Climbing tomatoes, anyone?

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.

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Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 131 Articles
Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.

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