Sunday, October 2, 2011

I made soap, homemade sundried tomatoes, Steak and tomatoes, chicken watch

About three years ago I traded   a friend a painting for a 'batch' of homemade soap.   As of two weeks ago the soap had yet to be delivered.  I think I have been patient enough.  So, in a fit of peeve and impatience (and I'm out of soap and tired of paying $5 a bar at the local co-op for it) I set out two weeks ago to make my own.   This friend, who reneged on the deal,  repeatedly discouraged me from making my own saying it was a very difficult, time consuming and delicate process that required math and other stuff.   Even though I had been warned by an  'expert', I was desperate.  I got out my  copy of  'country living skills', read the directions and made my first batch.  It was a little dry but looked and smelled the way I wanted it too.   The second batch done a week after that (and after some research on why it dry ) was deliciously perfect, smooth and creamy.   Both batches are drying in the studio and because I am impatient, I am already using a bar of the first batch in the shower with no ill affects.  I am delighted with my  new artisan skill.  I now have enough soap to last  a year or two depending on whether I give some  to friends as gifts or not.  To said friend who reneged on deal and forced me to face a fear he instilled..... I say, " pfffflllllt! you are full of ka-ka. making soap is easy!"
So is making 'sun' dried tomatoes.  The weather here in the PNW has finally turned chilly so Jimmy and I are harvesting the tomatoes that have beautifully ripened over the last 3 weeks.   Yesterday  we pulled the cherry tomatoes ,sliced them in half and marinated them in balsamic vinegar and sprinkled them with thyme and basil and put them in the dehydrator.  This morning we have tangy dried tomatoes that are going to be yummy in oh-so-many recipes over the winter.
Last night we had steak and tomatoes for dinner again.  Jimmy's beefsteak tomatoes  ripened because of his cold frame.  We still have a lot of unripened tomatoes out there so today most of those are going into a cardboard box to finish their process over the next few days.  Next week I will be using the box ripened tomatoes to make  a few jars of sauce.  Some of them will go to make  tomato basil bisque.  Mostly because Jimmy's basil is beautiful right now .  I will be harvesting most of it today   and hanging it to dry.
Update on the chicken-watch.  Who ever it was that was  laying shell less eggs has stopped.  We never figured it out.  So, chicken watch will be ongoing .  It appears that the oldest red has quit laying completely............... 

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