Sunday, 6 February 2011

Hot, dry weather, and a leaky vacola pan!

I just realised that it's been almost a week since I posted anything new here.  
We have had the first very hot weather for this summer.  The vegetables are producing, though I'm reducing the area that I'm watering now.  I'm glad that I froze some extra vegetables during the winter when the growing season is much easier.
The cactus flowers are still beautiful...

....and the jasmine perfumes the air all over the yard.

Many vegetables are wilting in the dry wind today,  even the amaranth...
.... though it is quite edible and this will be added to our vegetable curry tonight.

Gertrude continues to control weed plants really well.  However,  I took her to a new part of the yard yesterday.  She followed me reluctantly and spent the day munching on a new area of vegetation, including her favourite... kurrajong leaves.  However when I went to take her out this morning, she was really upset.  She must be a creature of habit!  I gave her some food in her pen today and I'll let he spend the day at her outside patch near the back fence tomorrow.  She is not adventurous, apparently.

The other emergency this week was the leak in my Fowler's Vacola preserving pan.  It was bound to happen sooner or later, but with quite a lot of tomatoes to process (into pasta sauce for the winter.)   What a time for that to happen.  
Then I remembered reading about people preserving food in jars by boiling them in kerosene tins.  If a kerosene tin will work,  then so would my big stock pot....
... and it did....
.... and I should now have enough sauce for next winter!
Having processed so many batches of this sort of sauce,  I am now able to estimate the time and temperature without the thermometer!   I'll be on the lookout for another "proper" Fowler's kit though.  (One often sees them at garage sales or second hand shops.)

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