Monday, September 21, 2015

Marvelous day "off..."

I've been working many 6 day weeks during the last few months, but somehow ended up with 2 1/2 days off this weekend. Today was just... unscheduled. And that felt really nice. I had a few things to do but by 10:00 I was on the road. I did my bank deposit, and then went to Beth's farm market, one of my all time favorite places. There I stocked up on Delicata squash, a vegetable so yummy I could eat it every day. Then I headed for the "canning tomatoes," and bought a bushel of them. Right around 50 pounds of beautiful, firm, red globes.

When I got home I got right to work.

I was making a vat of tomato sauce. I got the recipe from a co-worker who is an excellent cook many years ago.

I love having hand written recipes from people. They take me back... to the moment I received the gift of it, to the relationship with the cook who shared it. They are delicious slivers of promise that live in a sweet little box that nestles up to my cookbooks. I have recipes from friends who have died, some from relatives,and some from people I barely remember. But I remember the taste of the item, and if I have the recipe it is sure to be something I really enjoyed.

I recently made something that I cook often, Corn Chowder. It is one of my daughters favorite meals. I decided to make it with a twist, and got fresh corn from a nearby farm. Then I roasted it. I made the chowder with fresh goat milk, fresh heavy cream (also from a local farm) and both local onions and potatoes. It was so good that we are still talking about it. So today I bought a dozen ears of corn, and sat in the first-day-of-fall sun while I husked it. The sun felt so fine.

Then I grilled it, until the outside had some color from the flames.

After it cooled I cut the kernels off the cob, and froze three packages of it for future batches of chowder. It will taste like summer, and make us happy.

While the corn was cooking I took a few pictures...

Chanel is feeling much better (see last post if this doesn't make sense to you.) I am on high alert, however, monitoring her compulsively. She seems to be extra affectionate since her scare, "hugging" me with her head and neck and looking deeply into my eyes with her big, lovely ones. I hope she knows I was trying to make her feel better on that difficult day. I hope.

I tossed the unused pieces of vegetables onto the manure/compost pile. The chickens run to me when they see me coming with a bowl from the kitchen. They make short work of the tomatoes and other bits of cast-off food.

The baby Silkie chicks are still tiny, but are beginning to fledge, or get their adult feathers.

They are just so special.

Once my cooking and critter enjoyment were over I had a special treat. Friend Marion invited Ziva and I over to go kayaking. We dragged the kayaks from her house down to the river behind her four wheeler. The dogs ran along, excited and full of energy. We slid into the water, and the dogs jumped in joyously, paddling along. We saw the new beaver damn up river, then turned and paddled down river. Marion's dogs know the routine. They swim a little, then race along the bank, then swim, then run. Ziva mostly swam. She paddled hard, trying to keep up, whining a little from the exertion. On the way back she learned from her efforts, and joined the other dogs trotting alongside us.

When we took the boats back up with the four wheeler, Marion let me drive a bit. It was such fun! I was hesitant and drove slowly, "HIT IT!" she'd tell me, and I'd accelerate. The dogs ran with joy, the kayaks bumped crazily behind. I squealed with glee.

Back up at the house, Marion's husband unhooked the kayaks, and had me slide back on the seat of the four wheeler. He took the handlebars and off we went, "Don't hurt her!" Marion called. "Don't scare her." I grabbed the handles. Scott said, "No, hang on to me." I wrapped my arms around his muscular waist, and away we went. Fast. Hard around the corners, crashing through narrow openings in the trees, up through the tall meadow grass and back, up the trail, faster and faster. A cow stood in the way, looking over it's shoulder at us as we approached. Then it bucked and kicked and ran from us, tail up. I whooped. Up and over a steep embankment, briefly airborne, then the engines shut down and quiet resumed. My heart raced.

My day off rated a "10."

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