Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Productive Summer

It's been a busy summer. I didn't do a lot of canning last year, and this year I suspect I've made up for that, even though I'm not finished yet.

So far this year: sweet pickled cherries, sour pickled cauliflower, sour cherry-peach marmalade, black cherry-whiskey jam, sweet cherry-jalapeno chutney, peach salsa, pumpkin pickles, plum jam, white currant jam, dilly wax beans, crabapple jelly.

On the way: beach plum gin, cherry bounce, juniper berry sauerkraut.

Lots of knitting, too. I've made simple shawls for DH's aunts, am finished a February Lady Sweater for my MiL, a cotton scarf for my sister, hats for one of my MI nephews and for a local friend. Still need to make a hat for a new BiL, and maybe a couple of small things for other people.

Here's some good news: if your batch of jam or jelly doesn't set, don't re-make it with commercial pectin (that involves quite a lot of extra sugar). I made my sour cherry-peach jam into marmalade with the addition of lots of lemons, and my black cherry-whiskey jam set beautifully when I added the pulp left over from making crabapple jelly. No extra sugar or off texture.

We haven't gone apple picking yet, though I found some lovely Macoun and RI Greening apples at the farmers market today, as well as some zucchini, so that I can make spicy zucchini pickles.

When we do go apple picking I'll make applesauce and apple marmalade. I also want to make cranberry catsup again--we went through that fast last year.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Yes, it's been a VERY long time. Sorry.

Life happened. As it does. One lovely thing--we went to London again. I went everywhere via the Tube, did some antiquing, and we even dined at Simpsons-in-the-Strand, which, whatever you've heard, isn't on the outs just yet. Try the breast of wood pigeon, if you don't believe me.

On the other hand, my mother died in April. My mother was wonderful. Gracious, kind, intelligent, decent, funny...and my mother. Both of my parents in one; my father died when I was a toddler and my sister was an infant.

I'm no toddler now, and neither is my sister. Mom was 74 when she died. But nothing--even longterm illness--really prepares you for losing your only living parent. My sister and I were there when she died. I was holding her hand. But at the moment, it feels like it will hurt forever. So far not a day has gone by without me thinking, "I need to tell Mom...."

We were lucky. Very, very lucky to have such a parent, and very lucky to have had her not only through childhood, but into middle age.

My sister and I sorted through the things she left. It wasn't a terribly long task; Mom sold her house 10 years ago and went to live with my sister, so we sorted through a few things left in a room. But I took the bulk of the photos, including some that had belonged to my father.

Here are a few of the pictures I brought home.

Joan Minckler, 1956

The Minckler Family, ca. 1944

John (Johnny) and Joan Minckler, ca. 1940

Tech Sgt. Richard (Rick) F. Forster, ca. 1942?

Margaret (Meg) and Eileen Forster, ca. 1969