Friday, October 16, 2009

Independence Days #23

Wow! Who turned the heat off?

Somehow we've jumped right smack into the middle of November with the drop in temperatures and perpetually grey skies. I mean, there's even a hint of snow in the weekend forecast!

Guess that means it's a good time to get into the kitchen and heat things up a bit, between the oven and the stove and the dehydrator.

So on to this week's report:

1. Plant something: Nothing.

2. Harvest something: Carrots, beets, green onions at the Southern Belle's garden; spearmint, lemon balm, sage at the Renaissance Man's garden; apples at the local Orchard.

3. Preserve something: Dried parsley, tomato slices, lemon balm, spearmint, sage; canned four pints of pears, three and a half pints of tomatillo mincemeat; pureed onion and pepper together and froze them as disks; strained and bottled sage vinegar.

4. Reduce waste (Waste not): Used up blemished tomatillos and apples in mincemeat; saved flour from kneading, rolling out pie crust; saved maple syrup bottle for future storage; got back to saving bread crumbs; salvaged something of the last two eggplant to make eggplant parmesan; converted the tops of a pair of wool socks (that had been shot through at the heels and toes; sorry, I don't know how to darn, darn it!) into makeshift fingerless gloves for typing on the computer in a chilly room (because it's just too soon to turn up the heat!).

5. Preparation and storage (Want not): Stocked up on pasta, unbleached flour, tea; packed up storage jars, bottles, and tins to put away for the season; washed dehydrator trays for winter storage; cleaned stovetop; called and ordered grains for winter baking.

6. Build local food systems: Took My Adorable Nephews apple picking; handed out Local Roots applications and events information to friends who haven't signed up yet; shared Forty Seeds (literally!) -- pawpaw and calendula -- with the Farmgirl Wannabe and the fabulous Jen; worked on marketing push (press releases, short articles) for Local Roots opening and film series; ordered grains for the Chef Mother and the Renaissance Man while ordering my own.

7. Eat the food: A saute of kale, pear chunks, and walnuts; fresh cider; broccoli pizza; sautéed onions and cabbage with steamed fingerling potatoes and dill salt; stir-fry with pac choi, carrots, red pepper; maple-oatmeal bread; apple pie; pawpaw custard; eggplant parmesan; the Chef Mother's late-season red raspberry cobbler.

My schedule is still pretty doggone full these days, but I'm definitely starting to find a little more time to wrap up preservation and to turn to cooking and baking. What a relief!

Now... what will next week bring?

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