Saturday, September 10, 2011

Independence Days 2011-9: Is It Fall Yet?

I have been so grateful for the cooler weather this week. I'm not a hot-weather lover -- 75 is about perfect for me -- so I'm more than happy to throw on slightly warmer clothes these days, to huddle under the blanket at night, and to say goodbye to summer favorites such as okra and cucumbers.

Of course, this means that garden clean-up time is coming, and I really need to make the most of what's left before frost returns and takes care of it for me. So every now and then I nudge myself into the garden, or pull out the dehydrator, or tuck another couple of things in the freezer for winter.

Here's the latest Independence Days report:

Plant something: nothing, but I've been watching the turnips and beets grow a little more

Harvest something: tomatoes, basil, lemon balm, sage, peppermint at the Renaissance Man’s; broccoli, basil, golden chard, zucchini, purple pole beans, nasturtiums, dill, tomatoes at the Contradance Callers’; basil, tomatoes at the Southern Belle’s

Preserve something: canned twelve pints of pizza sauce; made three half-pint jars of garlic-shallot jam; froze broccoli, celery, roasted red peppers, breaded eggplant; dried rosemary, oregano, basil, tomatoes, lemon balm, peppermint, sage

Reduce waste (Waste not): used grass clippings from the neighbor’s yard to mulch the garden at the Renaissance Man’s; used water from the canner to water potted plants; used up last frozen stock in Indian lentil stew (with seasonal vegs)

Preparation and storage (Want not): picked up requested half-pint jar of local garlic powder from the Herb Lady; made garlic-shallot jam in advance of next TKS cooking class; restocked butter, flours, tomato paste for canning; deep cleaned the kitchen! and reshuffled bins and such

Build local food systems: baking for market and for the Local Roots Café; bartered more bread for canning tomatoes; met with a group to try to set up a local business incubator to help other small businesses (food-related and otherwise) get a boost; talked the Renaissance Man through canning peaches; worked on Local Roots newsletter; enjoyed a pesto pizza party with the Southern Belle, the Absent-Minded Professor, and my Adorable Nephews; made an applesauce cake especially for my one Nephew; did some research and compiled recipes for upcoming TKS classes; worked on brochure for holiday baking orders; gratefully filled a bit of my neighbor’s freezer since my own is FULL; interviewed people about a new local “poly-farming” project

Eat the food: homemade pizza with broccoli; zucchini surprise casserole; beans!; fried okra; hash browns with kale and egg; red raspberries and local yogurt; peach-raspberry smoothies; fresh tomatoes and mozzarella; leftover veg rolls and cheese bread; pesto pizza; lentil stew; watermelon lassi; fresh edamame

Are you ready for fall yet, or are you enjoying the last fruits of summer? Or both?

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