A Kitchen Day

This morning there was just a little bit of time for sewing because I was desperately in need of some hand work to do. We're getting ready to take off and spend the weekend with some friends out toward the Oregon coast in Seaside, Oregon. With "To the Rescue" finished and gone, I'm fresh out of hand work for my mornings. Besides, I like to take some along when we're away from home. That meant getting the stitchery ready for the Feed the Cat wall hanging. It will look like this when it's finished.

For now, I appliqued the body of the cat just to be sure I had the placement correct for the embroidered letters.

Chaos ruled the day when a little helper decided to join in. What he really wanted was to go upstairs and score some kitty treats, but helping out is always never appreciated.

Hey, Mom! Want me to help you organize your floss?

Hm...I thought maybe I could fit in this box, but I guess not.

I don't know if I can appurrove this cat fur public viewing...it seems a little off somehow...all legs and tail...

Go ahead and stitch him up, and then I'll let you know.

Got anything else you need help with? Okay...time for kitty treats, right?


So that's probably all the sewing time available on today's schedule. It's moving into that time of year when canning is going to rule the day. A few days ago, I cooked up some Spicy Tomato Chutney after the tomatoes got so mouthy. This is delicious on eggs, and we'd used all of what was on hand from last year. Now there's a fresh nine half pints in the pantry, which should take us through the year, and also leave some to give away.

For this, I used some Roma tomatoes from the Beaverton Farmer's Market, but there were a few of our own tomatoes mixed in as well. Our tomatoes have turned into their usual tomato jungle/tangle. The plants are looking great. Mike has been Johnny-on-the-spot keeping them well fertilized, well watered, and bug free. They haven't been as productive as we'd hoped. It's been too hot for them this summer. 

Nevertheless, the tomatoes they have produced are beginning to ripen and there are some small green ones following close behind.

This morning these were harvested. A few are a little on the green side, but they won't be used before Monday. A few were found on the ground, and since we're gone for the weekend, picking them a little green is preferable to having them ripen and fall off the plant. They'll finish ripening in the house just fine.

There were a few left behind on the plants as well, and I expect to pick a few more on Monday. It takes about five pounds to make a batch of salsa, and so we're getting very close.

Also, there are 30 pounds of Romas coming from our farmers at Working Hands Farm. Those will be ready a week from today, and then it'll be time to can pasta sauce by the quart.

Today I'm going to use the CSA carrots to make some Dilled Carrot Spears. This image is the one from Marissa McClellan's book Preserving by the Pint.

They're pretty easy to make, and so that won't take long.

Speaking of pickles, it was time to try out the Zucchini Bread & Butter Pickles that were cooked up three weeks ago. 

We had them for dinner last night on these Italian Tomato Hoagie sandwiches.

The sandwiches were a good vehicle for the bread and butter pickles, and the pickles did not disappoint. The sandwiches also gave us a chance to use the lettuce, onion, basil, and tomatoes from our CSA share, and they were so nice on a hot day.

Aside from pickling the carrots, today I'm making food for our weekend. Traditionally, I do the cooking on Friday night. This year's menu includes a Caesar salad and some garlic bread. The main course will be the Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce that I cooked up on the blog a few years back. They're a bit of a project, but they'll do double duty as dinner on Friday, and then there will also be a portion to freeze and take along on our trip to Moab next month.

For dessert, we'll have our absolute favorite cookie of all time, the Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans and Dried Cherries. Once you've made this cookie, you'll never want to make a different one for the rest of your life. Really. They're that good. You can click on the link to the recipe there, but that was when they were made with dried cranberries. They make a good Christmas cookie too.

Finally, on Saturday, we'll have a potluck, and so I'll contribute a Texas Potato Salad to that dinner. That recipe was published in Cook's Country a few years back, and it will give me a chance to use some of the jalapeno peppers included with our CSA share.

So you can see there's enough going on in the kitchen today to keep me out of trouble for the rest of the day. Also, the annuals need watering and the birds need feeding, and so it's a busy day ahead.

Since we're going to be gone and out of range for the weekend, I won't be blogging again before Monday. It's going to be fun visiting with our friends. I hope you have a good weekend planned for yourself too.

6 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dana Gaffney said...

That tomato hoagie looks so good, now my mouth is watering, I really need to stop reading you so close to dinner.

gayle said...

I just ate supper, and that sandwich is making me hungry... (I bookmarked the recipe. Tomorrow is another day.)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

That hoagie looks delish! Our sewing students have been sharing their gardens bounty so cooking has revolved around the goods of the day.

Brown Family said...

Your menus always look so good!

quiltzyx said...

Busy, busy as usual! Hope you're having a grand time with your friends this weekend.
When I pulled into work this afternoon, my car said it was 108*. I am glad to be in the cool basement for a while. I'm done at 4:00, then meeting friends & going to a pool/movie party in Riverside. I may opt for staying inside with the a/c when we get there....

Kate said...

Your tomatoes look so pretty, such a deep red. Hope Smitty didn't get into too much trouble trying to be a helper.