Couple Hours to Myself

Gardener's Breakfast of tomato, salt, pepper and feta cheese.

Gardener’s Breakfast of tomato, salt, pepper and feta cheese.

Hope regular readers are well tolerating my posts from Blog for Iowa. They are different from what I normally write here, but then none of us is one-dimensional — I hope.

I got off work at the orchard a couple hours early. It’s the beginning of the season and we had plenty of staff to cover customers. The apples coming in are mostly tart and useful for baking, apple sauce and apple butter. We had ten varieties available today.

Had a great conversation with a gent who bought a large bag of Dolgo crabs for crab apple jelly. His recipe was basically this one.

“Don’t squeeze the jelly bag,” he cautioned. “The jelly will go cloudy.”

I wished him good luck as he headed for the sales barn exit.

We get a treat for each shift we work. I ate a Zestar apple. Before leaving I bought a 10-pound box of blue berries and on the way home secured a dozen ears of sweet corn at a roadside stand. Tonight’s dinner will be sweet corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes with blueberry yogurt for dessert.

Seconds Bell PeppersPlans for the unexpected mid day gap are to mow the lawn, gather the grass clippings, process bell peppers and Roma tomatoes, fix dinner and freeze some of the blueberries. The freezer is already packed, so I hope the peppers and blue berries will fit. I have no idea if everything will get finished.

A storm blew down a pear tree branch. After inspecting the damage I picked the unripe fruit then cut the branch cleanly from the trunk. Once they ripen we’ll have more than enough for fresh and maybe some for pureed pear sauce. The tree is still loaded.

Crate of pears.

Crate of pears.

Working three jobs is challenging mentally, physically and every way in between. It’s hard to keep up and a couple of unexpected hours to myself was a welcome surprise.

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