Monday, August 13, 2007

Domestic Daze

Deep down, I really am a home body. Most days I am perfectly happy at home reading magazines and cookbooks, knitting, cooking, puttering in the yard (if one can call four acres a yard), playing with the dogs, listening to music, and even chasing dust bunnies (aka wads of dog hair) with the broom. I honestly don't mind the tasks of daily living. Having said that, today was a great day!

I should have gotten up by seven to run the tractor around awhile before the temperatures reached 100 degrees. I did not get up that early. That was a good start to making this a nearly perfect day! By nine I was in the kitchen performing my daily beginning of the day ritual - unloading and/or loading the dishwasher. This usually happens before the coffee because the coffee pot is is an integral part to the dishwasher ritual.

Once the dishes were done, it was time for that moment I have been waiting for (since Saturday), the making of the red plum jelly. I have enjoyed the pumpkin butter, but the red plum jelly is the true prize and one has to get it while the gettin' is good!

This is prime plum season so they are really cheap - as low as 79 cents a pound. We started with five pounds of plums. That cooked down to about 9 cups of juice, and yielded 4 pints of jelly. BK and I spent the morning straining fruit pulp, pouring sugar, and stirring the whole sticky mess. It is hard to beat this kind of fun! You know you are a very simple human being when the sound of the jelly jars "popping" after the water bath brings on tears of joy. You laugh; try it sometime!

For some reason, no matter what kind of jelly you are making or how much fruit you start with, there is always a little extra that does not fit in the jars. This may be the kitchen gods realizing that a taste test in mandatory. Even after sticking my finger in the almost cooled jelly to "make sure it is OK", there was still enough for my sandwich - a perfect PB&J - not just any J, red plum J!

As I was coming down from my jelly making high, I managed to finish the second sock of a pair whose first sock was knit about six months ago. I also finished a pair of socks over the weekend. I will post pictures of these as soon as my fingers are not too sticky to handle the camera. I knit a few rows on my Surprise Jacket as well.

Feeling guilty about not rising early enough this morning to tend to the overgrown yard, I did take a ride on the tractor tonight and get about an acre or so cut. It was still hot, but not too hot. I think it was below 100. As I made my way through the tall grass, I was met by all the grasshoppers whose home I was "renovating." Several of them joined me for a ride around the yard. One in particular spent nearly fifteen minutes riding on the mower steering wheel. Maybe there was bit of that jelly lingering on my hands that he got a little taste of. I wish I had gotten a picture of my co-pilot.

I wonder if being thrilled with these totally mundane activities is a sign of old age. If so, maybe getting old isn't so bad. I guess only time will tell.


KnittingFairy said...

Yummy! Red plum? I am on my way!

ColorJoy LynnH said...

I have never had plum jelly, but these days I can't eat fruit so enjoy it for me.

In my opinion, the best PBJ sandwiches are actually Almond Butter rather than peanut (and I prefer pumpkin butter to jelly, so that part is a personal choice). The almond butter s a real treat, and I highly recommend it with some really fine home-baked bread or a fresh wheat tortilla. In my town I find almond butter at natural food stores.

Tortilla sandwiches travel very well wrapped in to themselves in a ziploc. We used to travel with these regularly.

Enjoy, however you like it best!