I had plans-great plans-to finish the kitchen clean out. Bu I forgot to plan for life getting in the way. Friday dawned so hot and humid that we did what any sensible couple would do. We extracted 3 gallons of honey from a couple of supers we had left over from the winter. Extracting honey is sticky and messy on a good day and any day with temperatures over 100 degrees is really not a good day. And just as the weather broke a bit my chickens arrived, very dead and in need of processing. I spent all of sunday canning both chicken and broth and I’m heartily sick of the whole mess. I’m sure I’ll feel quite different on a snowy January afternoon when I pull out a jar and make chicken and dumplings. At least my daughter has a memory of me dancing to Lady Gaga with a chicken carcass.

I have been thinking about a couple of stock up items. There are five things you just can’t get here. Salt, sugar, citrus, coffee and chocolate are all things I use every day that are certainly not local. I can always use honey and maple sugar instead of sugar if I have to. Lots of fruits and berries are loaded with vitamin C. I grow plenty of tea herbs and, while it isn’t coffee, I can learn to adjust. I’ll suffer through without chocolate. I won’t be happy about but I’ll manage. But we need salt. Out bodies need it and it’s indispensable for making pickles and preserving lots of food without refrigeration. There is a description of living through a hot spell without salt in Alas, Babylon. With that in mind, I plan to order another 80 pounds of salt this week. Can I just add that I have purchased salt in bulk before and I think that 80 pounds of salt weighs more than 80 pounds of almost anything else. I still have loads of salt left but if I ever needed to salt down meat I would run through it pretty quickly.

As usual, the garden has decided to explode with abundance all at once. The beans, cukes and brassicas are all ready and the tomatoes are making an appearance as well. Do you know anything that tastes better than a sliced tomato sandwich with a bit of butter, salt and mayonnaise? Me either.

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