Monday, August 29, 2011

Time to relax

All right, I didn't get everything done that I wanted to. I didn't go berry picking. (I did get some rose hips, but not that many and I'm frankly not quite sure what to do with the 2 tablespoons of usable food product I got out of them....) But it was a good weekend, and even better that I gave myself time to relax. One phone call to my mother nixed that feeling of peace (love you Mom! stop freaking out) but I got it back.
I did manage to freeze a lot more local carrots and celery. When I bought the three stalks of celery the farmer said, "Three? Do you freeze them?" So I told her about my mirepoix starter kit. (Mirepoix is the French term for the mix of onion, celery and carrot.) I harvested potatoes, found out that rather than just trading in my tea canisters I can actually just get them refilled at the store (for 10% off, no less), and did a good deal of biking around town. I also canned some tomatoes yesterday (they cook down so far--only 5 cans out of all those lovely tomatoes!) and cooked up a giant batch of piroshke ("Russian hot pockets", as one friend describes them--the ones I made have cabbage and carrots in them) so that I don't have to cook for the rest of the week. I'll even have enough to feed my little brother when he arrives tomorrow.
I got my bridesmaid gifts ready: books and homemade vanilla extract. I didn't realize how easy that is! I had to order the vanilla beans online, but I used locally produced vodka. And that's all you need. Cut open the beans and toss them in vodka, shake every once in a while and it should be good to go in about 8 weeks. How easy is that? You can even reuse the beans--when it starts getting low, just add more vodka. If you need to, toss in another bean or two. The spent beans can be dropped in sugar to make vanilla sugar. I'm totally making my own extracts from now on. And I can't wait to see what else I can make from those vanilla beans! I already know I want to make a vanilla syrup, so that hopefully I can get Shane to stop using coffee creamer. (Have you seen what's in it?!) Make the syrup, mix with milk, pour in your coffee, and ta-da!
I guess I can't really say that I relaxed this weekend. I did manage to read some, but popping up to go do something else at the end of every chapter isn't exactly "relaxing". But I did get stuff done that I wanted to do, and I'm not stressing out anymore about wedding stuff. I'm just excited. I walked to work today with the biggest grin on my face. Less than a week to go!!

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