Canning season

I will never get tired of hearing the soft plink! of canning-jar lids sealing as they cool.

Put up 14 pints of salsa tonight, made with heirloom tomatoes fresh from the garden and good New Mexico chiles.

Meanwhile, I picked up a jar of lye at the feed store Saturday morning and spent part of my Sunday afternoon researching Castile soap recipes. True Castile soap is nothing but lye, water and olive oil, but I’m reading that it’s slow to trace and unconscionably slow to saponify, and I think we all know I don’t have the patience to fool with that. It’s really taking all the restraint I have to stay out of my cider while the yeast does its work.

I swear, this house is turning into one endless science-fair project. So far this year, I have made my own laundry detergent, yogurt, beer, pickles, salsa and apple cider, and I’ve got a batch of hot sauce started on the counter.

Miss Loretta Karen Moomaw the barn cat disappeared Tuesday and hasn’t been seen since, but I noticed her food bowl was empty this morning, and I’ve found only one bird-damaged tomato this week, so I’m pretty sure she’s still around. That’s fine with me. She’s cute and seemed to enjoy being petted, but if she doesn’t want to be anybody’s full-time pet, that’s her decision. I’ll keep refilling her food and water bowls as long as she’s using them.

I think that’s all the news from the hippie cottage this evening.