Hello, friends. Even though it's mid fall, I've been able to forage a few things. I was able to harvest a passionfruit, which I enjoyed in a fruit salad. I picked a haw fruit from a hawthorne on our back border. There weren't many fruits left, so I left the others for the birds. I just want to try one, and may cook it up in some oatmeal. M asked me to take a look at a mushroom he'd seen, and lo and behold, it was a lions mane, a mushroom I've been looking for for the past two years. There were what I believe are some more smaller ones on a nearby log, which I'll keep my eye on. Now that it's cooled off and we've gotten some rain, I'm beginning to see the chickweed returning, so I'll soon be gathering some for salads.
|Lion's mane mushroom|
The fresh lima beans were blanched and bagged for the freezer. The vines have not totally died yet, and I continue to find more beans each time I look. The never ending lima bean vines! Frugal fail: I didn't use up the eggplant quickly enough, and had to compost several. I roasted some, and made it with a zucchini dish, using our tromboncino. I also tried a zucchini bread recipe to use some more up. We didn't care for it, but will eat it in some shape or form. Though there are many large loofahs on the vine, none of them have turned brown, a sign of maturity. I tried cutting one open, and found the outer 1/2" looked like loofah, but the interior looked more like squash. I expect that will be the case with all of them, so I'll just have to try again, and plant earlier next year. In the meantime, the chickens are enjoying pecking at the one I harvested.
I used up all the oregano I had dried, so harvested some more to dry. Though it does fairly well in the winter, I'm often cooking after dark, and don't want to venture out to cut oregano, though I did have to do that one night recently. In researching lion's mane, I was reminded that it tastes a bit like seafood, never one of my favorite flavors, so I decided to make medicine with it, using a dual extraction method. I brought the water to a boil, added the lion's mane, then put the pot on the wood stove to simmer overnight. I picked up a requested book at the nearby library, then ran a few errands, including picking up some birthday cards and shoe polish at Dollar General. Something that Lesley recently wrote made sense to me, regarding our communities being our "village", which changed my perspective a bit. Though it would be easy to buy shoe polish on amazon, if I can purchase it at the local Dollar General, isn't that some better? No, it's not a local cobbler (there is none), and it is a chain store, but it makes sense to me to support the local stores, to make sure they remain, and it also cuts down on the extra packaging and gas required to get it to me via amazon. A small difference, for sure, but our small choices add up.
I mended the soles of my winter slippers with a hot glue gun. They tend to want to separate from the wool slippers, so it's an ongoing thing through the cold months. I made my Mom's zucchini soup with our tromboncino, tomatoes, basil, parsley and garlic. Though J asked me back in September not to make any social plans until the firewood was in, we bought tickets back in April to attend a concert last week with friends in Charlotte. The only frugal thing about the evening was that we received a 10% discount towards our dinner for showing our tickets. The concert was in a beautiful venue, a small space that was once a church, complete with many stained glass windows, and the music was wonderful. It was a lovely evening. The next day, a friend and I attended a local quilt show. There are many talented folks in this area.
Our winter squash and pumpkins were all brought in for the winter. I made the autumn succotash recipe with some of our winter squash, and loved it as much as I did in the restaurant, so decided to bring a double batch to a family gathering on Saturday. J had boiled the peanuts on the woodstove overnight last week. I shelled the peanuts while watching some relaxing youtube videos. Two of my current favorite youtube channels are fairyland cottage and girl in calico. They both have some videos where they talk, but my favorites are the peaceful, instrumental ones, or ones with minimal talking. Old T shirts were cut into cleaning rags. Popcorn was made for a snack. Warm up shower water was collected, and used in the woodstove humidifier, to flush the toilet, and to water plants. A peanut butter and banana sandwich was made with some of the zucchini bread. I mended my massage table carrier with upholstery fabric and the glue gun.
Those sweet pups make me laugh almost every day. When we got back from our morning walk the other day, I looked down, and McNibs had a small acorn stuck on one of his toenails, prancing around with it for around an hour before I was able to get it off. That was my laugh of the day. He's always been funny about his feet, so it took a little time to convince him it was OK. Silly boy! J bought a used freezer, and Sunday morning, we transferred all the frozen food out of the refrigerator into it, and put the food in the fridge in coolers. We turned off the fridge, to defrost it, to see if that doesn't fix our problem. We'll turn it on and refill it Monday evening. Fingers crossed. We had several orders to make, paint and pack, so Sunday evening was busy with those things. It was interesting trying to cook dinner, with all our veggies and dairy in coolers on the porch. I made a simple meal of cabbage and noodles. I'm usually at home on Mondays, but tomorrow, I have two massage appointments in town. I'll probably run an errand or two before heading home. Wishing you a week of beautiful November days.