Hi there - I'm back from Australia!
Exciting stuff - jumping from summer in Iowa to winter in Australia to fall in Iowa, plus or minus 15 hours of time zone change and 5 weeks or so.
Jet lag: much worse coming back than going out, I have to say.
Melatonin is my new best friend.
I hope you enjoyed some of my travel piccies I put up while I was gone. We're almost caught up, you and I, on my best piccies, but there's still Prague and Vienna, and of course Australia, to share. I should get them out and up soon to be ready for upcoming trips - I am looking forward to Dorset in winter and Italy next summer.
Other stuff has happened besides travel.
I submitted my tenure package.
What's that, you ask?
Well, basically it means that all my work colleagues vote - anonymously - on whether I deserve to get promoted or get fired.
On a slightly less depressing note - I got a major haircut.
Love the shorter hair. So swishy and flippy.
See photo above. Compare to about page.
A big birthday has just passed.
One with a zero. Trying to ignore it.
The arrival of a pressure canner, and with it, the potential for canned tomato sauce in 10 minutes instead of 40.
The British Guy was left her in Iowa to deal with the tomato harvest - 85 pounds while I was away.
He learned to roast tomatoes pretty fast. You must, when the only other option is being smothered in an avalanche of tomatoes.
We've gotten at least 50 more pounds since I got back.
Hence the profound love for the pressure canner.
I've canned chopped tomatoes, sauce, made my own ketchup (from HFW River Cottage, posted there on the Paupered Chef blog. I'll get my version up soon...it's all about the spices).
Also tomatilloes. I'm busy making this on an industrial scale.
And we had a frost watch yesterday night so I had a yard-wide herb chop and am madly drying basil, parsley, sage, and tarragon.
Finally, deciding to really, completely go gluten-free.
Once and for all, for everything I eat.
Honestly - it's a pain. Especially when travelling.
Airports are grim places to find food that's verifiably gluten-free.
I do tremendously miss my favorite bread and cookie foods.
GF baking is tricky.
These non-wheat flours behave badly.
I am not the master of the kitchen anymore and it makes me grumpy.
Despite all that, I feel completely good. Which makes it all totally worthwhile.
And I will eventually crack the baking thing.