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More Food Prep Frustrations

Tonight I finally found made time to can the 36lbs of pears I bought last week only to discover that just about every last one of them was rotten.  How disappointing!  I had noticed a few had brown spots on their bottoms two days ago, and a few more had them yesterday.  I figured I would be able to cut that off and still use the rest of the fruit.  However it turns out that the brown spot was evidence that the whole interior had rotted.  I simply left them too long.

Buying more pears is not in my budget unless I can find some at a really good price when I go to the Niagara Peninsula this weekend.  Most likely I will simply not have much fruit to eat this winter, other than apples, a few canned peaches and various preserves.  Oh, and some blueberries I bought and froze; I never found the time to go picking this summer.

So instead of canning pears tonight, I washed 30lbs of tomatoes in preparation for canning them tomorrow.  I was going to start them tonight, cutting them up and cooking them down then letting them cool for blending and processing tomorrow.  But I felt that they could use another day of ripening.  That was, of course, the downfall of the pears.  I thought they needed to ripen for an extra couple of days, and then my schedule got busy and I had to put them off for a few more days, and now I am feeding 36lbs of pears to the composter.  I certainly hope nothing interferes with canning those tomatoes tomorrow as otherwise they’ll share the same fate!

I work from home tomorrow, but have a long day of teaching on Thursday and leave Friday morning for the holiday weekend.  I really don’t know how people keep on top of their lives while working full-time.  Mine is always so busy, it’s crazy and I only work away from home 3-4 days a week, and soon only twice a week.  How do people do it?  My former roommate used to amaze me with her impressive time management skills, always being on time, organized, finishing her work ahead of schedule.  She had an uncanny knack for knowing exactly how much work she could do in a given time, and do well.

Not me.  For some reason I feel the need to take on at least three times more than any sane human being could expect to manage, despite my terrible time management skills and strong propensity for procrastination.  There’s just too much I want to do, and the older I get, the more things I want to cram into my life!  The latest is an interest in learning more about caring for cows.  I met a couple this weekend who owns a small herd and said they could always use extra help.  I am considering contacting them to see if they really do need an extra hand from time to time.  Am I nuts?  Most definitely.  But I’d love to learn more about cows, and perhaps give milking by hand a try.  What a great opportunity this would be.

Yesterday I made bread (sourdough), a big batch of ratatouille, a batch of beef stew, roasted a dozen red peppers, several squash and a pumpkin, all now in the freezer.  My pantry is getting to be fairly full, and my freezer is almost stuffed.  I really enjoy all this food prep work, made more enjoyable by either chatting on the phone while chopping, watching episodes of Desperate Housewives, or listening to books on tape.  I have listened to at least a dozen books since moving out to the country and spending half my life in my car, and even more now that it is canning season.  What a fantastic discovery, especially as a way to get through books I might not otherwise have the fortitude to read.  Right now I am listening to Homer’s Odyssey.  I wonder if they have Warn and Peace…

I don’t really have a point for today’s post; I’m just rambling and putting down my jumbled thoughts for the day.  There’s a wind warning tonight, along with a threat of heavy rain.  I brought all my houseplants inside yesterday and am glad I did so.  They look lovely in the living room and I’m happy not to have to worry about them getting bashed around by the wind and rain.  We’ve had so much rain this summer that my gortex jacket gave up the ghost and I am now in the market for a new waterproof coat.  I will need to buy one very soon if this weather keeps up, which it is giving every indication of wanting to do.

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