Just to say I’m not really neglecting the blog but I’ve been occupied. The Japanese indigo did very well on Monday and I have a bunch of stuff to show except that first I need to rinse and dry and photograph it. I left some of the oldest plants alone in case they decide to flower for me. The rest I cut off the largest stems, depleting the plants by about half. I got rather wet in the rain too, even wearing a nylon jacket and a Tilley hat! That was just about when my friend Jo showed up to help strip off the leaves.
We got enough to fill my biggest dyepot about 3/4s full which was more than the first time. Because the amount was larger it took longer to bring the cold water covering the leaves up to 70C. Eventually they started to turn the “cooked” colour and we stirred a lot to prevent hot spots and overcooking. The only thing I did differently this time was to let it cool for awhile before doing anything else with it while we had lunch. When we came back it was still quite hot so I put one of my pop bottles of ice into it for a short while and soon got it down to 50C. Then we added the soda ash and beat it with the stick blender for a short while. The bubbles turned bright blue almost immediately so I wasn’t sure how long to beat and it was probably only about 5 minutes tops. Worked however!
I’ll save the rest of the report until I have photos to show. Unfortunately I missed taking pictures of Jo’s fabulous handwoven scarf. It was black and white and she dyed it so that it went from deep blue at one end to pale at the other. So pretty! I need to be more on the ball with the camera, huh?
I babysat the big grandbeasties yesterday and we had a good time. Except that Super-Princess pigged out on the blueberries and blackberries in my garden and then was sick on and off for the rest of the day. Purple puke! Yum. Her little brother Stargazer, who didn’t eat very many at all, helped me make cakes with the berries on top. When asked if she wanted to help place the berries, poor SP turned green and went and upchucked again. So needless to say she didn’t have any cake for dessert but got some mango gelato specially scooped by her grampa instead. I think by dinner time she was feeling somewhat better though because she ate ok. Hopefully she made it home in her grandma’s car! I sent a towel and a plastic bag with them just in case.
Today I need to deal with a mountain of dirty dishes and go pick the summer squashes, cukes and beans in the garden. Three days and they’ve grown to monster proportions! I also need to finally make the bean pickles. But first I have to go to the store and get some more spices and vinegar. And probably canning lids. I’ll have to check.
Is it just me or is the To-Do list getting longer by the second?