From Mrs. Cog's Corner
Since our last update we have remained incredibly busy and no day passes without an adventure to note and enjoy. I am now in fierce competition with the zucchini patch to stay on top of eating, experimenting with and preserving everything it can throw at me. We have made gluten free breaded zucchini fried in coconut oil as well as oven baked zucchini chips with Parmesan cheese along with various other spices to experiment with. Desperate to try anything yesterday I began canning bread and butter zucchini pickles.
As our Two Ice Floes members cautioned us would happen, Tramp the cat has indeed begun bringing live animals into the house at night via his new cat door. This past weekend we awoke to Tramp repeatedly mewing in a muffled 'voice' and, without even looking, I woke Cog and told him Tramp was on my side of the bed with something in his mouth. Using his trusty iPhone to light the way Cog got up, walked around the bed and gently grabbed Tramp by the scruff of the neck. "Drop it!"
The cat dropped his mouthful as I turned on the light.....and it was gone. After we banished the cat from the house I proceeded to stifle my laughter as a 6'4" Cog chased a 3 inch baby bunny, who was apparently unharmed, throughout the house. At one point Tramp reentered through his cat door to try to take charge again. I woke the teen and deposited the cat in her room with instructions to keep him on lock-down.
At one point in the bunny chase the rabbit ran to the teen's closed bedroom door in a frantic attempt to get away from the pursuing Cog. As the bunny desperately tried to climb up the door a massive paw repeatedly swept out from the space beneath the door in a failed attempt to recapture glory. So close, yet so far away.
Finally, the bunny was cornered in the sun room and shooed out the back sliding door. Since by now it was in sheer panic mode, it made its way down a few steps of the back deck and then fell into a soft bed of ivy and scampered away. We proceeded to engage in an intense conversation as to whether another bunny family would reintegrate this lost baby bunny into its pod or whether it may be able to survive alone.
Some things are better left unknown.
The blueberries are ripening in waves. We are supplementing them with dewberries (like blackberries but growing on runners on the ground) and about six fat strawberries each day from my three year old plants we moved here with. Massive amounts of blackberries are growing around the perimeter of our property, as well as the neighbor's land, but they won't be ripe for a number of weeks. I don't have to walk far each day to collect berries and red clover blossoms for tea. It's like something out of a storybook.
Down in the basement I am attempting to create order for the upcoming deluge of garden veggies. When we bought the place, prior to moving in we cleaned out the entire basement and painted the walls with special paint that water proofs the cinder block walls. After we moved in we proceeded to stack, like a game of Tetris, most of our boxed belongings from our previous lives (which had already been downsized several times) into the basement of our small cozy home. That was manageable until the new kitchen cabinets arrived and were stowed down there. Once a builder in his younger days, Cog is about to begin remodeling our kitchen.
For the month or so that the upstairs will become a construction zone I will need to move all the kitchen items to the basement in order to take out the old counters and cabinets and install the new. Ceilings will have to be painted and new light fixtures are going in as well. Have I mentioned how much I love Cog?
During this time of kitchen anarchy, the garden will not wait. I have cleared and cleaned the arts & crafts area as well as the gardening operations in a portion of the basement to soon house kitchen items and canning operations. The show must go on.
Meanwhile, Cog and TIF member LionLady are giggling at me in advance of my tomato deluge. I have more than a hundred waist high tomato plants that have at least six tomatoes growing on each and many more blooms are popping out. I see honeybees zipping around them when the sun is shining and, in between, we have had rain showers almost every day. I think they love the organic fertilizer I am giving them. I'm just amazed how healthy they are.
I am planning on canning crushed tomatoes, tomato soup, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili, bruschetta and salsa. I must sound like Bubba talking to Forrest Gump about all the ways to prepare shrimp lol. Any other suggestions and/or recipes?
We shall follow up on a regular basis to keep everyone informed how things are going up here on the edge of the mountain.