Things I Am Cooking

Call me obsessed. It's like I only leave the kitchen to sleep feverishly on the couch. After I kicked some serious peach and plum booty on Friday, I am back in the kitchen in a race against bees and the little deer who sneaks up on our porch to eat the apples that have been picked so far to use them up. No joke, at 1:45 AM, when I couldn't sleep because of jaw-clenching pain, and because Josh had just chased some punks out of the new announcers booth at the football field across our yard, I heard the suspicious snuffing and crunching and looked out the window over my bed to see our pet deer - one of many, really, but we'll call this one Mildred, eating the apples. Understand that only a fraction of the apples have been picked from the tree thus far, since I directed the kids to "pick all of the apples" and I wasn't at home to explain that the ladder there was actually for climbing up and picking the ones they can't reach from the ground. Mildred is fairly certain that the apples conveniently located in boxes on our front porch were selected for her midnight buffet - as is the local bee population who has eaten it's way into several apples and seems to be drunk on the loveliness. I redeemed many of the apples into my giant stock pot, which is now scorching on the bottom, and my crock pot, which holds half as much but doesn't seem to be burning. Oh the politics of food preservation!!!!

Canning anything is complicated in my kitchen since I only have two burners, and the former occupants installed a really cool grill into one whole half of the Jenn-Aire cooktop I have. I have used the grill once, to make some smoked chicken breast jerky for dinner. Otherwise it has sat there, collecting things. Like pots that the kids seem to have no idea how to put away. So I have one burner with some bizzarre platform, as if it was height-challenged and had self-esteem issues, so the former cook helped it out. That, coupled with a microwave that was installed directly above and about 6 inches too low, makes just enough room to fit a canner, or my big stock pot, on the front burner, with no lid. the back burner is almost useless, except I can fit the small pot to boil my canning lids back there. getting the small pan out around the big one is tricky, especially if the kids have stored all of the pots on the space offending grill. I have tried to talk Josh into getting a replacement two burner Jenn-Aire insert, but he is insistent that we are replacing the whole stove "very soon" and so I must make do. Which is also why the bathroom is still country blue and buttercup blossom. My friend mentioned the other day that I have control over that and could fix it, but that was about an hour before she met Josh and he explained that the room is "about" to be remodeled and there is no sense wasting money on paint. When he's right, he's right. Unfortunately "very soon" and "about" are somewhat subjective and the country blue is really eating away at my soul.

Anyway, it's now a race between my crock pot and the big stock pot to see who can output applesauce most efficiently. If I am judging, the stock pot is losing on the mere grounds of how much stirring it takes to avoid making smoked applesauce (something I have produced before - goes well with chicken breast jerky). Especially since I need those stirring muscles to give my stupid little vintage sieve another chance to redeem itself on four thousand pounds of apples. I was hoping the applesauce would be done in time to free up the burner to finish the bread and butter pickles I started, but it's not looking promising, and I am not sure when I would heat the canning water in that line up.

Josh is working on remodeling the stairs, which apparently needed to be done, but which makes Emmy attach herself to my ankle, usually leaving a trickle of pee everywhere we go. She hates power tools. I have tripped over her at least 8 times now, and if you have ever fallen down stairs the day after you have given birth to a baby then you can imagine the kind of pain that catching myself from a fall causes in my lower abdomen area.

I tried, unsuccesfully, to figure out how to live stream some NFL games here on my computer, but short of subscribing to Madden 25, which I think is a game or something, and costs a hundred dollars American, there is no way. There are a couple of radio stations out of Seattle that you can listen online to, but neither would play on this side of the state, or on a Mac. COME ON, PEOPLE! You are from Seatlle!! WTH. So I am stuck with my Frank Sinatra Spotify station on, wondering how all of those NFLers are doing out there. My sister in law is involved in some emotional eating, which must mean the Vikings are not doing well. She is an ardent fan, for whatever reason, to the extent that she wouldn't play Aaron Rogers on her Fantasy Football team, but has kept him benched, since he is a Packer and they are from the devil. This had rendered her absolutely scoreless, since she also traded the rest of her team for players with last names of three sylablles or more. I am keeping my head above water in our family league, but I would be dominating if I could figure out how to trade. My baby sister is at the head of the league with our ultra-competitive, death-before-losing middle brother (yes, middle child thing), but her wins were purely accidental, or maybe even karmic punishment to the rest of us for letting her call her team "Suessical". Freedom of expression be dashed, in this family, right Sanna? I would be more panicked about missing the games today except the Bronco's don't play til tomorrow, at which point I will throw a fit if Josh doesn't take me to the Whitebird. I am hoping for Andrea's sliders to show up as a menu special one of these football days, but it's almost like she doesn't care.

My applesauce is burning. And I have to go show the kids how to use a ladder. After I clean up after Emmy, and hold a tape measure for Josh.


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