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Catching Up… Again

Life continues to be very busy and I don’t know where the time goes!  This is such a busy time of year, with the start of school, the change of weather and harvest season happening all at once.  There’s so much to do, and so little time!

I am still working three part-time jobs for one more week. I cannot wait for that to end.  Job #1 finishes next weekend and then I’ll be down to just working two days a week.  It’s been fantastic finally earning some income, but most of it has gone to paying down my credit card (which started to hold an uncomfortable balance after 4 months of complete unemployment) and to pay my tuition for another semester.  Hopefully I will only need to pay one more semester’s tuition, as come summer I will have to go back to full-time and a tuition hike of more than twice what I’m paying now.  Definitely motivation to wrap things up by spring!

My dissertation has been simmering on the back burner since early August, causing me tremendous anxiety.  I’ve done a little work, and have even started my data collection, but I have less than 7 months to wrap this thing up and have barely started writing.  Working 4-5 days a week has all but killed any creativity or energy I have for my project, but I needed to put a little money by for winter, along with some food.  I anticipate moving forward much more quickly starting next week.

As for putting food up, I have been doing some canning, preserving and blanching for the freezer when I’ve had time.  Or rather, when I’ve been able to make time.  I bought three fabulous 11 quart baskets of peaches to can, but only got two put up and the third is moulding in the spare fridge as I write.  Perhaps tonight I’ll finish them off, turning them into relish (a second go at the peach and pepper relish since we have tons of red peppers waiting to be dealt with!) as they are too ripe for canning.  There are still peaches available at Market so I hope to get some more canned shortly.  I only have 7 quarts put up and that just won’t do.  I had hoped to put at least 20 quarts by this year as I love them so much in winter!  Also I missed the chance to freeze strawberries as I had to move my freezer at the end of June, so my fruit stores are low for this winter.  I do have plenty of jam and stewed fruit made, but fresh frozen fruit is just that much more of a treat come snow time.

This year I am also going to buy my first pastured meat by the whole animal: organic lamb.  I have friends who are planning on splitting a lamb with me, but I might even go with a whole one for myself (in addition to the one we split).  I simply cannot bear to eat grocery store meat anymore.  I haven’t for a long time.  And even the organic meat I get from the butcher is grain finished.  I would love to buy some grass finished beef but my freezer is small, and so is my pocket book, so I think this year it will be lamb.  Hopefully by next winter I’ll have more freezer space.

I have already found where I am going to buy my lamb – a farm about 10 minutes from me that has lovely, happy, fat and healthy sheep that are raised 100% on pasture.  I have been there several times and marveled at the quality of the sheep, something I am getting to know more about as I train at different farms. I will share their information shortly – I just don’t have it on hand by my computer.

Speaking of sheep, I must be off to train the dogs.  We are going out twice a week, religiously, and training at a farm about 40 minutes away.  Training the dogs and being on the farm are my most enjoyable hours spent these days.  However, between keeping the dogs happy and fit, putting up food, working 3 jobs and trying to write a dissertation (not necessarily in that order of priority), I’ve had very little time to keep up this blog.  I will write when I can, and perhaps someday things will settle into a more relaxed routine and allow me to make entries more frequently again.


2 Responses

  1. How do you freeze peaches properly? I also have a bunch in the fridge that didn’t make it into frozen yogurt for the pup or crumble for me…


    • Sorry if this is too late for those peaches… I have never tried freezing peaches but understand that they freeze very well. To keep them from turning brown, I have been told to sprinkle them with ascorbic acid. Not sure where you’d get that. You might also be able to dip them in a solution of water and vinegar or lemon. You can do that to keep them from discolouring for canning. But if you don’t care about them being a bit brown, you can also just slice them up and put them in the freezer. I’m sure they’ll taste wonderful either way!

      Feel free to share any peach freezing info you come up with here as others may have the same question!

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