Climb­ing toma­toes, any­one?

Rappahannock News - - SCHOOLS • NEWS - RICHARD BRADY morelchase­[email protected]; 675-3754

Okay, so what do you DO with a six pound sweet potato? My bride looks at it like it is the mon­ster from the dark la­goon. I thought about tak­ing it to my friend, Mr. Jenk­ins, who thought­fully brought me a box of sweet pota­toes a few years ago when mine didn’t make it. I think I will spare him the trou­ble of de­cid­ing what he should do with it. I am go­ing to peel it, cut it up into cubes and boil it. Then I will mash it up and put two cups of the mash into sep­a­rate freezer bags. Then, when I want a sweet potato pie, I’ll just take out an in­di­vid­ual bag and go from there. That seems sim­ple enough.

Speak­ing of mash, the lit­tle ap­ple tree that I told you about a week or two ago gave me al­most an­other bushel of ap­ples. Since we had al­ready made ap­ple­sauce and ap­ple pie and ap­ple cake and ap­ple but­ter, I de­cided I had enough scrubby ap­ples to make some cider.

I set up my home­made grinder that I used for years to make ham­burger and such from veni­son and ran a big 5-gal­lon bucket of ap­ples through it. I was very dis­ap­pointed at the amount of juice I got af­ter run­ning the mash through a strainer.

I had a heavy, clean sack that my last ham came in, so I used that to put the mash in and started squeez­ing. Voila! That was the an­swer. I got over six quarts of re­ally dark ap­ple juice from that buck­et­ful of ap­ples. Then I took some cheese cloth and dou­bled and tripled it and put that in the bot­tom of the strainer and ran it through again. Things are look­ing bet­ter all the time.

Those quart jars went into the garage re­frig­er­a­tor and I left the tops loose. My only prob­lem now is that I gave a quart to this friend and a quart to that friend and with my sam­pling it ev­ery day, I am down to two and a half quarts and it still hasn’t ma­tured to ex­actly the way I like it. I am go­ing to leave the rest of it alone un­til I get just a few clear beads around the edge of the glass when it is poured. That is the way my fa­ther liked it.

Fi­nally, I wish you could see what is grow­ing in the flower bed in front of our house. Ap­par­ently, a bird de­posited a seed from a cherry tomato and we have cherry toma­toes in the front yard. The plant is ad­ja­cent to a nan­d­ina bush that Linda planted when we moved here. The nan­d­ina is about seven feet tall, and the lit­tle cherry tomato, us­ing the nan­d­ina for sup­port, is stick­ing out of the top of that by about a foot.

No wor­ries about what to do with the toma­toes: my sis­ter loves them and we have been tak­ing them to her by the sack full. Stay well and en­joy this beau­ti­ful fall weather. And the next time you hit your knees, take a minute or two and re­mem­ber all the good folks in Texas and Florida who are deal­ing with losses from Har­vey and Irma. I can’t even imag­ine what it must be like. I am so thank­ful the good Lord put me where he did.

BY RICHARD BRADY

What’s grow­ing in the flower bed in front of our house?

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