Whew… Life is busy, but life is good…

Since I last posted and school started:

  • Attended (btwn the hubs and self)  – 2 parent evenings and one back to school open house
  • Sent 3 boys camping with boys scouts one weekend, and one boy another
  • Attended baby shower for cousin in law.
  • Knit booties for new baby of coworker, born premature at 26 weeks.. so made them tiny with lots of prayers stitched in. In such a hurry, took no pics.
  • Built new shelving (well, hubbler did) in our closet, and then rearranged everything.
  • Attended Silk Hope Tractor Show – gorgeous weather and good friends and lovely ice cream made with Hit and Miss engines.
  • Graded tons of papers and jazzed up some lessons with new games and technology. Feel mind expanding

And then there has been the pear and basil issue. Both are coming out of our ears. So several weekends have been devoted to this:

One of many large pots of pears - making sauce, and butter.
2 large five gallon buckets full of early culls... the buckets keep filling back up...
And then overflowing...
And then laundry baskets get called into duty...
Ready for canning...

I made lots of batches of pear sauce (and then the apples got ripe, and I had to make applesauce. Applesauce calls for cinnamon. For pear sauce, I use cardamom, allspice, fresh ginger, and nutmeg in varying amounts for different tastes. MMMMM) The pear and apple sauce largely go into freezer bags and get stored there. But I did can some. I also took  batch of pear sauce and cooked it down into pear butter… soooooo good. Used the slow cooker for that.

Pear sauce slowly cooking into pear butter...
A mustard pear pickle sauce
Ready for pear experiments.

I also experimented with the pears. We made a mustard pear pickle, a pear relish, and spiced pears, both chopped and whole.

Full cupboards and pantry.. mmm.

Love the copius amount of counter space in this new house..

The new kitchen is so well suited for this type of activity, and our current lifestyle. I was able to spread out and have room for my cooling products, and could leave the stuff out for the 2 weeks it took me to find time to get it all done, since I do teach all day, and yet there was still plenty of kitchen left for everyday life. So wonderful!

Basil overload...

There was also lots of pesto making for the freezer. In between waiting for batches to process, the younger boys and I stripped tons of basil leaves… 4 packed cups at a time.. and made lots of pesto. We made it with pine nuts, with walnuts, with pecans.. with genovese basil, spicy globe basil, and other varieties which I forgot the name of. We have also eaten several bowls of pesto pasta.. the youngest loves it, and he has had fun choosing the pasta to put it over… bowties, shells, rotini, orecchiette, etc. No matter what, it all tastes delicious.

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