back in the city means busy

a week at the cottage, a week on the road, a week of back to school, here we are back to the city routine.

there never seems to be a moment's rest! we got a lot done this weekend, in between hosting and going to playdates.

first off, just for fun, the kiddo and i are working on a science project: the classic baking-soda-vinegar volcano! here's the papier mache shell:

we got the first layer of papier mache done early, so it could dry while we went out to get supplies for all of our planned activities. and i got a hairdo! (warning: terrible blurry pic)

then we made cookie dough (as yet unbaked, sacre bleu) and brownies:

(don't tell the kid they have black beans in them, he doesn't know they have any health benefits.)

then it was time to tackle the dreaded grapes.

i had swept up and tossed a good deal of detritus, but after friday's storm, there was more of that work to do. then, the harvest. harvesting grapes is harder than it sounds. they're above your head, which gets tiring for your arms, neck, and shoulders, and it's hard to see what you're doing. and they are a favourite of wasps. we have three varieties of grapes and at least that many kinds of wasps, all buzzing around angrily. the kid got stung the other day, so i was a bit more anxious than usual, and he, in the role of "basket handler," was extra-anxious. can't blame him.

but, we got all the concords. after washing, picking them over, and removing the stems, we had about 10 lbs.

then came the tedious work of separating the skins from the blobby middles. boring nasty work! watching the muppet treasure island made it a bit more bearable.

Lew Zealand knitting a Jolly Roger

then the straining, the re-weighing, the cooking. ugh. 7 jars of jam, but that giant jug of juice tells you that i only got half the grapes cooked. the rest will just have to wait. i need more sugar and jars.

while waiting for the jam to climb those final few degrees up to the jelly point (about 221f), i got a few rows done on my canadian kal cardigan:

we finished off the weekend with veggie lasagna (sweet potatoes, spinach, and ricotta):

here's a side-view shot:

and for dessert, apple crumble. we picked the apples with our neighbour, from a tree growing in the alley behind our houses.

finally, we put a coat of paint on the volcano:

he wants to add a few more details after school, and with his teacher's permission, he'll take it to school on tuesday.

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