With an improved view from our back deck we can now witness new angles of the fall foliage that were previously blocked by the recently cut large poplar tree. With mild temperatures over the past month and only one light frost, our colors are brilliant and stark this year. Nature’s pallet sure paints an amazing show for us here. Who needs consumer bliss for seasonal decorating when one can live in the middle of this?
In this year’s indoor winter garden there are large bell pepper plants and a few jalapeno and cayenne which appear to have been successfully transplanted into large pots. There is always a period of time when it is touch and go as they go into shock for about a week after the move. Keeping them moist, adding a modest amount of organic tomato food a few days after moving, then telling them daily what magnificent plants they are and how appreciated their efforts are seems to have done the trick.
Chilly weather inspires me to can soup, what a shock lol. I came upon a test batch of ham and butternut squash soup we experimented with and canned last year. It made my eyes roll back into my head and I am confident we will have more ‘put up’ soon, along with several other varieties.
Fall baking has begun. Since I pack lunches for both Cog and the teenager most days, I now bake strategically to replace as many processed foods as possible. This just seems practical both for health purposes and in anticipation of steeper rising prices. In addition to small loaves of gluten free pumpkin breads and kiwi nut breads, I now take the afternoon to also make mini muffin sized portions. After baking I freeze them into two pack portions and they are ready to pop into those lunch boxes with no fuss.
After canning many gallons of wild blackberry pie and cobbler filling this summer, I am now able to use them to bake individual blackberry cobblers right in 4 oz. mason jars. These jars are manufactured to withstand the heat and make the perfect single serving dessert treat to bake and add to meals on the go. I just put a regular screw top lid on the jar before packing it in the morning for ease of opening later. The same procedure is followed for the organic applesauce I made over the summer in ridiculous quantities.
Outdoor work here never actually ends, it just morphs onto a new and improved seasonal list periodically. Some out buildings still need to be cleaned out before the serious freezes and snow arrive. Leaf rakes need to be switched out for snow shovels, garden hoses should be drained and stowed for winter and any late seeds should be planted for the last lettuce and kale in the wintertime outdoor garden.
As the daylight portion of the day grows shorter, it is nice to have a chance to start catching up on reading and videos which have largely collected dust since spring tilling and planting began. Stacks of books and lists of interviews are a welcome activity after all the physical work of the past six months. Did I miss anything important?