Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunshine on a cloudy day

Our mail carrier is, like so much of our neighborhood, a real treasure. He never ever wears anything but shorts with his uniform. I suppose he doesn't get cold. He's unfailingly cheerful, stops to talk to the children, is interested in gardening, gardens himself, and is just generally a dear. I look forward to his visits and am always vaguely disquieted when a Different Mail Carrier brings our mail.

Yesterday was a gray, cold day. We've finally turned on our heat stove, to prevent the children from scampering from bed to bath all day long. Yet, up drove Shane, in shorts as usual. I saw him hand Tor a box from his mail truck and drive on. Tor scampered in, "A package from mama!"

I didn't remember ordering any new yarn, so I couldn't think of what it might be. But there, nestled inside, was a jar of pure summer:

Ribbit had sent, as threatened, a jar of chunky peach and red pepper sauce. I can't wait to broil up some chicken and serve it with wild rice. If I really loved my extended family I'd somehow work it into our shared Thanksgiving dinner, but family fealty only goes so far.

Thanks Ribbit! I can hardly wait to taste it.

In other news, I did the "really last" harvest out of my hives and bottled that honey up directly in sale jars. 42 pounds of ready-to-go honey. I've sold some, but not as much as I'd hoped, but two jars paid for a haircut for one of my kids. Our hairdresser travels to our house, and she's just great. I cut kids' hair myself for a long time, but I don't do well with even ends on very straight hair, and the teenager has a certain cut she wants that I won't even try. Bridget does a great job, loves the kids, and loves honey and eggs! I'm going to explore bartering in the future, too.


kitsapFG said...

That looks simply delicious! Ribbit is a delight and that was very nice of her to share with you.

flacaknits said...

I recently bartered some spanish lessonsreau for jar of someone you know's honey. It was great.

Heiko said...

Peach & red pepper sauce?!? Any chance for the recipe? And honey! I dream of my own hives. I might get together with a woman who has a holiday home near us and seems to know what she is doing re bees. I have only read the books so far. Bartering is alive and well in our community and is a great way to deal. Who needs money anyway!

Jeff Vandiver said...

That was very nice of ribbit. I bet it'll taste good! I hear ya on the extended family. Sure - I've got tons of preserved things I could give them on holidays, but I really hate it for them. Ha!

Daphne Gould said...

Oh what a treat. It sounds just delicious.

I'm a crafter and people in my coop are always bartering things. It is quite fun to trade things around. Now if only I could trade my jewelry for some local free range chicken or eggs. Or maple syrup or honey. Or maybe blueberry jam (I hope to make my own someday, but right now my plants are small). Yum.

suzee said...

See, I *knew* you'd take money for the sweet stuff. Next time, I'm paying. It's fantastic!

Ribbit said...

I'm so glad it got there okay. I was worried the seal would break.

Heiko, the recipe came from the Ball Blue Book as their zesty peach bbq sauce. Mine is more chunky that saucy, but it's still good eats! Here's the link.

Stefaneener, use it with good health.

Annie*s Granny said...

Oh, man...I was going to make some of that this summer, and I ended up with the wrong recipe! I should have searched back for Ribbit's post instead of relying on my terrible memory!

I'm down to the last spoonful of someone's excellent honey. I hope you know how much I enjoyed it :-)

Heiko said...

Thank you ribbit. I shall try that next summer when my peaches are ready!

Michelle said...

Oh you lucky girl, surprises in the mail and a great mailman to boot! It's been a while since I had a great mailman, two houses ago, at least the current one gets the mail in the correct box...

One of these days the chickens will start laying... And further in the future I have to get some bees!

Kate and Crew said...

How cool is that? Ribbit is such a nice person and I'm glad you've got such a yummy reminder of that! Looks delish!! Our mail carrier is a scary Russian guy who ran over our driveway lights and took off without saying a word - he drives a beat up old burgundy car and often mixes up people's mail - LOL.

Hey Daphne - I'll trade some jewelry for eggs! Just come on over. Florida's just a hop, skip and a flight away!

Dan said...

It must be so cool to have your own honey. I would have to get over my fright before attempting to have a hive that's for sure. Have you ever tried to make mead with your honey? Never tried it myself but it is supposed to be very good.

Stefaneener said...

KitsapFG, I'm going to have to post a review when I get back in town and can eat it.

Hey, flacaknits, that is a sweet deal for both of you.

Heiko, the bees know what they're doing. I just fell into keeping, and figure there's so much I don't know and I'm still managing okay that you would be fine, especially if there's anyone out there to talk to or work beside. It's pretty rewarding.

EG, you're right, and I'm hoping the packing for the jam, etc. holds all the way there. Wouldn't that be hard to explain?

Daphne, that's great. I wish I could think of someone to trade eggs with for something. Everyone I'd trade with keeps their own hens, I think. Maybe I'll throw some in for the next hair cut!

Suzee! Hey there. I'm glad you like it. I certainly do.

Ribbit, you did fine. Your packing looks less "crazy person just out of the asylum" than mine, though.

AG, we'll have to get you some honey some time soon.

Michelle, I hope you get another good mail carrier. Mine is such a treat, and it's the first time I've ever had one I like so much. This neighborhood is magical. . . Yes, you'll do fine with bees.

Kate, I'm so sorry about your mailman! Eeesh. If you're ever our here I'll introduce you guys to Shane the Wondercarrier.

Dan, it is great. I'm always a little scared with the bees. I try to breathe, and it's not as though getting stung is so very bad, it's the anticipation of it. Once I got my good jacket with the zip veil I got less wiggly. I made kefir mead, but I haven't made actual mead yet. It was nice.

Kristin said...

Peaches and red peppers--mmmm..heavenly.

It seems your girls are very happy in their Langstroth hive.

Bartering honey for haircuts is a fabulous idea. I wish I could get my hairdresser to come to my house.