Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bartering, Peach Jam, Conjoined Twins

Ask and ye shall receive! Herewith, over at, the peach jam recipe. Even Michael makes this jam. Even Michael. Michael who, when we lived in a vegetarian co-op, would, on his night to cook, put out gallons of milk and boxes of Life cereal. That Michael. (Now, you're thinking to yourself, is that a good way to positively reinforce Michael's challenging of himself in the kitchen? Michael's making of peach jam? By shaming him publicly? No. LinkNo it is not.)

And the deodorant recipe is Angry Chicken's, here. (It really works. And I recommend following her advice of going in on the ingredients with a friend or two. Assuming you have friends you can approach with such a request: "Hey, you seem kind of stinky and broke. Want to start making homemade deodorant with me?" We made an evening of it, complete with bottles of wine and shea butter.)

And homemade bikini wax is here. Easy and, as my kids noted, delicious! All I'm saying is: let it cool, okay? Let it coooool. That $25 dollars you saved isn't going to go very far at the ER when you're getting your groin burn treated.

And my Brain, Child piece is here. (Hey, thanks for asking! Sorry so strange!)

And Krishna from last week's comments: wow, it gets so much easier to do things. I used to imagine going to my grave having only eaten miniature Snickers bars since giving birth to Ben in 1999. When I showed up a party recently with homemade crackers, our friend Lee said, "Catherine, I think you need to have another baby. You've obviously got too much time on your hands." Sigh.

And my bartering request: I got an offer to trade pickles and jam for sex toys and lingerie. Life is good.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A quick note from Ma Ingalls before the long winter sets in

Hello, hello! It has been so long, and so much has changed, hasn't it? The little ones are at school, the afternoons are bright, sleep is breezy and cool, the trees are painting each other overnight. (Hello, inadvertent rhyme scheme!)

I have made tabouli
and chocolate zucchini cupcakes
and two late summer dips.

And you--you have been to Echo Lake and Petit Lac Echo. You've worn your undies on the beach and explored the foresty corners of your yard. You've been obsessed with Pippi Longstocking and you've started started school and you've started homeschooling and you've given your children shot glasses as little cups to drink out of (which I would never do). You've made roasted tomato sauce that came out great, and some that came out weird (girlinaboyhouse Nicole, maybe it turned orange from air getting blended into it???). You've been home and away and delighted and exhausted and now--well, now it's now. And you're here.

And meanwhile, I was pickling beans

and jalapenos

and carrots

and pickles

and also I was making peach jam and wild grape jam and autumn olive jam, and also dill sandwich slices and pear fruit leather and bread and butter pickles and underarm deodorant and also there in the front, that little jar of brown something?

Bikini wax. Homemade bikini wax.

I have become the DIY equivalent of the lady with the all the cats who loves all her cats so, so much, even though she doesn't understand how it is that her one kitten turned into all these many many cats and the cat hair and the cat food smell and the gravelly litter underfoot everywhere. What has happened, and how?

They will find us and we will be buried under mason jars and mason jar lids and pickled sneakers and homemade Tampax and I will still have this goofy smile on my face and I will send them away with a jar of jam.

"It's like money in the bank!" I keep saying to Michael, gesturing at my rows and rows of jars, and he smiles at me strangely and says, "It is a little bit like money in the bank." Ah. Yes. I see. In fact, canning instead of working is really nothing at all like money in the bank. It's almost the opposite of money in the bank. If only I lived in a bartering economy. Sigh.