Hello, friends. I hope you are enjoying these fall days. I surely am. Last week, I fixed a zipper on my massage chair cover, where it had started pulling away from the fabric. A bit of hand sewing, and it's working again. For a dinner, I prepared our eggplant with the asian plum sauce I made recently, as well as store bought ingredients, over jasmine rice, with cauliflower salad. It was my first time making the eggplant dish, and happily it was good. On a walk and wanderings around the homestead, I gathered cinnabar and yellow chanterelles, and an old man of the woods. Though I've seen them, it's the first time I've harvested old man of the woods. I learned that it has few if any toxic look-alikes, and gets soggy and less tasty as it ages. This one had been chewed on and slimed by snails, so I decided to try a spore print, and thought the results were rather nice.
After an appointment in a town over an hour away, I went to a nearby Trader Joe's. There wasn't as much organic produce as I'd hoped, but I got bananas and gala apples. My favorite find was a red wine for $3.99, which was quite good, especially for the price. I'll be looking for more after my next appointment. Knowing I'd be getting home late, I had boiled eggs the night before for egg salad sandwiches. We finished leftover cauliflower salad, and had some grape tomatoes and olives with it. I went through ebates to buy office supplies, getting 3.5% cash back, used a $30 off $75 order coupon with it, and all prices were already lower than I saw elsewhere, which made for some pretty nice savings. The toad lily bloomed again, a welcome bit of loveliness this week.
I gathered eggs, harvested okra and collards, then made a dirty rice and collards dish, along with bought baby bella and harvested chanterelle mushrooms. Another dinner was roasted brussels sprouts, a vegi version of my Grandmother's stuffing, and waldorf salad. The onion, apple, parsley and sage were grown on the homestead. On Thursday, laundry was done and hung on the line. My impression is that the laundry is smelling better using Biokleen than it did with my homemade soap, so I'll continue the experiment. I brought in all the remaining house plants. There are still a couple that need to be moved around, but at least they're in. I gathered a few more fresh lima beans, blanched and froze them, and a few pods of dried ones the will go in a jar once they dry a bit more.
Our garlic was planted. We added bone meal and blood meal to the hole, and watered them in with fish emulsion.. All the cold weather clothes and sheets were brought down from the attic. We cleaned the stovepipe and had the first fire in the wood stove. Between putting the flannel sheets on the bed, and our first fire, it's feeling like fall here. Our first frost is expected Sunday night. I've been mourning the fact a little bit that we already had our last tomato, other than a cherry tomato or two. From the 2017 garden, we ate our last tomato this January, as I picked lots of green ones and used them as they ripened. I'm thankful, though, that we hopefully have enough canned from previous years to make it until next summer. If we have a similar summer next year, I'll definitely be buying tomatoes. I hope that's not the case.
At the edge of the dam at the pond, I noticed a small shrub or tree that was fruiting. I'm not quite sure what it is. Any ideas? The fruit size and shape remind me of pyracantha, but the leaves are different and no thorns. Our first fig was overtaken by a multitude of ants before we could eat it. J thankfully got the second fig after it had only slightly been chewed by something, and we enjoyed sharing it. There are a dozen or so more, but they won't ripen before frost. I continue to keep my eyes open for chanterelles. I leave most, but gather a few here and there, as well as usnea, oak galls and parmotrema lichen when I find it. There was one huge garlic clove that J separated, thinking it was two cloves, so it couldn't be planted. I cut it up with harvested chanterelles, sauteed in olive oil and we enjoyed it over gnocchi, along with a kale salad. A medical expense was submitted online, saving a stamp.
While wandering the woods one day in search of chanterelles, I came across a patch of American alumroot (Heuchera americana) down near our creek. I marked it with some limbs, and was able to find it again, take some pics, and ID it. In researching this plant, I discovered that another wild plant I'd found this year is pussytoes. I really enjoy learning the names of the things I share this land with. As the first frost was on it's way, I gathered all the basil, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, tromboncino squash, purslane, chickweed, a few beets, 3 tiny tomatoes and some of the lettuce. J covered up the remaining lettuce and celery with leaves. I removed the stems from the basil, made a batch of purslane pistachio pesto, froze some as leaves and covered some after chopping in the food processor with water in ice cube trays. Then I thought about the parsley, and couldn't remember if it freezes in the low 30's. Erring on the side of caution, I harvested the biggest stems, covered the plants with leaves, and made a parsley roll as Margaret does. We enjoyed pasta with the pesto for dinner. I harvested arugula, tiny lambs quarter, a few dandelion and violet leaves, and we had a salad with those, lettuce, chickweed, a bit of purslane, plus bought carrots, avocado and olives. I cut lots of flowers to enjoy in the house, one last hurrah before the frost. Have a great week, friends.