Bear Tales and Business

Steve at computerSteve’s been giving me a hard time for neglecting my blog. I tried to tell him that I’ve had a lot of business lately, so he said he’d write a post himself. “Fine,” I says, “be my guest!” So here he is, trying his hand at blogging. But he kept fussing around with it, and couldn’t figure out the interface on WordPress, so I finally got fed up and said I’d take over again. He looked rather relieved at that, and has gone back to discussing poetry with Horatio.

grape juice (2)So, yes, there’s been a lot of business lately. That’s business as in busy-ness, not biz-ness, you know, with dollars and cents. Figuring out this blog interface thing wasn’t the only issue, although that took a fair amount of time on its own. There’s also been the ongoing harvest – still food to process, dontcha know. I made 18 litres of grape juice from the Coronation grape vine climbing our balcony (32 kg grapes!), and if you’ve never made grape juice, you have no idea of the mess it generates. In fact, I’d never made it in these quantities before, either, and was quite astonished at the resulting blood bath (grape blood, that is). See? grape juice (3)And then, of course, afterwards I had to clean it up, too. Grape juice is incredibly staining – one drop on my light beige kitchen counter, and I’d have a bluish spot forever. I did, in fact, have stains all over that counter for years – not just grape juice and other food substances, but rust rings from where someone left a damp cast iron pan sitting on it for far too long. But then sometime this spring I discovered the secret to rejuvenating kitchen counters: BS.

grape juice (4)No, not that kind of BS. I’m talking about baking soda. Now, that stuff has been my go-to scouring powder for years, but scrubbing the stains on the counter with it had never seemed to do much. Until I discovered the magic trick: time. You make a paste of baking soda and water, smear it all over the stain, and let it sit for an hour or more. Then you can take a sponge or rag, and with the application of a bit of elbow grease the stains quite simply vanish. Voilà, kitchen counters good as new! Which had me quite excited, back there in spring, because the stains were so bad I had already priced out what it would cost to replace the counters. Several thousand dollars, actually. Yes, ouch. Not really in the budget. But then, with a buck or two (if even) of BS, lovely clean counters.grape juice (1)

So there  you have it. Grape juice. Blogging interfaces. Apple butter (thereby hangs another tale – I’d never made that before, it’s yummy!). Dried plums, apples and pears. Grape jelly without commercial pectin. Lots of BS to clean up after it. And that’s just the half of it. So, yes, Steve, I’ve been busy. Hope you’re enjoying your poetry discussions; you’ll have to share them with me sometime.

Life, the Universe, and Business. Nothing a little BS won’t take care of.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Bear Tales and Business

  1. Thanks for the tip about BS! I have some tea stains and turmeric stains I would love to get off our counters before we leave this place (she says, thinking of the security deposit). I would love your recipe for apple butter – we’re going apple picking tomorrow, and I’m hoping to bring home enough for some applesauce and even apple butter. Although, let’s be honest, mostly we’re just going to eat them.

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    • amo

      I know, I was really excited when I found out about the BS. Thank you, Google!
      I made my apple butter in the slow cooker, which was really easy and didn’t burn (I hear that’s the tricky bit with doing it on the stove top). Took about 2 quarts applesauce, 1 c. sugar, and 2 heaping tsp cinnamon (the recipe also called for 1 tsp ground cloves, but I left that out). Put in the slow cooker on high for 8-10 hrs, remove lid for the last 4 hrs and let it boil down to half its volume. Done! I also ended up canning it in jam jars, 10 min. in boiling water bath. One warning: the smell is absolutely maddening, it makes you just want to keep whipping the lid off and taste some. Put some applesauce aside to satisfy the cravings while the butter cooks!

      Liked by 1 person

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