Yeah! The wood is here for my summer kitchen. Plans have been in the works for a few months but we’ve kept changing our minds about location and size. We have finally decided to go back to Plan A (isn’t that always the way?). I hope it’s up in time to get some use this year. As I type this, I can hear the geese honking as they fly in formation. One day, the heat is rendering us nearly comatose, the next, I can feel fall in the air.

I have a further sign of approaching winter. The urge to hunker down and feather my nest has hit in a big way. Well, either it approaching winter or I’m pregnant. As I just had my 59th birthday, I definitely going with winter. Yesterday, I decided that I really needed more space. I actually went so far as to order some cabinets but cancelled the order when I realized I had, not just a lack of space, but an overflow of stuff. I spent the day cleaning and reorganizing the kitchen. I looks so nice. I was able to get a lot of clutter off the counters and out of drawers and cabinets. I used some small, plastic bins I had hanging around to organize the baking drawer and now I just have to keep it tidy. It will be easier as I got rid of a ton of little gadgets I never use. I had extras of things like rolling pins and egg separators and citrus reamers. They are now all sitting in a box, waiting to go the thrift store where someone else will give them a good home. I also found some truly outdated food. The chickens liked the old, canned brown bread but, as the apocalypse appears to have been pushed back for a few weeks, I figured we could live without.

It’s canning time. What got me started on the great kitchen clean out was trying to make bread and butter pickles and not being able to find my measuring spoons in my cluttered drawer. The pickles are now finished as are the dilly beans. The beans are coming along like crazy as are the squash. We just finished the last of the winter squash that I dried last year. After a lot of internal (and eternal) debate, I’m thinking I may dehydrate all of it this year. It takes up no space compared to the room full of butternuts I had last year, preparing it is a simple as covering it with boiling water and letting it sit for a few minutes and I like knowing I can have squash on the spur of the moment for a meal or to add to soup or muffins. I also lost a lot of squash last year. It can rot very quickly if you don’t keep on top of it. I can cook up an oven full when I have it hot for baking bread and do a full Excalibur load several times a week and be done with it in short order. There. I’ve talked myself into it. Dried it is.

In checking out the blog of a new subscriber I found that she is pickling hot banana peppers. I received a flat of pepper seedings and thought they were red peppers. It was a disappointment to find they were hot as we aren’t really fans of too much heat. I’m going to try pickling some and see if the heat dissipates some.

I have to get to the garden. It rained yesterday and I expect the squash and beans have exploded. I’m teaching a pickling class in Stockbridge this afternoon and then I have my foster and adoption support group picnic here tonight. I’m expecting a house full and I need to get a lot done this morning. Top of the list is getting the beans dilled and the squash dried. The sun is shining now and it looks to be a spectacular morning. Life is good and blessing are abundant.

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