemon Jam and Spiced Blueberry Jam (recipes to be added to Sauces, Jams and Jellies soon). I finished off the night freezing another five cups and then blanching the rest (10 cups? more?) to “check” them so that I could make dried blueberries in the dehydrator.
Today, I started while they all slept again and drove an hour and a half with a dear friend out to Charlie’s U-Pik, where I picked absolutely nothing, but instead availed myself of their “Salsa Week” sale. I came home with 100 lbs. of tomatoes, 16 lbs. of sweet Mississippi onions, 30 green, purple, orange, and yellow bell peppers, 1 1/9 bushel of Anaheim chili peppers, 1 lb. of Fresno chili peppers, 1/4 lb. of cayenne peppers, and 9 large yellow squashes. After pulling the dried blueberries from the dehydrator and packing them for the freezer, I processed the figs gifted to me by the aforementioned friend and started their dehydration.
I was blessed that she came over to help me today (both with the salsa / veggie processing and with toddler wrangling). Today, between the two of us, we:
- Cored and froze 12 whole bell peppers
- Chopped 4 bell peppers
- Sliced 14 bell peppers
- Fire-roasted, peeled, cored, and crushed 50 lbs. of tomatoes
- Fire-roasted, peeled, cored and seeded 1/2 bushel of Anaheim peppers, 1 lb. of Fresno peppers, and 1/4 lb. of cayenne peppers
- Minced 12+ lbs. of sweet yellow onions
- Minced 4 large bunches of cilantro
- Did 1000 sinks full of dishes
- Cooked up 7 quarts, 3 pint-and-a-halfs, and 6 pints of Mild Fire Roasted Salsa
- Cooked up 7 quarts, 4 pint-and-a-halfs, and 6 pints of Hot Fire Roasted Salsa
- Canned, processed, and labeled all 33 jars
- Sliced 9 large yellow squashes, portioned, labeled and froze them
- Froze 2 sandwich bags full of dried blueberries
- Set 1.5 cups of minced cilantro in olive oil in the fridge to make chimichurri sauce tomorrow
So for tomorrow, the plan is: gym, 50 lbs. of tomatoes blanched, peeled, cored, and either crushed or diced and then canned and processed. Chimichurri sauce to stick in the freezer. Finish and pack the dried figs. Core and freeze the other half bushel of Anaheim peppers to make chili rellenos sometime this year (or to use for fresh salsa, etc.). And then take the “foam” skimmed during the blueberry jam making process that I’ve got in the fridge and mix it with ricotta cheese to make delicious blueberry cheesecake-like heaven. It’s time to make some more granola, too, but that’s gonna have to wait, certainly….
So, a 20-hour day so far…I gotta get my booty in bed so I can start the day at a reasonable hour tomorrow.