Today has been a bit of a "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" and a Chinese fire drill combined. I left the house before 7 am to run middle daughter to college midterms (45 minutes one way from the house, ugh), then to two early soccer games immediately after which hubby took youngest to his Cub Scout camp out for the day. I had to pick up middle daughter from her college midterms by noon and then come home and do some housework and in a bit I will be running to exchange places with hubby and stay with youngest for the remainder of the day while hubby goes to work. Saturdays this time of year are usually crazy with everyone going in eleventy-dozen different directions but today is particularly frenetic. Oldest son is stepping up to help his youngest sister get to an activity tonight since both hubby and I will be occupied. Thank goodness he still lives at home or there would have been many days recently where someone was going to get left somewhere or unable to get somewhere. Bigger thank goodness that he is a good big brother and offers to help when his school and work schedule allow.
Got a lot of fresh produce sitting around that I need to do something with before it spoils. For lunch I made butternut squash oven fries. They are supposed to look like the ones below but I accidentally forgot to set the timer and mine were a bit darker than they should have been but they were still good.
I cut mine on my grandmother's old "veg-0-matic" that I inherited. It still makes perfect fries and fruit quarters even after all these years. This is a pic I found of it on the 'net. I still have the box but not the directions. I swear that thing has to be nearly as old as I am - my grandmother passed away in the 70's and I was barely a teen at the time and remember that it got used plenty back then as one of those sold on tv "labor saving devices".
The only problem with the "veg-o-matic" is that it always reminds me of that old skit from Saturday Night Live and I laugh and have to explain why or people start wondering where I left my straight jacket. Here's a very short clip from it and it doesn't even begin to cover how funny that skit was. I don't think they could get away with it today because you know some animal activist is going to bleat about the fish. The direct youtube link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BQFv83QJ2Y Some of you might not even be old enough to remember it. Argh, I suddenly feel a little older than a did a second ago.
For story updates I only got Up On Hartford Ridge posted but it is four or five parts. I've been backing up the pictures and documents on my 4T hard drive (yes, that's four terabytes) and building a personal cloud storage system and back up for our business and the computer (and my brain) has been kinda tied up. My profuse apologies but it was a project that needed doing (we have an extraordinary number of computers and memory sucking devices in use for the business, school, and personal use) and I needed to finish it before Monday. I'll have more stories up on Monday ... maybe tomorrow but more than likely Monday.
Up On Hartford Ridge
Speaking of squash and pumpkins (well I did mention butternut squash a couple of paragraphs back) the daughters, with a little supervision from me, made pumpkin jam from a pumpkin hubby brought home from one of our open lot tenants that rent the space on the weekends for a food truck and organic fruit and veggie stand kind of thing. A little too early to turn it into a jack o' lantern so we made goodies out of it.
First they cleaned it out and, after saving the seeds for roasting, peeled and cut the flesh down into chunks and made pumpkin jam. The video I'm posting is one of my favorites because it is so simple (and the English accent is cool as well). You take equal weight of pumpkin flesh, apple flesh, and sugar and then boil it until you get to the jelling - aka "setting" - point. Then you put it in sterilized jars and process it in a boiling water bath. (Direct link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMzRh5rZvaI )
They also used some of the flesh to make pumpkin marmalade, another great seasonal item that also makes for a great gift. (Direct link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFKsrPzlEKk ). I like some of the comments his wife inserts like how it would be safer to slice the pumpkin away from yourself rather than towards yourself. <grin>
There are actually lots of really cool cooking videos on youtube. Found one for banana marmalade but it is all in Spanish. Now normally I would be able to decipher what the directions were as I speak enough to get by but this is a video from Spain and they are using European pronunciation which is slightly different than what you find here in the Americas. I have a friend who teaches foreign languages so I'll get her to give me a hand with the translation. Wouldn't normally let it bother me but gotta tell you, banana marmalade is now at the top of my gift-giving idea list and I want to make it right.
Well I'm off to see if I can get a few more things accomplished before heading out. The next two days are going to be crazy so if I don't post on Sunday at all that's why. Hoping to have some interesting outdoor pictures for you this coming week.