Friday, August 13, 2010

Rattle, Rattle, Plink!

I love the sound of canning!
If the house is quiet enough (ours usually is), there is the steady hum of water boiling, a gentle rattle of the canning pot lid as the water heats to a rolling boil. A steady drone of play from the girls comes from the "toy room", interrupted only by minor skirmishes or even more dreadful prolonged silences.
For the record, today's prolonged silence was courtesy of Nugget, who found a lone apricot slice on the floor and decided the toy room walls needed sprucing up. Beans was also quiet, as she was licking apricot off the walls.
With the last batch of fruit in the canner, I tucked babies in for naps. As I turned the stove off, the rattle faded away, the last of the steam hissed to a stop. As I sat with a cup of coffee on the couch, surveying the overall state of chaos (canning supplies fill the sink, toys scattered on the floor, apricot clinging to the wall), I am at once exhausted, knowing the cleaning up waits for me, and comforted by the intermittent "PLINK! PLINK!" of each jar of apricots, peaches, and cranberries sealing themselves. Nothing lives in a vacuum... Except for some sweet treats for this winter lining my kitchen counter.

Today has a definite sense of "football season". When we lived in Alabama, we were serious spectators of SEC college football. (I could care less about professional football... But college boys on a football field running into eachother? THAT makes for a great Saturday afternoon!)
when the weather begins to cool, and the air gets a little crisp, the wave of "homesickness" always surprises me. I suddenly long for fall afternoon football games followed by friendly skirmishes in the backyard, or picking pecans with our old neighbors, or spending allday with a Boston butt on the grill, or my "famous" buffalo wing dip in the crockpot and a house full of friends.
Fall makes me miss our old friends.

Buffalo Wing Dip:
in a crockpot, combine:
2 large cans of chicken, drained
2 packages cream cheese
1/2 bottle ranch dressing
1/2 bottle (or more) Franks Hot Sauce

Let it simmer a few hours before game time. Serve with tortilla chips. That recipe will get you invited back year after year. In the word of one of my old redneck friends, "HooWee! 'Ats some good stuff right there, buddy!"
That recipe can even make you tolerable to folks when they don't like your team choice,
though I don't recommend being the ONLY Auburn fan at an Alabama vs. Auburn game, even with that dip. You might want to bring along some brownies AND that dip to that kind of party. Especially if Auburn is winning.

I digress.
Seeing as how it isn't Saturday, we don't have TV service here (nope, not even antenna service), and we can't eat wing dip on account of dairy anymore, I had to find something else to do with our perfect fall weather.
Our day started early. By 8:00 am, I was already done with our usual morning routine. Kids were pinging off the walls. Well, Beans was pinging. Little Nugget was rubbing her eyes and regretting her decision to get everyone out of bed at 5:00 am. She was soon content to "nursey and night-night". Beans and I wasted no time donning long sleeves and light jackets, and getting outdoors. By 10:00, we had all the farm chores (plus a few extra projects) done. By 11:00, we had worked together to stack a 4 ft high wall of wood between several trees on the property. This is next year's burning wood, wood from trees we cut down from clearing more of the property for next year's farming. It was pleasing to see it not going to waste.
With little of the morning shade left, Beans and I sat on the bench in the garden, Beans eating snap peas from the vines, me listening to the sound of chickens clucking.
I never tire of that noise. I grin every time I hear the content noises of our flock talking amongst themselves.

A small cry interrupted our repose. Nugget was inside shouting, "Wake! Wake! Hiya!"
Beans grabs my hand and practices hopping like a frog all the way to the house.
"Mama, can I have eggs an' bacon for lunch? With avocado and chips? And a grapefruit?"
"Sure thing, little one." my little farm girl always manages to capture my heart when she's doing litle independent things like hoppin all the way to the house.
A few minutes later, bacon is sizzling and my farm girl is helping me crack eggs into a bowl. She identifies which eggs are from which chickens. I love that. She pushes her head against the screen door and yells outside, "Thanks Big Momma! Thanks Little Red! Thank you for my yummy lunch!"

I'm not sure it gets much better than this.

Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails


JackDaddy said...

What a wonderful post.

Although it scares me that you have things done by 8AM. :)

Anonymous said...

sounds so wonderful... and makes me hungry! Hug the girls for me!

April said...

There you go again jabbing that dagger right into my brain and heart! :-) We would get along great with my two. We get more done by 8am than most folks too. At least we are now getting to sleep past 4:45am! We have a friends that are HUGE Auburn fans and I can tell you any fan of Auburn fans are fierce! I'm so proud of Beans. She is a great farmer!

Anonymous said...

Awww...simply precious :)
Thats' very nice of Beans to Thank the hens :)