I was supposed to go to the weekly meeting of the Southern Indiana Writers Group on Thursday, but I didn’t. A friend of Charlie’s picked some blackberries and brought them by, and ourpreserving cucumbers are coming in, so I stayed home and made jam and pickles. The pickles are the refrigerator dills I posted about the other day. Some are whole and some are spears. For my own taste, I would strain the pips out of the blackberries, but the kids like the pips, so I left them in.

This batch failed, actually–didn’t gel up. Ordinarily, I would just call it syrup and go on, but I wanted to give some to the friend who picked the berries, so I decided to give it another go. I poured all the gloopy syrup back into a pan, brought it back to a full rolling boil (stirring constantly), added another 1/4 cup of sugar and ladled it back into fresh-washed jars. I didn’t put them in a canning bath, because we just put these directly into the refrigerator and they won’t last long enough to go bad. They’re still too hot to tell if they’re going to gel up, but I think they will.

Here is my walk-in pantry. My Aunt Anna had one when I was little, and I always thought that was the coolest thing ever. So, when we started drawing plans for this house, I said I wanted a walk-in pantry and Charlie said to put one in. So we did. One of my ex-sons-in-law used to say my pantry looked like a grocery store, and I guess it does. Please note the lack of canned veg at the moment. Rather eat fresh!

Speaking of which, Mom and I went to the farmers’ market this morning. We didn’t go as soon as they opened, so we missed the tomatoes. 😦 We did get some corn, acorn squash, turnips, broccoli and PEACHES! Cotner’s was there with boxes of fresh-picked peaches, and are they good!

Mom and Ardis and I are going to see Harry Potter this afternoon. Ardis says this one is supposed to be as good as such-and-such another in the series. I said, “I loved the books. Don’t like any of the movies much, but they have Alan Rickman in them, and that’s what matters.”

Now, a happy story:

THE HAPPY HOUND

Once upon a time, there was a dog who lived with his grandma and grandpa because his dog-daddy didn’t have room to keep him at his house.

One night, the dog’s grandma made a stir-fry with shredded sweet potatoes, julienned zucchini, cubed squash, sliced scallions, fresh green beans, chopped celery, slivered sweet red pepper and broken cashews. She got out some leftover fried chicken to pull off the bone and mixed up some chicken bouillon to add, but the veg looked so good, she gave the dog the de-boned chicken and broth and made up veg broth to add, instead.

They all lived happily ever after.

MA

writing prompt: Have a character try preserving something that doesn’t work out. Is it a comedy? A tragedy? Can it be fixed? Does he/she care? Does someone get food poisoning?

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