Monday, October 17, 2022

Bittersweet Days

Hello, friends.  The beautiful Fall days have continued, and I'm drinking them in.  Though the garden harvest is dwindling, I harvested carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, green beans, the last two pawpaws and butter beans.   I gathered basil and rosemary, and made herb salts for gifts.  We enjoyed Easy Skillet Ratatouille for a dinner, to use up some of the eggplant, squash, tomatoes and peppers, and it used our onions, garlic, thyme and basil as well.  Laundry was hung on the line.  I harvested the first mixed winter greens for a hearty winter salad, and tried a recipe for vegan feta cheese to use in the salad.  Though it didn't really taste like feta, it was tasty.  I froze about 2/3 of it for future use.  Sweet potatoes were fried to go with it.  One of the pawpaws was used in a smoothie with bananas and pineapple, and was yummy.

Another night, I made black bean burgers with fried potatoes, peppers and onions.  I've been enjoying watching Tudor Monastery Farm via Amazon Prime.  I planted milkweed, several amaryllis, northern sea oats, lantana, and globe amaranth.  I'd read the globe amaranth is a tender annual, but figured it couldn't hurt to try planting them in a protected spot.  I also placed the seedheads on the ground, to hopefully reseed.  I made my Mom's zucchini soup with our tromboncino, homemade broth, onions, garlic, tomatoes, basil and parsley, totally from the homestead, except for salt and olive oil.  I wanted to give a follow up on our kiwis.  Sadly, they never got any bigger than grape sized, and went from hard to soft and brown, so we never got to enjoy any.  It's possible the drought had something to do with it.

Two Christmas gifts were purchased with a gift card from Swagbucks rewards, so nothing out of pocket.  With the weather warmed up most of the week, we were able to go without any heat.  I redeemed Swagbucks points for another $25 GC.  Four books were sold through Sell My Books, for almost $25.  It's nice when decluttering makes a little money.  Several other books were brought to a little free library.  After making mushroom gravy to go with mashed potatoes, there were still mushrooms left that needed using, so I dehydrated them, along with some celery tops, onions and carrots.  They are starting another jar, to be used for soups.  We tried baking the first white sweet potatoes, which had very little flavor, just a hint of sweetness.  Hopefully, they'll get better with time.  

Dear Joseph had ironed clothes, shined his shoes, gotten a  haircut, and shaved, in preparation for a funeral of a classmate Saturday morning.  At bedtime Friday night, we started noticing the water pump running every few minutes, which generally only runs when we're using it.  When your house is plumbed with rainwater, every drop is precious, so he got up to check, and found a  leak under the house.  He turned off the water, and though I assured him I'd be OK on Saturday, he changed plans.  He grew up about 3 hours away, and classmates were gathering for a meal after the service, so he would have been gone a full day.  Never knowing what you'll find, he didn't want to wait until Sunday to begin the repair, knowing he may not be able to get what he needed on a Sunday.  He rarely makes plans away from the homestead, and I was sad he missed this.  Thankfully, it was a quick and easy fix.

Sweet potatoes

The sweet potatoes I planted in a pot have sprouted, and are looking good.  I hope I can keep them happy over the winter, to use as a greens source.  Purslane and chickweed were harvested, along with most of the basil.  A triple batch of pesto was made and frozen.  The chickweed went into a smoothie, along with sweet potato leaves from resprouted plants in the garden.  Guinness loves him some stinky, and got into something funky.  Thankfully, it was in the mid 70's on Saturday, and I was able to bathe him in the outdoor shower.  He is much more pleasant to be around.  I requested books from the library, and picked up the one that was ready.  There is frost in our forecast this coming week, and I'm enjoying all the flowers while they last.  It always feels a little bittersweet.  I hope you're able to enjoy these days, whatever season you're in.


daisy g said...

Your meals sound so good. I love ratatouille, but can no longer eat its ingredients. My mom made the best I'd ever tasted.

Sorry to hear J had to miss his event, but totally understandable. I'm sure he was there in spirit.

Yes, we are getting ready to bundle up! Do you cover your strawberries to protect them from frost? I'm new at growing strawberries, so I thought I would add a layer of mulched leaves.

Enjoy your week. I hope you've got lots of warm blankets to keep you toasty!

Laurie said...

I don't do anything with the strawberries, and they always seem to come back just fine. Of course, we never get fruit. We intend to renovate their area, though not sure when we'll get to it. Wishing you a cozy week, Daisy!

Staci D said...

That's too bad about the kiwis. Hopefully they will do better next year. I haven't made herb salts for a few years. A great idea!

So sweet about J staying to fix the water leak. Happy to hear it was a fairly easy fix. Too bad he missed the services and seeing classmates but I'm sure it was a relief for him to have the leak taken care of.

Too funny about Guinness. Good thing you have the outdoor shower!!

We've had a couple nights of light frost and have been running the pellet stove in the mornings to take the chill off. I love it! Have a wonderful week!

Laurie said...

It's my first time making herb salts. Do you have suggestions on how to use them? I don't think I've ever used them, and not sure what to tell those I gift them to.
Our first frost is supposed to arrive tonight, so I'll be gathering the last of everything tender today. The woodstove was back in commission last night. It's such nice heat. Have a cozy week!

Staci D said...

Laurie - you can use the herb salts while cooking and/or as a finishing salt. Wherever you would use the herb they are infused with, you can use the herb salt. I prefer it as finishing salt most of the time. It will be a wonderful gift - not something you necessarily splurge in purchasing for yourself but such a wonderful addition to cooking! Stay cozy with that woodstove. Our pellet stove is running right now as we'll dip into the low 30's tonight.