another 2

2 Mondays ago was back from vacation, so lots of catch-up figuring out the various disasters from while I was gone, plus a first Farm Fest meeting, and I sold our leftover birdhouse gourds to a gourd artist, who brought some samples so I could see the kind of things she does.

Tuesday I ordered apples for making cider during Farm Fest, had the Museum’s finance committee (SO frustrated with one person who may think he’s being fiscally responsible by never buying anything, but at some point it really negatively impacts the ability of your museum to do ANYTHING if you aren’t willing to spend some money) and a new garden volunteer came out to kinda get an idea of the farm. She drives by every day anyway, might as well stop and do some weeding, right?!

Wednesday just the cooking committee for Farm Fest met, somehow cranking up my stress level even higher. We had a goodbye lunch for Heather, the summer intern, as it was the last day all the staff would be there together. Went to book club that evening.

Thursday we shredded/made somewhere between 10-11 gallons of kraut. I say “made”, but it still has weeks of fermenting to go… That evening I had a program making rolled paper decorated picture frames. Several of the people who had signed up emailed and asked if they could have it as a take-home kit, which…sure, fewer people breathing their germs in the farmhouse, and they’re not just blowing off the program, got no problem with it.

Friday Jim met me at Gordon Food Service, a sort of halfway step between BJs/Costco and a restaurant supply store, so I could figure out most of what we need to order for Farm Fest – I’d never been before, and their website really wasn’t helping me enough.

Saturday was the Maumee Area River Ride. I intended to ride the 65 mile route, but somehow wound up separated from the group I started with riding with some guys who were going to do one of the extra loops that are added to make the hundred, but not the others, so come in at 84. I figured at the speeds we were making, I had time for that, so stuck with them, and eventually we wound up in a bigger group doing the hundred. Unfortunately, when the cutoff came, to only do 84 not 100, those guys and I were split up throughout the large group so I couldn’t even let them know, ended up just turning off alone, straight into a MEGA headwind for the next 7 miles straight – honestly was sort of worried that the group would end up catching up with me and I’d have gone shorter for no time benefit, but at least I wasn’t that slow. Felt rough. From that I went to some history festival thing that was…pretty lame. Oh well. They tried.

Sunday I did noooothing.

Monday the wheat we’d ordered to plant next month (since the stuff we grew was damaged by all the rain) came in, all 250 pounds of it. I spent a lot of the day dealing with stuff to get for Farm Fest food, and planning out canning corn – because the rain really stunted our sweet corn, we’re buying sweet corn, which is disappointing, and canning it because it won’t be fresh in October.

John picked a few ears of Jimmy Red corn and we learned it doesn’t start off red, but the dots on each kernel expand as it grows/matures.

Tuesday Search guys put in a layer of tinsy rocks/sand to level the new blacksmith shop, then put in the brick floor, and some sand we still need to brush around a bit more to fill in the cracks between the bricks. I took volunteer Paul to buy a few bushels of corn, and the tons of jars I ordered on Amazon to can in started to come in. …turns out, though, despite the product description, they 100% aren’t suitable for canning, so I started scrounging jars and lids from around the house to at least have enough to start with, since I already had the corn and a volunteer lined up to help can the next day!

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty much just all canning corn. For this creamed corn recipe, you’re supposed to cut off the tips of each kernel, then squeeze out the corn guts, rather than cutting off the whole kernels. You add salt and boiling water, then bring the whole mess to a boil, put it in jars, and can. I don’t can things that require the pressure cooker canner often, and this has been a good reminder of why – it takes SO LONG!! Once things are in and the lid is sealed, it has to come up to the base level of pressure, then you add any extra weights (if needed) and then, in this case, it has to cook for 85 minutes, then cool for 45 before the pressure has released enough to open, so max you can get 2 batches done in a day, and that’s tight if you didn’t prepare the ingredients the night before! Also, cutting tips off of corn kernels and smooshing out corn juice is MESSY. Dang.

Thursday evening was the Museum board meeting, where we re-discussed something from 2 months ago for another long time to reach the exact same conclusion. Very fun.

Friday I canned one last batch of corn I’d prepped the night before, then was out early. Phew.

By Friday some of the corn looked not-ideal.

Yesterday I went to Cleveland, where my friend Jon was visiting his mom. We walked the trails around a waterfall for a few miles, had a picnic, drove around to look at some Cleveland sites, went to a grilled cheese place, and then were up until midnight working at our Star Trek watch-together backlog. Once upon a time, Jon and I had been entirely caught up, and even been in the same place long enough to see each of the then-new movies in the theater together, but now there’s a lotta Trek coming out for people in different states to stay up on.

Came back today and will…make soup? Yeah.


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