Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Morning's Incendiary Excitement

There I was in the kitchen making yogurt, one pot on the stove heating the milk, the other pot on the stove just starting to get the water warm for the water bath and . . . why does it smell like something is burning? Ah, perhaps because of the FLAMES COMING FROM THE STOVE?

Yup, that'd be why.

There was something pooled under the back burner that had caught on fire. I didn't know exactly what it was, but some kind of grease was a safe bet. So I lifted the pot of water off the flaming burner, being very careful not to get the potholders near the flames, and then dumped about a cup of baking soda over the flames.

Those industrial-sized bags of baking soda from BJ's certainly are handy in cases of fiery yogurt making.

It was actually all very calm and unhurried, probably because there were no children in the kitchen with me at the time.

And then! I came thiiiiiis close to boiling over the milk when I was trying to clean up the baking soda mess. Whee!

I managed to get my yogurt in the cooler with no further mishaps.

Just remember, kids: Smokey Kristin says, only you can keep grease fires from becoming raging conflagrations.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Blackberry Battleground

This morning I got all suited up in long pants and one of A.'s long-sleeved work shirts, in preparation for a Blackberry Battle.

Okay, so actually I was just picking blackberries, but that's definitely a battle. Especially this year, because the blackberry patch has not actually been weeded at all, and is also partially surrounded by a fence, so picking the blackberries requires essentially wading into the blackberry thicket to get at the berries.

Blackberry thorns are no joke, man. But I really need to make some jelly. Hence the battle gear.

And then, of course, I had to contend with the enemy troops. Namely, Cubby and Charlie. They obviously followed me out to the blackberry brambles* and commenced to shoving blackberries in their insatiable maws as quickly as they could find them. Luckily, I am much taller than they are and could reach more of the berries. Also, they were in shorts and sandals, so they couldn't penetrate the thicket as well as I could in my special forces gear.

HA HA, SUCKERS. Preparation is everything.

I only got about 2/3 of a quart of berries, though, which is nowhere near enough to make the 3 and 3/4 cups of juice I need for jelly. So I guess I'll be re-entering the battle grounds over the next few (very hot) days as the berries continue to ripen so I can gather enough.

I just have to beat Cubby and Charlie to the berries. It's on.

* Jack was asleep, because I am not stupid enough to try to pick blackberries with a toddler crashing into the blackberry canes next to me.