Final Preparations

This will probably be my last post for a day or two...or maybe just a day. We'll be on the road next time you hear from me. We're staying at our usual haunt in LaGrande, Oregon, the first night, and we'll have internet there. Problem is, after riding in the car all day, there usually isn't much to say. You never know...Smitty or Sadie might want to tell you about their day.

Yesterday was spent doing last-minute laundry, preparing and packing food for our trip. Also, I was trying to dispense with as many CSA veggies as possible. I roasted and pureed three packets measured to 3/4 cup each of this week's tomatillos. Those will be frozen and used to make our favorite enchiladas suizas at some point. Future Self will love me for that.

A lot of this week's share went into gazpacho. That will be nice to have for lunch while we're traveling. Also, I made up some steak marinade and then tossed anything that wasn't going with us and wouldn't last for two more weeks. Everything else that's perishable (and some things that aren't) got loaded into the trailer. Today I'll pack my clothes and other stuff and we'll be ready to take off on Saturday morning. Our house sitter has been encouraged to help herself to the greenhouse tomatoes and plums still on the plum tree. Hopefully there will still be some tomatoes ripening when we get home.

As for the tomatoes, I probably have enough to can a half dozen or so pints of plain old diced tomatoes, and I'll be doing that this morning. I'm trying a raw pack method described on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website. The tomatoes are skinned, then chunked up and loaded into jars. Then lemon juice and boiling water are added. After they are lidded, they are processed in a boiling water bath. It seems a lot easier than cooking them, as I did last year. I taught myself to can back in the mid-80's from the book, Putting Food By. It was the book recommended by our local extension service. Now there are so many terrific resources right at my fingertips. Have I said lately how much I the internet?

Once I had all the food packed, I had a little bit of time left for sewing. I sewed the remaining pieced blocks together for the Summer Holiday quilt.

Probably I won't start the applique/embroidered blocks until December. The first one I'll do will be this one: "Packing a Suitcase". Cute, huh? I might actually have to put a cat in the suitcase.

While I was in the sewing room, I was thinking about my September Let's Book It project, and I realized I already had some table topper patterns printed off. Mind like a steel trap. I think I printed this specifically for the September Let's Book It. Could I remember that day before yesterday? No. Of course not. Anyway...I think I'll make this little table topper. It's a good size for our breakfast bar. Unless I change my mind, this is what I'm going to do. It's the Pumpkin Patch table topper designed by Julie Weaver and included in the current issue of Quilter's World.

Today, in addition to canning those last minute tomatoes, I'm going to bake a loaf of zucchini bread. I have a couple of zucchinis hanging out in the refrigerator. We'll take that along with us too.

This morning I noticed this tree at the bottom of our field. We planted it for its red leaves in fall. Can you see there at the top of the tree? Leaves are already turning red.

I'm hoping it'll still have some leaves when we get back.

'Til next time around...in a day or two. I'll be blogging fairly regularly while we're gone. It all depends on internet and cell service. This is a leisurely trip. The only thing on the agenda is to visit with my quilting friend Marei in Eastern Idaho. We're also heading to Stanley Basin and the Sawtooth Mountains and Craters of the Moon National Monument. It's kind of nice to be taking a leisurely pace. And this will be Mike's last vacation. The next time he takes time off...vacation for life.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Anonymous said...

Wishing you lots of relaxation and safe travels!!
Sandra B

CathieJ said...

I love that pumpkin table topper. Enjoy your travels.

Quilting Babcia said...

Happy and safe travels! I love that pumpkin runner, will have to add it to the never-ending list of projects to make "whenever."

quiltzyx said...

Enchiladas Suiza - those tomatillos will definitely be put to good use!

Looking forward to stories & pictures from your trip. It's rubber side down and keep it under a hundred - safe travels on this last vacation!

Brown Family said...

Have a good trip!

Beth said...

This homebody will be enjoying your trip vicariously! Make good memories on this very last vacation.

Dana Gaffney said...

I like that table topper, the colors in the pumpkins really makes it a stand out. Have a good trip and stay safe.

Heidi said...

Bon Voyage, Safe travels Barbara!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Safe travels - will be curious how Sadie does with her first trip on your last vacation.

Denise :) said...

Enjoy your time!! Wow -- vacation for life -- that sounds major, major! Your choice for the 'book it' project is a cutie! :)

Teresa in Music City said...

I know you are going to have a wonderful trip! Looking forward to "sharing" it through your posts. Sadie should be a seasoned traveler by the time you make it back to Three Cats Ranch. And yes, you should definitely put a cat in that suitcase!!!