Today was a kitchen day for me! Our children had a bit of a break from school work, since they have been very productive and busy lately, and I needed a day in the kitchen. I started early by blanching and chopping a bushel of tomatoes and assembling all of the ingredients for my Nanny's Chili Sauce - in fact it was still simmering away sending warm, spicy, vinegary smells through the house at supper time, and is now jared and pressure canned. When my mom and dad come for a visit they will take the jars and distribute them to our family members. I have been entrusted with my grandmother's recipe, so it is up to me to make a big batch every other year for the family - it's a good thing we have a small family! I don't care for this condiment at all, but it is served with meatloaf, Tortiere (French Canadian Meat Pie), and, of course, roast beef. Some like it with eggs or pork, but I think it is rather overwhelming for those delicate flavours! One year I didn't make enough and my parents ran out of chili sauce. My mom bought a bottle of Heinz and told me it really was quite good and much like Nanny's recipe! After 14 hours in the kitchen today, I really hope this is a good batch!
Natural chicken was a great price locally this week so I baked up a bunch this morning and made a large pot of Chicken Noodle Soup. I love the Swanson Organic broth for soups and I find that they are not at all salty, like their regular broth is. The children enjoyed this for lunch today, and The Storyteller actually had a second bowl. Since he has not had a great appitite with his cold, I was pleased.
I also made a bushel of early mac apples, ' falls' that we got for $2, into sweet spicy apple sauce and froze it. The children have already sampled 2 bowls each and declare it the best they have ever tasted. Of course they say that every time I make it! They also enjoyed thick slices of wheat bread warm from the oven at snack time. I gave a loaf to my friend who comes to iron for me once a week, since her family likes wheat bread too.
As my dear Historian says ' my dogs are barking' (my feet are sore), and my hands and fingernails are stained and dry, but it feels good to sit here for a bit and reflect on what has been accomplished today. My heart is filled with praise to God! He gave me the strength to prepare the bounty He has blessed us with to bless my family and to 'put a little by' for the winter months. I know there are many other women who can work rings around me in the kitchen - including my mom, but when I think of how unwell I felt at this time last year, I am just feeling so blessed to be getting back to the things I love.