South Beach is going well, although I think I may have temporarily lost the use of my kitchen… Contractors are drywalling my back room and fixing up my bathroom today with no notice whatsoever from the landlord, so my house is a disaster right now *sigh* I’m deeply unhappy about this because I was finally getting the house organized how I liked it (after living there for 8 years, I know…). But it was CLEAN, and it was mostly neat and tidy, and… well, now it’s a big honking mess again. Kari can attest to this, she saw it last night.

Monday night when Jeff and I did groceries, I picked up this odd-looking thing in the “exotic” vegetables area. I think it’s either a fruit or some sort of squash. It was billed as “bitter melon”, but it didn’t look like a spiky green penis, so I’m not sure WHAT it is (I’m wondering what kind of traffic the phrase “spiky green penis” is going to bring…). It kind of looks like a cross between a chayote and an enormous pear, but no idea what it actually is. I’ll take & post some pictures later tonight in the hopes that someone can enlighten me. I also bought a tamarillo which is, by all reports, similar to passionfruit 🙂 I love it when they bring unusual stuff into the grocery store, because I get to try new things!

I had bought a gorgeous local cantaloupe to make Marisa’s Cantaloupe Vanilla Jam (from her new Food in Jars cookbook), but now with the contractors messing up my place, I’m not sure how long it’ll be until I can do stuff like that in the kitchen. Guess I’ll just have to eat this one and buy a new one when my kitchen has been restored. I have two bags of Granny Smith apples that need to be made into apple butter SOON, especially as I think one of the apples in the bag has gone off – have to inspect those tonight.

Right now, what I’m most looking forward to is getting my sea legs under me at work – I feel a bit lost still, and need to just grit my teeth and wade through the paper and get it done. I did get my medical/dental benefits card! I’ll have to see what’s covered and what isn’t, and I got the kids covered as well, so that’s a plus. BENEFITS, y’all! HOLY CRAP. I’m really missing Chicago right about now though… decent kitchen, comfy place to sit and knit, oh… and that whole “boyfriend” thing 😉 It’s amazing how much easier everything seems when you have another adult in the house to talk things over with, share with, and be dragged off to bed at a reasonable hour with. It’s kind of scary how much I miss him (and the boy) when I come home after a long visit.

Lately I’ve been jonesing for a garden again. It’s harvest time, and I’m oh-so-resentful of the upstairs neighbour’s cat who destroyed my tomato plants. *sigh* (and all my herbs) The pots have all been cleaned out and put away. We’ll have to see if I’m feeling brave enough to try again in the spring. In the meantime, I’m going to try to get my hands on some decently cheap produce to can. Now that it’s starting to cool down, I can look at doing a batch of cherry jam, and maybe tackling those plums I froze before I left. I’ll have to buy a couple of cookie sheets of my own to freeze stuff on, as I’m sure Kari would like hers back at some point. Maybe the dollar store has some cheap ones I can use – if it’s not for baking, they don’t really have to be high quality.

Hoping to finish my Hurricane Hat tonight… pics to follow!

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