Clearly I am not much of a photographer, as I forgot to remove the sponges drying on my counter before I took this picture... please ignore them, because what's in the foreground is much more important.
This is Tomato Zucchini Bisque from the Clinton Street Baking Co. cookbook - canned!
It was a new recipe for me, but WOW was it awesome! Incredibly rich and smooth. I threw in a couple of small squash that came in my last CSA basket and left out the cream so I could pressure can it into pint (2 servings) and half pint (individual size) jars which now line the shelf of my pantry. There is such peace of mind in knowing that nothing has gone to waste and that easy, comforting winter meals are already being stockpiled. Fragments of sunshine, tucked away to brighten cold dark days. It makes me happy. (What can I say? I'm easy to please.)
I had a bit of a time check this past week while making pickles and flipping through my planner to see what was coming up next week. We're more than halfway through July already! The year is already more than half gone as well. I realize that's not a revelation to anyone who has a calendar, but it gave me pause to think about everything that I should have (or wanted to have) done by this point.
Victorian women, I've read, never started thinking about Christmas later than July because in the era where gifts were handmade, one had to start that far ahead to finish in time. I actually sat down this week and started a list of everyone for whom I want to buy gifts and what, if anything, I already know I want to get. I posted it somewhere convenient so that I can plan ahead and have them done, wrapped and ready to go well in advance. I've also bookmarked the website I want to buy Christmas cards from. Christmas isn't my holiday, so I have to get things done ahead of time or I'll be so sick of Christmas carols by Thanksgiving that I'll have no desire to even try.
I also carved out time for a couple cleaning tasks that have been on my list. Eric helped me pull out the fridge and stove so I could scrub and bleach the floors behind/underneath them. I'm pretty picky about my floors, keeping them vacuumed or scrubbed consistently so I was appalled to find out something had leaked under the fridge - gross!
I'm grateful for hot summer days where I can open all the windows and scrub things down to my heart's content, and looking at the calendar has prompted me to move the rest of my cleaning/sorting tasks to the top of my list while the weather is still accommodating.
We may still have a whole half summer left, but the days will sweep by and we'll be in to the cooler days of fall before we know it. What are your priorities for the remaining weeks of summer?