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.
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.