Thursday, September 20, 2012

Home Canned Tomatoes

When I told my youngest son that I was going to buy tomatoes to can at the Farmer's Market, he said that his tomato plants were producing more fruit than he knew what to do with, and offered to can some for me.  And because I am not a completely stupid woman, I readily agreed.

Today David showed up at my door with 20 quart jars of canned tomatoes and four quart jars of homemade pasta sauce.  I am impressed.  They really look good.  I couldn't wait to try the pasta sauce, so I had spaghetti for supper.  I called him later and told him that the sauce tasted just like good homemade pasta sauce should taste.  It really was a treat for me.  I would have taken a picture, but the spaghetti just didn't last long enough.  Because the sauce was canned in quart jars, there is enough left for a good kettle of goulash for supper tomorrow night.

And there was a bonus.  It seems that Boston was in the garden picking cherry tomatoes, and sent two ice cream pails full for me.  Thank you, Boston.  I cut most of them in half and filled four dehydrator trays.  The rest, a good-sized bowl full, are all mine, for snacking.  They taste so good.  I sent some quarts of peaches that I had canned a few weeks ago, home with David.  I had promised Boston that I would trade peaches for tomatoes.  I think that I got the better of that trade!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Just a Cat

Some would say that she was just a cat.  And maybe to some, that would be true.  But she was much more to me.

She was the cat who had to be in charge and always, always be first in everything.  First to eat when the food dish was filled each morning.  First to use the clean litter box, whether she really needed to or not.  First to jump up on my bed at night to be petted and have her ears scratched and belly rubbed.

She was the one cat, out of my three, who claimed my lap if I sat in my recliner.  She was the one who would nudge the others out of the way because, after all, it was her right as top cat to have my undivided attention.  And if she didn't get it, I got a head bump to remind me of my duties to her.

She had a need to help me, whether I needed her help or not.  If I cleaned out a cupboard, she was there to inspect it to make sure it was done right.  She spent countless hours laying on top of the chest freezer in my kitchen, supervising whatever I was doing.  She was the only one who didn't run and hide when the vacuum cleaner came out.  She was fearless.

So when she became so ill that there was no hope for her, a decision had to be made.  I didn't want to make that decision, but neither could I stand having her suffer.  When she could no longer eat and showed no interest in what was going on around her, it was time.

Kiley was a good old cat.  She was my buddy.  While she lived with me, she was a happy, contented cat, in all her queenly glory.  She was affectionate and she made me laugh...out loud.  I will miss her.

Farming Genes

I wonder if farming genes are passed from one generation to the next.  My children come from farming ancestors on both sides of their family, and it seems that my grandchildren are really enjoying the process of planting a garden, taking care of it over the summer and most recently, harvesting all sorts of good things to eat.

Their Dad says that his little garden is a long way from the kind of farming that his father and grandfather did, but I think that it doesn't matter if the land is measured in acres or square feet.  The love of working the soil and watching plants grow and the satisfaction of a good harvest is the same.

And it does this old heart good to see these values and traditions being passed on to yet another generation.