Best Sauce Season Ever

Worn to a frazzle cutting firewood. A while back George and I felled a fairly good size oak tree and a giant pine. We cut it into 3’ chunks for future splitting. His nephew has a 12 ton log splitter and lent it to George for the occasion. It took us 2 four hour days to split and stack it – about all we can handle in this heat. We worked from about 8 AM until noon. I also broke out the power washer and did the back porch and front deck in the late afternoon. I made good progress all week fighting back the jungle so we’re in pretty good shape for expected company.

To celebrate we did lunch at Persimmon Hollow in downtown Deland. Picked up taco’s across the alley and then quaffed a couple brews. What could be better? The taco’s there are really exceptional and convenient. You order the taco’s and they give you a buzzer to alert you when they’re ready. That gives you time to cross the alley to the brewery and have a draft pulled.

As predicted the last batch of tomatoes yielded a full 12 quart pot of sauce. We’re down to a small handful of tomatoes but simply ran out of pot. A final measure of the sauce stored in the freezer, not counting all the sauce we ate or gave away during the season – 2 cubic feet. It occupies 1/3 of the 6 cubic foot freeze stacked nicely. Based on that I’m going to limit the fall tomato planting to maybe 8-10 plants. The sauce this year is noticeably better than in previous years, all because of the superior tomatoes. Usually Florida tomatoes are nearly tasteless but these particular varieties or the growing conditions this year resulted in the best tasting tomatoes ever (in Florida).

I’ve got nearly half the garden cleaned out now and a huge pile of compost to work down. The garden will mostly rest now until the next season starts in September. I started pulling the tomato plants from the garden and was really happy to find virtually no nematode damage at all. From the yield I was expecting only minimal damage but this was much cleaner than I had imagined. The varieties I planted claimed nematode resistance but so have many others I’ve tried with no success at all. I also planted these with special care using every trick I’ve developed so it was probably a combination of all these measures.

We went to Olivia’s 21st birthday this past weekend. The guests included some family, some of Olivia’s friends, some of Tina’s friends, and some of Tom’s co-workers and students. An interesting mix to be sure. They broke out the Oasis frozen drink machine which had been inactive for several years so the margarita’s and kin were flowing. The original plan was to eat and then have a non stop pool volley ball game but a substantial storm built and rained out the game.

I’ll say one thing about Nancy’s impaired vision – she sure still plays a mean bridge game, buys loads of quilting material both online and in person, and spends a fair amount of time perusing the internet. And she can still see any micro spec of dirt I happen to bring in on my shoes.

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