Monday, September 15, 2014

Thirty Degree Nights

Soon to be dried tomatoes
Our pretty little summer is truly over now, we had temps in the 30's overnight this weekend. It's not winter just yet, but my instincts are telling me we'll probably have early snow this year and a frost advisory before September is half over isn't arguing with that guess.

The impending winter provides an undertone of urgency that the hot August afternoons lacked. That shiver getting out of bed, having to squint out the window to see if that shine outside is dew or frost, the ever increasing backlog of fall bounty clamoring to be processed or preserved, all those chores and projects that needed to be done before snowfall... I have a love/hate relationship with fall. (continued)

Soon to be dehydrated onions, great for storage.
There is a bit of luxury in having a fire in the evening to take the chill off and a huge feeling of accomplishment as the preserves and stores pile up but such enjoyment is can be so easily quelled. Right behind the good feelings creep accompanying worries such as, "I wonder if I have enough wood split" or "will the frost hold off long enough for the late veggies to mature?"  

For every step forward it feels like something else springs up, another chore or task or problem. Sometimes it's a chore and a task and a problem, but if I had wanted to avoid an abundance of chores perhaps I should have planted less work.

Lacto-fermented mostly tomato salsa.
This weekend past saw the scheduled graduation of several of our oldest laying hens. They all went right into the stew pot which, no surprise, becomes many quarts of chicken stock, broth base, and ready-to-open chicken soup.  Will become, that is, as soon as there is room in the pressure canner, which will likely be sometime after that tomato sauce, those 8 quarts of salsa, and all the surplus produce from the CSA has gotten the once over and found a home in the fridge or pantry.

This also assumes we have enough quart jars and lids.  Since I know we haven't broken that many jars, and since we are almost out of jars (again) that's a good thing right?  After all, putting away more this year than last year was part of the plan right?  Excuse me, that's the timer for the canner, back to the kitchen I go.

Thanks for stopping by.

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