The ugly window

Sunshine added a window to the house plans. It might take us some time to get a geothermal system set up, and he needed to make sure we had a window to hold an air conditioner because nobody wants to sweat inside their home in this brutal Texas heat.

Side note: also, I breathe so much more easily when I am in cool air.

The (fugly ass) window he used is one that was salvaged off of some random construction project he worked on somewhere (yay freeganism!), so I’m not pitching too much of a fit over it. The frame that our carpenter built for it is beautiful, and the double paned glass is still sealed so it will function well. I just hate hate hate the white frame and the white faux pane thingies. I prefer plate glass, with an uninterrupted view of what’s on the other side.

Pancho was hearing me whine about how fugly it is and had a brilliant suggestion: shutters. I can put shutters over it so I don’t have to look at the fugly white panes thingies. This is one of many reasons we like Pancho. He has also been to cooking school, which is amazing beyond words since he’s helping me learn new stuff. I digress.

Without further ado, I give you the fugly window.

It’s in our bedroom, of all the damned places to put a fugly window. Gotta get to work on finding some shutters.

Freeganism

One of the perks of my job is the backdoor fruit. One of the perks of living in the buttfuck middle of nowhere is that everybody plants too much shit and we start giving bags and bags of peppers away to random strangers we meet at fourth of July BBQs.

side note: yes, that actually happened. Someone we met at a fourth of July BBQ totally gave us three overstuffed, double bagged plastic sacks filled with various types of peppers. Green bell peppers, jalapenos, and hot banana peppers.

Recently, the boss gave me a quarter bushel of pickling cucumbers and almost an entire bushel of spaghetti squash. There were also some tomatoes and fruits that went out the backdoor over the last week or so.

We also have a pear tree in our backyard and Sunshine recently picked some pears off of it for me because I love pears.

That’s a lot of freegan food to figure out what to do with. I sent my girl Tia a panicked text asking her to please help me figure out how on earth to preserve a bushel of spaghetti squashes. That woman is a fucking wizard at finding simple solutions to my random and complicated problems.

So, on Sunday, while I was sweating my ass off trying to keep the shelves stocked on a mad busy day at the produce stand, Sunshine started baking the spaghetti squashes so we could freeze them. I finished the job on Monday in between rounds of canning.

The bell peppers and spaghetti squash got frozen.

The jalapenos and banana peppers got canned.

The fruit I brought home from work wound up getting combined with the tomatoes in a summer salsa recipe I found in one of my Ball guides to preserving food. I was highly amused that there was a recipe that dealt with a significant portion of the random foods I brought home from work. There is a salsa that has pears, peaches, tomatoes, and peppers.

The rest of the tomatoes got diced and canned. The pickling cucumbers got made into Cajun dill pickles.

freegan cucumbers and tomatoes

Slowly but surely, we are filling up those shelves in the community pantry.

final note: I’m a bit nervous about using that pressure canner. I’ll be spending the next few days doing some research on the damned thing so I don’t blow myself to smithereens. Then, hopefully, we can harvest enough of those ridiculous yard long green beans to put that canner to work.

Canning supplies

The neighbors brought me a bunch of freegan glass jars to use for canning.

freegan jard for canning

There are some normal sized ones in there, ad a bag of small ones (half pint, I think). The half pint ones will be great for gift baskets I plan to do for Christmas.

side note: I plan to do baskets with stuff I’ve made and preserved myself. Like syrup, jam, dip, spreads, jelly… I also think I’m going to throw in some soap made by a wonderful little goat farm near my work.

I tried to give the neighbors money for the jars, but they were like “shit, we only paid $4 a box for them at a garage sale” and wouldn’t take my cash.

Now I need to order up my pots and funnels and tongs and pots and shit so I can get to learning how to can some shit. It’s still almost always a learning experience out here.

Battle Scars

I’ve been back in the blackberry patch a lot here lately. There are so many blackberries to pick, because there are so many things I want to try. Things like blackberry biscuits, blackberry honey butter, blackberry freezer jam, blackberry syrup, blackberry cobbler…

The big problem with this is the stickers and briars on the blackberry bushes. I look like I’ve been in battle.

Those blackberry biscuits with blackberry honey butter had better be fucking good.

More Freegan Zucchini

The neighbors are bringing us a lot of zucchini.

Not only is the quantity of zucchini squashes large, the size of those zucchini squashes is large.

Photographic proof.

I don’t know what the fuck they’re feeding these zucchinis, but this shit is ridiculous.

I’m going to have to go through those pins that Tia is finding me for ways to cook zucchini that aren’t stir fry.

Wild blackberries

We have wild blackberries growing all throughout the back portion of the property. They’re growing so thick that it’s like the briar patch in that old Brer Rabbit story.

I made Mollie come with me to pick some blackberries yesterday and she kept trying to run home. So I carried her around to share in nature’s splendor (which was probably lost on her) and crawled through the blackberry thicket carrying a baby Mollie in one arm (she wouldn’t be still long enough for a selfie, that little wiggleworm).

and picked a handful of blackberries.

a handful from 16 may 2017

I could have picked a lot more if I had just let her run home but I’m trying to get her to not be scared of the clearing out back. Sunshine thinks she smells predator cats or some other scary thing out there, which could very well be true.

Tomorrow, I’m going to go out there without her and pick more blackberries. They’re starting to ripen, and if I leave them then the creatures will eat them all up. I don’t mind sharing with them, but I want some too!