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Le Clown just left the building. Finally, I can have a glass of Gewurtztraminer and try to tell the tale of this most epic of days, the day upon which Le Clown paid a call. Of course, Le Clown skipped out on our trip to the State Fair yesterday due to his overly popular blogroll contest, but in his great magnificence decided to hang out with me despite the domestic tasks on my schedule for today.

Yes, Le Clown, you can have some espresso too. (Big, big mistake…)

Le Clown joined Mr. Chickadee and me for our morning espresso and cigarette (yes, we’re cutting back, seriously.) At first he only teased about wanting to bum a smoke, but before you knew it, he’d absconded with one of my few remaining cancer sticks.

Coffee & Cigarette to Start the Day

Bumming my smokes! What a bum.

Well. That’s how it goes with Le Clown around. Little did I know what a harbinger of things to come this would be. Of course, Le Clown said he’d lend a hand…

Le Clown recommends Jiffy Mix for quick peach-laden waffles.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that most of Le Clown’s “helping” involved snide comments and getting in the way. He had to stick his clown nose into the waffle batter, and was equally curious about the subsequent waffles.

Yes, Le Clown, you can have a peach waffle too.

Over breakfast, I briefed Le Clown about the day’s plans: salsa. Lots and lots of salsa. “What, this six-pack of spicy red salsa ain’t enough?” he quipped. “Not hardly,” I said, trying not to sound too disdainful.

This stuff is loaded with cayenne – spicy is putting it lightly.

I offered Le Clown a hefty dose of pharmaceutical adjustment to get his day going. For some reason, he didn’t feel like taking my ten pills. Maybe because he couldn’t take ’em all in one gulp like me. Pussy.

“Please take your meds, DeeDee!” Le Clown pleaded pitifully.

So he just watched me eat my waffle-and-drugs breakfast, all the while talking a mile a minute about his brats. Right on, old dude, I muttered through my waffle.

Le Clown suggests the maple syrup to complement the delicate flavors of peaches, fish oil, amphetamines, bupropion, sertraline, and lamotrigine.

Mr. Chickadee and I had spent most of the prior afternoon (before Le Clown showed up) preparing 8 qts of peaches and 8 qts of yellow tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market for making salsa, which speeded up today’s work.

Jalapenos for a double batch of peach salsa. Le Clown refuses to get his dainty hands spicy.

Still, Le Clown had the privilege of witnessing my skilled tango in the kitchen, as I prepared first the jalapenos, and then the onions, when Le Clown rudely interrupted to demand a demonstration of my onion-peeling technique. He sounded a bit disturbing as he watched me work, “Yeah, peel that onion, that’s right, do it! Do it now!”

Le Clown claimed that onions can’t make him cry. Liar.

The last set of ingredients that go into the large pot were spices – cumin, chipotle, and cayenne. Le Clown looked a little uncomfortable with all that heat to contend with; he kept making comments about still being the spiciest thing in the room. No need for insecurity, Le Clown, really. It’s just spices.

You need things spiced up? Just invite Le Clown into your kitchen!

Finally, it was time to prepare the peaches. They were all hand-chopped to maintain some chunkiness once the salsa was all cooked up and processed. It just took awhile, during which time Mr. Chickadee finished peeling and seeding the yellow tomatoes.

That’s a lot of peaches, baby. Millions of peaches, peaches for me.

While the peach salsa started cooking, it was time to start making the tomatillo salsa verde. I had cored and quartered the tomatillos the day before, so today they went into the food processor for fine chopping.

Le Clown sniffed the tomatillos suspiciously, as though he’d never seen them in Canada.

Le Clown continued to make snide, ignorant comments about the tomatillos while I chopped up three more quarts I bought at the Farmer’s Market yesterday.

No, tomatillos are not “Mexican tomatoes,” Le Clown!

With the help of my awesome food processor, not Le Clown, the jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, and onions were quickly minced to perfection. Le Clown told me that he had invented the food processor, with some elaborate story about getting screwed out of his patent rights.

Le Clown still cracking jokes about how much hotter he is than a dozen jalapenos.

After inspecting my work, Le Clown decided to go harass Mr. Chickadee for awhile, who instead left the kitchen, sat on the couch, and listened to baseball on his iPad while petting his bitchy cat. Mr. Chickadee had already done his fair share of the work by peeling, seeding, and chopping a whole lot of yellow tomatoes.

Yellow tomatoes are not from Asia, Le Clown!

As the stove top got cramped, Le Clown got in the way, again. Those are called “jar lifters,” Le Clown, not “weenie grabbers.”

Le Clown is comfortable everywhere.

Still, he admitted that he was impressed when he looked in to see two full batches of salsas ready for the canner. Before lunch.

Le Clown tried to take some credit for the magnificence of the morning salsas.

After lunch – leftover peach waffles smothered in fresh peach salsa – Le Clown decided he could help me prepare for dinner. Just a simple marinade for some wild-caught sockeye salmon, a little fresh rosemary, oil, and balsamic.

Le Clown impresses everyone with his artistic rendition of “rosemary and olive oil.”

A little balsamic completes the marinade. Voila, says Le Clown, in that affected Francophone sort of way.

Le Clown approves of our wild-caught sockeye salmon filet, but keeps drooling in the marinade.

But disaster loomed – I’d used up all the jars and yet still had lots of peaches and tomatoes and salsa bedecking practically every surface in my kitchen.

The first batch of salsa is canned, but there’s still tons of salsa left.

Of course, Le Clown was ignoring all the hard work Mr. Chickadee was doing in the background (while Le Clown was too busy pestering me.) He had peeled and grated a whole bunch of carrots, and cut more of them up into sticks for making escabeche tomorrow.

Le Clown conveniently ignores Mr. Chickadee’s many contributions to the day’s labors.

Meanwhile, I was still trying to find some way to use up all those peaches. So many peaches! Le Clown loved my idea for a special peachy treat: slices suspended in rum and dotted with a few cloves.

Le Clown got all excited about the rummy peaches at first, but then got all huffy about not needing “that stuff” to have a good time. What do you have against peaches, Le Clown?

I was still out of jars, rings, and lids. Not to mention that I needed a few more things to make a few more things. So Le Clown and I took a short trip to the overpriced local grocery store.

Le Clown approves of my new car stereo, complete with “new” 80gb iPod dedicated to car tunes.

At the grocery store, Le Clown played the backseat grocery shopper, except not in the backseat. He did, however, appreciate my choices of organic produce, and officially now certifies my salsas “Hipster-approved.”

This cilantro is Hipster-approved, courtesy of Le Clown.

Le Clown kept asking me what kind of crazy person would need this particular collection of groceries. “Me, of course!” I had to reply.

Le Clown is a backseat shopper. He wants my gummy bears.

I also made a quick stop at the gas station for cigarettes. Le Clown mocked me roundly for indulging in tobacco and gummy bears. “I can’t help myself, Le Clown! I’m addicted to their disgusting charms!” I sulked and drove home in malevolent silence while Le Clown continued to pontificate.

Le Clown shames me for my vices. For shame, naughty chickadee!

Back home, I started on the peach barbecue sauce in an attempt to finish off what remained of the peaches. I loaded ’em up into the trusty food processor to make all that cutting and chopping quick and smooth. Le Clown questioned my use of labor-saving devices on a philosophical basis. I ignored Le Clown.

Peaches, be gone!

Of course, then I discovered that the peach cobbler filling was probably responsible for a 2-cup shortfall in my peach supply. So I substituted passion fruit pulp (a safe move as it’s quite a bit more acidic than peaches).

Passion fruit pulp? What a clever solution! Le Clown is magnificent in his praise of novelty.

As the peach barbecue sauce started to bubble, Le Clown took over “stirring frequently,” proclaiming the making of barbecue sauce to be manly enough for his frequent stirrings.

Peach barbecue sauce commands Le Clown’s magnificent nostrils. He can’t help but stir it frequently.

Le Clown started drooling when I start making a side of fresh, crisp green beans with shreds of Chinese cabbage. The combined aromas of green beans and peach barbecue wafted throughout the humid, sweltering kitchen.

Le Clown gets wedged between hot sticky peach barbecue sauce and delicious crisp Haricots verts.

I reminded Le Clown that I also made a carrot-raisin salad while cleaning up from the carrot shredding for the carrot-pepper salsa. It’s nearly dinner time!

Le Clown is humbled by Mr. Chickadees mad phat grill skillz.

Le Clown was simply amazed at the magnificence of Mr. Chickadee’s grilling skills. The salmon filets were absolutely perfect. The grilled vegetables were almost as good – baby Chinese cabbage spread with sriracha sauce, and roasted Hatch chilis au naturel.

Le Clown was pleased by our humble Upstate NY hospitality when we presented him a delicious, nutritious plate of dinner.

Le Clown finally shut up when we give him a plate of delicious healthy American food. That’s right. This is food that Americans eat, Le Clown! Real Americans! Therefore it is American food. Delicious and healthful. So there. Now eat your vegetables.

Le Clown has another cigarette, already victim to the temptress Nicotine.

Le Clown also enjoyed an American cigarette with us after dinner. Half a cigarette for me, thanks. I’m working on quitting. Le Clown went on and on about how he quit smoking and sold his soul to White Baby Jesus or some such crap.

Le Clown tries to take credit for the honey idea. Lies, Le Clown, lies! That was MY brilliant innovation!

Of course, what’s Sunday dinner without a little dessert? The peaches that I’d saved out earlier were unceremoniously dumped into a baking dish. I whipped up some cobbler dough from the Joy of Cooking recipe, smeared it onto the peaches, and drizzled with honey. Done.

The peach cobbler was amazing. I want to go eat more. Right now.

Finally, the third batch of goods came out of the canner. Le Clown surveyed our day’s work with pride. “Look at all the salsa I’ve made!” he claimed, as though he’d lifted a finger to help.

11 jars of peach salsa, 5 jars of peach barbecue sauce, 12 jars of tomatillo salsa verde, and 5 jars of carrot-pepper salsa.

At that point, it was pretty late in the evening. Both Le Clown and I were a bit loopy, and Le Clown kept begging annoyingly for cobbler. The cobbler was still too hot, I told him, and would certainly burn his tongue. I finally managed to shoo him out with our cobbler intact after a long, protracted, salubrious goodbye. If you insist, Le Clown, I promise, we’ll come visit you in Montreal next time, OK?

Le Clown waxes poetic, “Parting is such sweet sorrow! So is peach cobbler – gimme some!”

That peach cobbler was amazing.