Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Bit One:  The sauerkraut was finished as of January 6th.  I waited a few more days beyond that artificial deadline and then proclaimed it ready to be canned.  I have one of those modern gas ranges (along with the Pioneer Maid cookstove) that is stainless steel and open across the top.  By the end of the canning season it is a wreck.  But after many experiences of spending a couple of hours during canning season, cleaning it, and having it a complete mess within three days, I finally decided to wait until canning was finished.  By that time, there is no telling what had collected both on top and in the oven  It was beyond Heloise, believe me.  Definitely time to attack with elbow grease and baking soda.  I do not use those horrible chemical cleaners any more.  They leave a residue that smells awful for months afterward.  So, I've gone back to baking soda and a little ammonia on top.  And yes, it is a self-cleaning oven, but I've never used that facility on it either.  Seems borderline in terms of a confined nuclear blast.  Not that the oven couldn't use something along those lines, but I'd rather not risk a conflagration.  So, as I said, elbow grease and simple cleaners.  After an hour and a half it is gleaming. 

Bit Two:  About two years ago, MM bought a small banana tree.  I believe we're shortly going to be turning over one area of the house to the lovely specimen. It likes us. As you can see, it's grown.  We water it with the leftover bathwater. Talk about fertility!   You can see (by the banana tree how dirty we must be! )  I'll admit during the summer when we're working in the garden, the garden tends to follow us inside and the just-emptied tub could host a pretty healthy crop of potatoes!

Pieces:  One last thought before I leave you, today...have you noticed?  It's lighter, later.  Our milking time has been moved to 5:15 p.m. of an evening and we still get in before dark.  Translated:  spring's not far away!!  And...we've ordered the garden seeds!  So, don't give up hope!


  1. Don't tell me you've started growing tropical fruit now as well! It's wonderful that it's getting lighter. Our weather report gives sunset time each day and I've noticed that it is 2 minutes later each day. That's a whole quarter of an hour each week ...... an hour each month, hooray! Have you noticed how bright the moon is tonight. It's midnight here and light enough to read a book outside.

  2. Beautiful sky and tree picture! Like Tiffany stained glass!

  3. Ruta,

    Thanks for your confidence, but that's a bit of a stretch for us...altho' when we set out years ago to camp down the coast of Queensland, we gathered all the tropical fruits from our garden in Cairns, before heading south. Among the delicious produce, was a bunch of bananas...the tiny finger-like ones. Ooooooh! Talk about good! We USED to grow tropical fruits!

    Thank you, Vicki! I rather fancied that photo, myself. I took it just after we arrived at the barn to milk.