Morning Meandering

There was some time in between other domestic stuff yesterday to finish top-stitching Feed the Cat. Here's his status:

This afternoon, there should be plenty of time to sew the two borders on, and this top will be finished.

Speaking of cats...there's this one:

Don't let that angelic face fool you. He's been up to no good this morning. He's worried the squirrels to the point that they moved on down to the bottom of the field next to the fence. Nevertheless, he managed to catch a red tree squirrel this morning. I only knew it because the squirrel was still fighting when he came through the kitty door. "No! No! NO! NO! NO!" I yelled. To no avail. He just gripped it even tighter in his teeth and ran downstairs with it.

Of course he dropped it as soon as he got downstairs, and it took off running. So I picked up the cat and took him back upstairs, closed off the downstairs, and then chased the squirrel around with a broom for a while trying to shoo it out the door. It headed in the right direction, but I didn't see it go out, so I'm not sure. That was several hours ago, and I haven't heard any crashing or banging...a very good sign. As it stands, the door is open, and I'm hoping that he left. Smitty is in the doghouse.

Aside from squirrel hunting, it's been a kitchen morning. Yesterday was a CSA pick-up day. We are so far behind on the tomatoes that it's hard to imagine they won't come and murder us in the night.

Yesterday, I set these aside to make tomato jam. They look suspiciously like the ones above.

Do you think we should be worried?

Well, this morning, I did some hacking away at them and then boiled them within an inch of their own little lives. When I started, they looked like this:

Later, they looked like this. Not so menacing now, are they?

This is Amy's Tomato Jam from Marisa McClellan's Food in Jars book. The recipe in the book suggested using pint jars. My yield was just under the 4 pints promised. I think in the future I would use half pint jars. This cooked for about 2 1/2 hours (including processing time). 

While that was cooking down, I put dinner in the crockpot. I'm trying a new recipe recommended by my good friend Felicia called Chicken Verde. It was a bit of a process putting it all together. The peppers need to be broiled and blistered for peeling and seeding, and the chicken breasts were browned before putting them into the crockpot. It's hard to know how much time it took, given the number of distractions. Still, this didn't seem like the sort of crockpot meal one would make before going to work in the morning. It looks delicious, however. For my day at home, it was a perfect choice. I've been enjoying all the fresh peppers and tomatillos that are in season right now, and so I'm looking forward to giving this a try. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Aside from all the goings on in the kitchen, I spent some time on the Gingerbread Square quilt (I think I called this Candy Cane Square in a previous post.) The church steeple is stitched now, and it's moving along.

The rest of the afternoon, I'll just enjoy sewing. All the housework and cooking is done for the day.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sally T said...

Dear Smitty, I was so sorry to hear of your loss. I think you still have time to stock up the basement with squirrels before winter. But I think you will need to work on your stealth mode. Best wishes, Reno

quiltzyx said...

Smitty: "Curses! Foiled again!!"
Yes, the tomatoes do look much less menacing after you cooked the heck out of 'em! I personally cannot conceive of any use for tomato jam, but I'm sure you will figure something out. ;^)
Great crayon work on the Gingerbread Square stitchery!!

Teresa in Music City said...

Poor Smitty! So maligned and forced to go to bed without his delicious squirrel supper!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I hate when they insist on bringing 'kill' in and then let it go. Is it to watch us look like the 3 Stooges rolled into one chasing the darn thing? Luckily I had only a small mouse today - a squirrel would put Bella to packing her bags! That image of tomatoes with angry faces - HA - love it. Good for you in putting them in their place.

liniecat said...

Love the gingery kitty lol
In UK red squirrels are native and under threat of attack by the invasive greys, so hope your little survivor lives to tell the tale. Our reds are now only found in a very few wild places, such a shame.
My youngest cat has turned out to be a rat catcher, has brought me 6 babies so far and 2 young sparrows and gets a rollicking when he does so. Least they are whole!
That's an interesting jam recipe!

SJSM said...

Our Lana insists that lizards belong in the house to play hide and seek. Of all the critters these are the least disgusting and easiest to pick up and take back out. Unusual spots found include a hitch hiker in my husband's cloth briefcase found at work and the sliding glass door track. One lizard would squirm to be under the door rail and resisted being caught for over a week!

Hope that squire has found its way back outside. Love the tomato jam from the book. Layer on top of cream cheese is a favorite of mine. It was your posts that had me buying Food in Jars and I've enjoyed several recipients from the book. Thanks for that. Oh, I just cooked the poblano stuffed with chicken , cheese and rice. We LOVED it. Again, thanks for the heads up.

Dana Gaffney said...

I hope he found his way out, all kinds of other scenarios come to mind but I'll leave them to your vivid imagination. I just finished reading a blog where she was making marmalade, now your tomatoes, blogs need to stop making me hungry :)

gayle said...

Our cat brought in a chipmunk last summer - it would get away and hide, then come out and get caught again, repeat, repeat, repeat. By the second day, it finally got so battered that even a human could catch it, which we did. The cat was quite put out that we took his toy away.
That tomato jam is calling my name...

Kate said...

Poor Smitty, he just doesn't get that you don't appreciate his squirrel catching gifts. You've been busy. The stitching looks great and so does all your tomato sauces.

Michele said...

Darn it Smitty! Haven't you learned yet that those things need to stay outside!

Brown Family said...

I know how you feel about Smittys gift. Our Max brought a mouse in from the garage! He had stunned it enough that we could get it away from him and dispose of it. He was upset that we took his toy away from him