Friday, September 03, 2010

September preserves...

September usually brings my pressure-canner, ball jars, wash pans and plastic tubs out of storage and into the kitchen.  The tomatoes are ripening beautifully in the garden and I am eating as many of them fresh as I possibly can.  The rest I am gradually preserving as they ripen.  Today I made 3 quarts of salsa and then  gathered up all the grape tomatoes I could find and decided to oven-roast them.  These babies are so incredible done this way.  Simply put, you sprinkle olive oil over halved tomatoes (laid out on parchment paper), lightly sprinkle on salt & pepper and throw a couple unpeeled cloves of garlic onto the pan and slip them into a 225 degree oven for about 3-4 hours.  Depending on the size and juiciness of your tomatoes, the time can be adjusted, but the tomatoes should come out shriveled and chewy.  I like to eat them "as is," but you can use them on salads, in dressings, or any way you would use sun-dried tomatoes.  When they are cool, if you don't eat them all at once, you may store them in a mason jar with more olive oil over them and put them in the fridge for about 2 weeks.  For more information on slow, oven-roasted tomatoes, check Smitten Kitchen, where I first learned how to make them.



The girls and I have been canning the Colorado peaches we bought by the case this past week. Only Daughter and her friend came out one day and we processed their peaches, and this past Wednesday  Daughter-In-Love and I canned up her case and my case.  The pears were still too hard and unripe to process, so the three of us girls may work on our pears together this weekend.
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We had a little mishap this week with one adorable little grandangel and a ball point pen.  Hubs took me furniture shopping earlier this week and we chose a nice leather sofa and matching chair and ottoman.  The day we brought the furniture into the living room was the day I had Hazel Peach come stay.  Needless to say, no one was watching as she created a large masterpiece of circles all over the top of the ottoman with a ball point pen, and then she added a few small flourishes to each seat cushion  and swished a couple curlicues on the chair arms.  She was so proud of her accomplishment that she called in her Uncle JoeJoe to show him what she had done!  Imagine his utter surprise (and mine) when she showed him her pen and ink art!  I remained calm, but clearly brought home my disappointment with her drawing on Grammy's furniture.  She was quite sniffly and sorry, I knew it, but I made her sit on the couch and watch as I painstakingly worked at getting that ink out of the furniture.  I hope my unfortunate circumstances might save you one day down the road, so I will share with you how I accomplished this feat.

Removing Ink from Leather Furniture

1.  Tackle the ink as soon as possible.
2.  Get a roll of paper towels (or rags) and a bottle of rubbing alcohol.
3.  Soak a paper towel (to dripping) with alcohol and lay it over the ink.  Allow it to penetrate and you will see the ink come free.
4.  Once ink starts to come free, remove the inky paper towel and add another alcohol soaked paper towel to the area.
5.  After the initial ink is up, continue to lightly blot and rub the ink from the leather.  (By the way, this works on fabric too, but don't soak the paper towel to dripping when using it on fabric.)
6.  Continue the process until most of the ink is gone.  After I had the ink up and the leather was dry, I took one more step and cleaned it with saddle soap.  You can usually buy it where you buy shoe polish, or you may use leather lotion and clean it following the directions on the label.  Both products will clean and replenish the leather. 

I am happy to report that the majority of the ink came out!  However, if you look closely, you can see some of the lines that were pressed in and some of the remaining ink that is so light that it looks like the imperfections that naturally occur in leather so I am not too bothered by them.  All in all, I am grateful it all worked out and I am again reminded that stuff is just stuff -- even if it is new stuff.

12 comments:

  1. Oh yum! What a busy bee you've been. Preserving the harvest is a lot of work, but so gratifying. ThanX for sharing the roasted tomato recipe. If mine ever manage to ripen, I'll be sure to give this a try!

    So sorry to hear about the pen mishap. When words failed, my dear Norsk grandma used to throw her hands up in the air and eXclaim, "Uff Dah!" You are a very patient grandma to remain calm! So glad you were able to get most of it out.

    Hugs,
    diXymiss

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  2. Those tomatoes sound delicious and I have a ton of green cherry tomatoes on the plant...once they're ripe I'll know what to do with them :)

    So glad to hear the ink came out...when I was small I got a hold of a sharp pair of scissors and punctured my parents new leather sofa multiple times because I liked the "popping" sound it made.....LOL

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  3. This reminds me of a story that my friend just shared with me. Her son got green playdoh on the white carpet last week, and decided to handle it himself by getting her pinking shears and cutting it out of the carpeting. She said she solved this problem by moving the ottoman over it. Thank you for the tip about leather. It may come in handy if she's got leather furniture! :)

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  4. Oh No! Isn't it so hard to be mad at the little angels when they're so proud of what they've done? You're amazing -- I'm so happy that you got the ink out. And just a tad left to provide you with a memory that you'll smile about someday! Looks like you've been good and busy in the kitchen -- YUM!

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  5. Yes, it is just stuff. I'm glad you were able to work out most of the mess, but how sweet you can look closely and still see some. Several years down the road when she is older, you will still have that souvenier of when she was little. I love souveniers.

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  6. Oh,Hazel Peach. Birdie likes to use pens to draw a bulls eye on her belly, but she has not tried art on the furniture. I'm so glad you were able to remove it from your cushy new pieces.
    The Colorado peaches look gorgeous. My neighbor across the street brought two bags of little peaches from his trees in the back yard. I had two for breakfast and they are sweet and mild.
    You've been a busy harvester, Jody!

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  7. So many good things here...I love the peaches, they look wonderful, nothing as good as they in the winter time! :D

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  8. There's that old Zen saying that sometimes helps me in situations like this: "It's already broken." Everything in the world is already broken. It's so disappointing when something new gets soiled or broken or wrecked, and I say this as someone who inevitably scuffs my new shoes as soon as I put them on. So when I see the scuff (or the dent, or the ink) I remind myself of the brokenness of things, even new ones.

    Nonetheless, it *is* heartbreaking, and you were good not to lose your temper.

    Your tomatoes and peaches look lovely!

    xofrances

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  9. HI I just stumbled across you via Maya's blog and am now tagging along.

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  10. Oh no!!!!! LHP is on her way to being an artist! :) I was student teaching when we bought our first couch and love seat. Ryan was 2ish and he promptly took a permanent marker (which I seemed to use a lot in those days) and drew all over our brand new solid colored fabric cushions. I flipped the cushions over and as the years rolled by the marker actually wore off. The trials of being two! :)

    I think I might try the roasted tomatoes. That looks so delish!

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  11. You busy girl. I am hoping this week to start making some jam and red sauce. Those tomatoes re good xoxo Clarice

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  12. Ummm, the oven roasted tomatoes look divine!!

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