I’m done with sauce at least. I have 70 quarts sitting in the basement. I also have some 1/2 pints of pizza sauce. I like making sauce but I had some fun experimenting with some other options for all of excess produce. I made my first batch of bar-b-que sauce on Friday. I wish I could put out the recipe but I played with it so much I’m not sure where I would start. I found the basic recipe in the Ball Book and went on from there. I know I added a bit of blackstrap molasses and some chile peppers as well as a more paprika and mustard than was called for. Next up will be a final batch of catsup and then frost will wipe out any remaining tomatoes. I plan to pull the green ones later this week but to be honest, there isn’t much for me to rescue. That hail storm left most of the fruits damaged and you just can’t store them.

I have a sixty pound box of beautiful apples waiting for me to get canned today. For those of you without access to your own fruits and vegetables, don’t hesitate to ask your local produce manager if you can get a deal on large quantities. The manager at our little store knows I will take big boxes of less than perfect produce if the price is right. This week it was a box of apples. These are some slightly bruised fruit but it will make dandy sauce. I plan to use my steam juicer and then can some apple juice as well as the sauce. I need 70 quarts of sauce (minimum) to get through the year. 100 quarts would not be too much. We eat a jar a couple of times a week plus use it in baking. Juice is another thing I just can’t have too much of. When I cleaned out the basement last week, it looked as though I had plenty of jars. I might if I hadn’t just ordered 50 pounds of grass fed stew beef. It won’t be here until December. If I can swing it, I would love to add 50 pounds of hamburger to that order and can it all. That’s a lot of jars and now I think I need more. Our little store is looking at stocking Tattler lids. I hope so as I will need more of those as well.

These are big investments but worth it to me. The jars and lids will be here forever. The beef is coming from a young man who used to play with my son when they were preschoolers. He’s trying to make a living on his grandfather’s land and I want him to be successful. The good beef and the good neighbor will pay much bigger dividends than a blue chip stock. I am willing to continue to drive my old van and buy second-hand clothes if it means I can put my money where my heart is.

We manned the bee booth at the Franklin County Fair yesterday. I came away inspired to put in an exhibit in three new categories next year. I want to do a market basket, a family farm display and put in my first entry in the homemaker of the year category. It means starting now with the handiwork. I can pull off some quilting, counted cross stitch and some easy sewing projects. It sounds like fun but I have a problem of procrastination with that kind of thing. I am going to take knitting lessons this winter. I would love to have some mittens done too. I’m not good at crafty things but I do enjoy them. I like to keep my hands busy. and I love fall.
The mushrooms are out. I have some chantarals sitting my fridge and a few hedgehogs as well. They were a gift from a friend. I’m heading out to harvest the rest of the lion’s tooth today and maybe some turkey tail too. I love mushroom hunting!

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