"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!" or so cried one of the King Henry’s in a Shakespearean play. I have my own version of that line now: "Once more unto the BEACH dear Friend…once more"
So today, on a whim and a quick change of plans….we took the boat to our favorite spot on our favorite lake to celebrate another beautiful warm September day…a day with little wind which has a lot to do with our decisions—long- thought- out or a spur- of- the moment one—- if the wind is calm, it will be a divine day to be out in our fishing boat— enjoying the sunshine, the water, the special beach and cove we have discovered late this summer. Today there was a most pleasant scent out on the lake—a sweet fresh smell of clean water and it was a delicious aroma to take in.
The Splish-Splash part indicates that once again we went swimming in the clear water of the sandy beach we have enjoyed so much. Others have enjoyed it too…today there was a marker placed in the sand along the beach…..a partly burned log from blackened campfire remains placed upright with sand heaped up around its base to help it stay standing tall. There are others who think they are just as adventurous and foxy as we do, finding that lovely spot along the lovely lake!!!
It was quiet today….just a few fisherman, quite a few gulls and cormorants sitting on the rocks of a submerged island….several loons diving and calling to each other. The little wind made for a glassy surface with few ripples—just a perfect day for one last trip to the lake. Only I am hoping it won’t be the last…..if the nights get cold, the only thing missing will be the refreshing dip/swim when the water truly does feel like glacial melt. I look forward to more boating and watching the variety of hardwood trees turning to their fall coats of red, gold, orange, maroon, pale green, and pale brown. It will happen sooner than later.
TOMMYTOES AND OTHER GOOD STUFF FROM THE GARDEN When I spent a good part of my days engaging children in reading, I loved the "Ramona" series of novels by Beverly Cleary. In one of the books, Ramona re-names a garden product from tomatoes to "tommy-toes". I fell for that cute phrase and have called the delicious red late summer fruits (they ARE fruit, you know) tommy-toes just like the fictional Ramona. Right now there are a half a table full of red ripe "tommy- toes" in my kitchen area. I gave up the idea of making salsa today when the weather said "go to the lake once more" so tomorrow, the tommy-toes have to be taken care of. I hope I will have multiple jars of salsa and tomato mix all ready to open up in the winter when I decide to make chili or spaghetti sauce. Here is a really tasty OLD recipe from my first brother in law’s Mom; it is called "Chicago Hot"….a tomato relish.
2 quarts of ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped/ 1 bunch of celery chopped fine/ 1 cup of chopped onions/ 2 red peppers chopped fine/ 1 green pepper chopped fine/ 3 cups white vinegar/ 1/2 cup mustard seed/ 1 cup sugar/ 2 TBS salt. Peel and chop tomatoes and all other vegetables. Add vinegar after making sure all other liquid from vegetables is drained off/ Add sugar and seasonings. Stir and pack in clean canning jars. Put seals and covers in place on jars/ Process in a hot water canner bath for at least one hour, reducing to simmer after the water has boiled up around the jars. Let canner cool down and remove jars checking to see that they have sealed properly (press a finger in the middle of the cap to see if it is firmly in place without "popping" back up)
If you wanted to make a small batch to just taste what it is like, you can reduce the amounts down to at least 1/4 of the recipe and cook it in a kitchen pot or pan on a low heat til all the ingredients are thoroughly cooked. It IS good!!!!
I CAN’T BELEIVE I HEARD IT (CATEGORY) In the past two days, a small group of desperate political people have done it again…they are "playing the race card" in order to draw attention to something they want done and can only do (they think) by heaping guilt on opponents. After the Presidential speech last Wednesday to both houses of Congress when a representative from South Carolina shouted out (improperly) "You lie!" the small group of folks who cannot let a good opportunity pass have decided that anyone who opposes any of President Obama’s agenda are "Racists". Yesterday former President Jimmy Carter made a rambling unsubstantiated claim to this effect. The rambunctious, raucous, red-headed Maureen Dowd of the New York Times had already done it when she claimed to have heard (subliminally of course) the shout as "You lie….Boy!" Another member of the Black Caucus whose name I cannot raise, agreed with both Carter and Dowd and fired a large scatter-shot accusation of "racism" against the first black President. I am amazed. Just this past November, Barack Obama put the "racism" card to bed, forever, I thought, when he was decisively elected by ALL American voters. Obama is an AMERICAN president! He deserves respect and the man who called out "You lie" was totally out of order, and later..realizing how out of line he had been, called and apologized to the President and to others in the assembled chambers that night. Obama accepted his apology and expressed his desire to "move on" and forget the outburst as a passion-generated boo- boo. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed that the outburst had been taken care of with the apologies and wanted to get on with the business of both Houses of Congress as well. But that small group that simply could not let it go without the accusation of "racism"..false as it may be…..and have made fools of themselves in the recent days by playing once again, the infamous "race card"—a ploy we have seen many times before in American politics. It only seems to happen when a certain group is unable to get their desired Bill or policy change to be accepted by voters……then the guilt trip (race card) is brought out. It is a sad commentary on American life when such an accusation is made out of desperation. It is a terrible reminder of a part of our history that the majority of us want to be past and done with. It is hard to do that when we have people like Carter and Dowd, as well as others who are so willing to drag it out again—-and again—-and again.