August 07, 2014

In the Tunnel

I feel like I can't get anything finished.  I'm in the tunnel and not close enough to see evens a smidge of light.  I am flat out frustrated. I have two sweaters, a pair of socks, a shawl, two blankets, and who knows what else hiding in the closet on a pair of needles right now and nothing seems to be getting to that point where I can see the possibility of a final cast off.   I'm beginning to think that someone is ripping back my work every night.  The projects are progressing just that slowly.

Sweater test knit for Knit Picks 2014 Spring collection

Jekyll & Hyde socks in Cedar Hill Farm Co. Pop Star

It's probably because I have literally lived in my kitchen since the middle of May.  Every day I am putting up one, two, or five different vegetables.  All 75 tomato plants are in full swing right now and I am lugging about 50 lbs. a day of tomatoes into the kitchen to be cored, chopped, smashed, boiled, sieved, and simmered into tomato sauce and tomato soup and tomato juice.  I don't even really like tomatoes, to be honest, so I hope the hubby will be thrilled to death with all of this tomato soup, okra and tomatoes, and tomato juice once winter rolls around.  I thought I was sick of green beans when I hit the 83rd quart mark.  These tomatoes have green beans beaten, hands down!

It's also hot pepper time, so some of those are drying to be ground down for the instant death pepper flake combo that Honey likes and some are getting pickled and some are turning into hot pepper jelly.  I don't know what the environmental factor was this year, but the jalepenos have suddenly become so hot that the exude enough capsaicin to light my hands on fire when I pick them! Those cute little bell peppers are Cajun Bell peppers, and they are muy picante, let me tell you!  There are also some poblanos and cayenne peppers in there for fun.

I did have one neat little excursion today, speaking of canning things.  I went with some neighbors to the cannery in Eastanolle, Georgia to can some tomato juice.  In this self-serve cannery, we quartered, boiled down, and sieved tomatoes (with the coolest machine I have ever seen!).  Then we put the resulting tomato juice into 123 short-quart cans (24 oz), ran them through the steamer, put them through the lid machine, and stacked them into the massive steel basket for the conveyor crane to pick up and deposit in the water bath.  It took all morning because we had to wait for the employees to repair a mechanical function with the lid sealer, but it was a fun experience and I am sure that I will be back up there in about a week to can peas.  I am seriously considering making up a gazillion quarts of vegetable soup and taking it up there to can, but we'll just see how things play out.

And that's where I am.  Knitting in circles and slaving away in the kitchen and the garden.  I can't wait until we till the garden under next week and I can start again with the root veggies for fall.  At least then I'm guaranteed a solid 6 weeks of serious knitting time.

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