Saturday, September 28, 2013

Green tomatoes in the rain

I work in town all week so my country life is confined to the weekends, mostly. C. keeps the garden and animals in good shape all week, so I try to give her a break on the weekends.

This weekend, the tail end of September, I'm bringing in all the green tomatoes. We had a light freeze earlier in the week and the forecast is calling for dreary rain, more rain, and a hard freeze in the next few days. Summer is over. We had a good long growing season, but it's time to bring everything in. So I spent about five hours hauling pounds and pounds of tomatoes in the rain. Some of them are peach-colored, a few orangy-red, and some of the Prudence Purples are pink-and-green striped. Most are green, though. I rolled them out on an improvised table made of plywood covered with towels. They're sopping wet – so was I – so I'll give them overnight to dry some, then sort them by color onto the tops of plastic bins in the fourth-grade classroom. Those bins are full of stuff we haven't unpacked yet and are perfect for the task. We can watch for ripening and spoilage, and hustle the red ones to the kitchen for canning, drying or eating. There they are. Millions and millions of unripe tomatoes. Hundreds, anyway.

C. has the canner full of jars of tomato sauce. Earlier, she loaded the driers with San Marzano roma-type tomatoes. She made bread dough and I shaped it into lumpy loaves and baked them. Made some oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies, too, but from that bland Quaker Oats recipe. (Must find the better recipe.) I let Earl lick the bowl as he's had a hard day. His legs hurt even with rimadyl and tramadol. Maybe the rainy weather is a factor. Oh, and I went to town to an estate sale. Not a very good one.

That was Saturday. Sunday, we moved the rabbits into the old kindergarten room. It doesn't seem like a natural habitat for them, but I think they'll come to like it. That's Crystal on the left. She's got a gorgeous full coat. Smokey is in the cage. We have to keep them apart until we get him neutered. They'll take turns in the cage until then. Crys was zipping around, kicking up her heels and investigating the wooden boxes, blankets and toys.

I replaced the plastic on the busted studio windows, found more tomatoes in the garden, beefed up the goat shelter – and suddenly realized tomorrow is Monday. Lo. And the dismal rain continues.

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