Berry Busy

Usually I'm better at planning my days. Yesterday seemed to be the culmination of much procrastinating. It's the only explanation I have for being on my feet all day and having no time for sewing. It's not true that there was "no" time for sewing because I did take some time in the morning for slow-stitching. I nearly had the August heart completed. Before sitting down here this morning, I finished it off.

If you like these heart designs, I've learned that they are still available from the designer, Nancy Huggins, even though they are not listed in her Etsy shop. You can message her right here, if you're interested in obtaining any individual month or the whole set. Before I quit for the morning. I started on September's heart.

So, what had me so busy yesterday? It seemed as if I was behind on virtually everything. I needed to drive into town and get some bird seed and potting soil. Then I needed to stop at the liquor store (my motivation was pure). Then I needed some groceries to get us through until I can pick-up our CSA veggies today. I'll have to go grocery shopping again tomorrow once I see what our farmers have in store for us.

When I got home, I spent at least two hours cutting the seeds from the strawberries we bought at the farmers market on Sunday. Usually, I choose strawberries that are larger. These were fairly small, and cutting the seeds from them took forever. And thus becomes the reason for stopping at the liquor store yesterday. I'm using the now seedless strawberry centers to make strawberry ice cream. Last year, I figured out I could use the seedy sides to make strawberry-infused vodka.

If you like to imbibe, this is the simplest thing to do, and it can be done with any fruit. Just add the fruit to a jug, pour over a fifth of vodka. Leave it sitting at room temperature for 36 hours, then strain out the fruit and funnel it back into the original bottle. Refrigerate. This can also be done with gin, if you prefer. If you're using a fruit with an impermeable skin (cranberries, for example), you'll need to chop the fruit up a little bit. For blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, just add in the whole fruit  and pour the vodka over. When it's finished, use it in any cocktail that uses the original beverage. For example, a Lemon Drop cocktail can be turned into a Strawberry Lemon Drop by substituting the infused vodka for the plain stuff. Also, it's good just poured over some ice with no additions necessary.

Okay, so that took forever, and then it took quite some time to prepare the strawberries and the custard for churning into ice cream today. (It's best to wait overnight to give the custard time to really cool down. It cuts down on the time necessary to churn it into ice cream.) While I was doing that, I went through the motions of baking off another loaf of bread. My bread dough is at the extreme end of the time I can keep it safely in the refrigerated, and so I'll need to bake the third of three loaves today. Even if we don't eat the bread, it makes great croutons. These loaves always end up looking like a throw pillow, but the bread is very tasty.

No word yet on when Coyote Man will be out to set traps for the coyotes. It won't be today. When we last talked, he said he would call me and get out here later in the week. It can't happen soon enough. The kitties are bored silly. All Sadie can do is watch out the window while the squirrels run roughshod.

Smitty can't bear to look. He just keeps his eyes closed.

We haven't seen the coyotes in the past day or two, and of course, we were gone over the weekend. I heard them howling last night, but they were off in the distance. Still, we're taking no chances. We'll just let Coyote Man do his work and hope it's all over soon.

Today I'll be churning the ice cream into the frozen stuff, and then I'm going to plant some sunflowers. It's a CSA pick-up day, but I'm still hopeful I'll have some time to get back to the Chicken Buffet quilt. I'm close to having the third row of blocks sewn on, and then there will be just three more and a border to finish off the top.

2 comments from clever and witty friends:

Julierose said...

the strawberry infused vodka sounds amazing...I hope the coyote man comes to do the job for you soon...poor kitties, they must be getting so antsy...not good !!
Hugs, Julierose

piecefulwendy said...

Great way to use the cut-offs from the strawberries; I'll have to keep that in mind for the cherry season. I can see John liking that. Your poor kitties. I hope Coyote Man gets there soon. Nothing happening here; I'm nursing a messed up back, still. I may try some sewing today, as it seems to be a bit better.