I didn’t realize it had been so long since my last post. This week has been crazy, so I will do a super-speedy recap and catch everyone up. (Because I know you’re all dying to hear about my days at home.)
Monday– I tended Abbie. Those days start at 4:30 AM, which means I am tired and ready for a nap at 10:00 AM. Did domestic things like sorting laundry (sorting, not washing. I missed that step!), cooking dinner, changing diapers. BORING.
I also made cookies. (I haven’t made homemade cookies in over a year. We used to buy a big case of Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, because we could get them cheap. I LOVED opening the freezer and plunking them on a cookie sheet.) Homemade is good too, though– especially my Chocolate-Chip Pudding Cookies.
Tuesday– Volunteered in Kendra’s class. Next week I will be doing small-group pull-outs with a handful of accelerated students, just like I did last year with Alex, but today’s task was taking nine hundred sets of flash cards out of their crushed and ripped boxes, and putting them in ziplock bags. You wouldn’t think it would take someone 90 minutes to repackage 60 sets of flash cards, would you? I felt like such a slacker.
Came home, picked up every single toy we own (Grandpa tended… ’nuff said), made the kids lunch and took a nap with them.
Took Alex to Cub Scouts. Picked him up. Ate Happy Meals with the kids and watched “America’s Got Talent” (I disagree), then went to bed and fell asleep on the couch. (While I know you’re imagining that scene as something straight out of a Disney Princess movie, let me assure you that it is, in fact, completely UNLIKE a fairy tale. Usually I’ve got both dogs curled up on me, my mouth is hanging open, drool is streaming down my cheek, and the occasional- dare I say it?- snore escapes. I am no Ariel… I’m an Ursula.) 😉
Wednesday– Tended Abbie again. Took three kids to story time at the library. Construction made us 10 minutes late, but the kids made some adorable masks at the end. (Anthony pulled off all the decorative feathers, pom-poms and beads from our collective masks, much to Hannah’s dismay. He is SUCH a stinker.)
Kendra and Kenny went to a field trip at the state fair, and got rained on. I love the fair, but we haven’t been in years. Not since Kendra was a baby, I think.
My mom came to get Anthony for the evening, because he’s been such a pain this past week. He is so firmly entrenched in the terrible twos, I’m afraid he’ll be in Kindergarten and still gleefully disobedient. Honestly, with my experience as a teacher, not to mention my three other children, who’d’ve thought I’d have the kind of child who makes me want to hug him so tight, his little eyes pop out? (I’m kidding. Really, I am.)
I went to our Enrichment night (a canning demonstration), where there were five of us. Five. Really, hardly worth the effort. The demo was good, though, and made canning seem much easier than I remember from when my mom used to do it. (Easy enough that I actually thought I could try it, and have moderate success.) Came home, watched the opening credits of “Bones” and fell asleep. Kenny woke me up at 5:12 AM and told me to come to bed. Luckily for me, he fell asleep too, so there was less teasing than usual.
Thursday– Got the kids off to school and got a phone call from a sweet woman in our ward who asked if I wanted some peaches. (She was at the canning demo the night before.) Hannah and I spent a very enjoyable morning with her, watching her can, and we came home with a bushel of peaches. A bushel, people. Do you know how many peaches that is? A gazillion, give or take.
Spent the rest of the day looking for a steam canner, with no luck. Thought I’d make some Peach-Mango Freezer Jam instead, but every store in the valley is out of freezer pectin. Ate a ton of fresh peaches as a snack, and got a stomachache. Still ate more peaches. (Obviously I’m a slow learner.)
Friday– Tended Abbie again. Walked to school with two strollers. When Kendra pushed one there, it took us 8 minutes. When Hannah pushed one home, it took 45 us minutes. (Note to self: pull out the double stroller and dust it off. You NEED it.)
Re-sorted laundry (thank you, Anthony!) and washed two loads. Read stories, played games, sang songs. Ate lunch. Laid everyone down for a nap. Napped myself.
Kids came home from school. Took Kendra to Achievement Days. Cleaned out the playpen where Abbie had vomited, and deodorized the girls’ bedroom. Soaked two blankets, one pair of striped pajamas and a onesie. Got Kendra ready for a sleepover with her grandma. Called Kenny and begged him to bring home a pizza. Went to buy a water-bath canning system when I realized the peaches would be rotten before my steam canner could be delivered.
Went to bed with Kenny at 11:00 PM, and rolled over. (OVER over!) Listened to him deep-sigh at my back for a few minutes, but was too tired to explain that it wasn’t a snub as much as it was a desperate need for sleep. Poor Kenny.
So that brings us to today, Saturday, and what a glorious day it has been! I woke up just after 8:00 AM, which hardly ever happens. (Usually someone is up at 6:30 wanting a snack, or in Anthony’s case, raiding the cupboards himself.) I made peach pancakes for breakfast that were a huge hit, and then I wasted an hour working up the courage to start canning.
Kemi’s Lazy Peach Pancakes
3 cups Krusteaz pancake mix
2 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
capful of almond extract
3-4 fresh peaches, diced
(Measure, mix, make. Yields 8 huge pancakes or 14 regular-sized ones.)
I am good at following written directions, but I second-guess myself a lot. Or go back and read them 200 times to make sure I am following them correctly. I drive myself crazy! Today was no exception. I had a pot on the stove to blanch the peaches, a pot for syrup, and the monster canning pot that took up more than half my stove. I had to wash my bottles (a gift from the former owners of this house– dozens of boxes of Mason jars left in the old shed that they never came back to claim) in the dishwasher, so I read (and re-read, and re-read, and re-read) the canning book that came with my kit. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right (I used some shortcuts, which isn’t smart when you’re trying something for the FIRST TIME EVER), but I plugged along and did my best.
So after 3 hours, 100 peaches, seven jars, a garbage full of slimy skins and two ginormous pots of boiling water, this is what I have to show for my efforts:
AREN’T THEY BEAUTIFUL??????
Five bottles of peach halves and two bottles of slices. I don’t even care that the halves aren’t all facing the right direction. I feel so domestic! Like the Mormon Martha Stewart. I also wonder how it is that my ancestors were authentic Utah pioneers, I’ve lived in Utah for almost 32 years, I am nearly 34 years old, and I have never canned before now?
Eh, there’s plenty of time to catch up. My next project will be that delicious mango-peach jam, and then we’ll see about applesauce or pears. Or tomatoes. Or cherries. (Somebody stop me! There is laundry to be done! Beds to be stripped! A house to clean up! Blogs to be read!)
That can come later. For now, I’m going to sit down and take a break, and listen to my peach-bottle symphony. Every time I hear that sealing, sucking “pop!”, it’s music to my ears.