A Taste Of Fall And This And That


I am a lover of all things fall.  I can appreciate summer, for a while, but my goodness do I get antsy for the cool and crisp days.  We had exactly 2 days in the past week, that while they weren't technically cool and crisp, were without that dreaded humidity and featured nights that dropped into the low 50's.  

It was wonderful.

I made good use of those 2 days too by running the ovens to roast the bushels of ripe tomatoes I was storing, just waiting for such a day.  It's even rumored that we shall have another day or two of those spectacular days this week.  And I can't wait!  Oh how I would love to make freshly roasted tomato soup with some of this week's harvest.  

I meant to share this post last week, while enjoying said beautiful days, but it didn't get typed until now.  A few days each week I intend to sit down and start my day, coffee (herbal, of course) in hand, enjoying the beautiful pre-dawn scenery and typing a blog post.  And yet, it hasn't happened.  All summer long.  

Summer has a different feel to it, doesn't it?  I don't know why, but sitting and typing, coffee in hand, doesn't appeal to me in summer as it does in fall and winter.  Plus there's the garden.  I enjoy starting my summer mornings there.  I tell Ollie, after he's had a proper breakfast and nap, of course, that it's time to harvest.  He gets up and heads to the door, ready to assist.  While I make the rounds collecting veg and pulling up newly emerging weeds, he rolls in the bits of sunshine he finds.  Then he goes about sniffing around the perimeter while I finish up.  

This is our routine.

After garden harvesting he's ready to move on to other things so I return him to his perch on the deck and then I can water if needed.  Laundry is done early as well so it has time to be hung on the line to be dried by lunchtime, and orders are packed and shipped.  It's a glorious pace.

I've also been making time at least one day per week to preserve all the veggies we harvest but can't possibly eat before they go bad.  There's truly nothing more exciting then seeing your cupboards and freezer filling up with fresh veg grown and preserved by you.  The tomatoes, though, are at this point out of control.  I finally waved the white flag and began throwing them in the freezer.  It's just too hot to properly process them, so I will freeze them until we have more then one day of reprieve from the heat and humidity.  At that time I can whip them up into delicious sauce for canning or freezing as well as crushed tomatoes that are used almost daily throughout winter.

today's bounty

I am blueberry-less.  Yup, we are without blueberries.  Can you believe that we completely missed blueberry picking season this year?  How does that happen???  We typically pick at a farm down the road.  Somehow we had our dates way off and by the time we said "oh, we need to go berry picking next week" the season was over.  I am told it was partly due to there being such a demand of pick-your-own this year that many farms picking seasons ended early so I guess it wasn't completely our forgetfulness.  Anything outdoors is getting quite a surge of people.
I know that there could be some blueberry picking still available somewhere around us but I must say, we are quite particular about our blueberries.  The farm down the road from us has the most consistently large and sweet blueberries, so those are the ones we pick.  I purchased a couple of quarts from another farm after finding out the picking was over at our favorite spot and they were just too sour.  Too tart to eat fresh but they will work perfectly in pie.

So that's the second thing I need to make on the rumored cooler day.  If it arrives.

I've also been trying to fill our freezer with the excess garden bounty.  Green beans seem to be a struggle.  Not because of a crop issue, rather, a husband issue.  A husband who LOVES fresh green beans and wants them with every single dinner.  I've made a promise to grow even more next year.  And he's promised to enjoy some of the other veggies from the garden instead of JUST green beans.

Bethany a.k.a. Turkey Neck

Have I mentioned that we have too many chickens?  This is a saying that is announced pretty much weekly by one of us.  It is always accompanied with head shaking from the person saying it, having just witnessed some crazy coop girl antics.

As an example:

Last week, one of the mornings when I was letting the chickens out, the hen we've been referring to as "Turkey Neck", rather than her actual name of Bethany, came rushing out full of her usual grouchiness.  The nickname is the direct result of her sporting a neck almost completely void of feathers.  Why is that, I bet you're asking.  Well, Miss Turkey Neck, er, Bethany, is so darn grouchy toward her flock sisters that they peck incessantly at her to get her to stop and it seems the only feathers they can grab many times are those on her neck.   

Anywhoo, on this particular morning Turkey Neck came rushing out full of her usual grouchiness.  Well, I thought it was her usual grouchiness.  Instead, what I didn't realize was that her grouchiness was amped up quite a bit and she demonstrated this by chest bumping every single chicken she got close to, daring each of them to fight back.  

Needless to say her wish finally came true and one of the other girls had enough and began chest bumping back with even more determination and power.  I broke it up and sent Turkey Neck back into the coop.  A bit later she came out, still wearing grouchy pants, and started up the same nonsense again.  So, I picked her up and brought her back into the coop.  I talked to her while she paced and hummed as though she were quite annoyed at the audacity I had in stopping each of her attempts of starting a brawl.  Clearly I was ruining her day.  So when I let her out again she (finally) went off on her own venture, looking for bugs rather then a fight.  I've said it many times before and will say it again, this is the strangest group of chickens we've ever had.

I made my way back to the house and, you guessed it, announced "we have too many chickens".  Jay shook his head and knew some kind of craziness had just gone down.  Indeed it had.

1 comment

daisy g said...

I am right there with you on fall. My favorite season. We have had cool mornings and evenings, but still getting hot temps during the day. Ah well, I'll take what I can get. ;0D

I'll bet you are loving working in your new kitchen. It is so beautiful.
Sounds like you and Ollie have a wonderful groove going.

J loves green beans? Wow! What a blessing! I thought he was literally a meat and potatoes kinda guy. I guess you'll be growing more beans next year?

Wonder why your chook is so grouchy? Glad she figured out that it's better to eat than to fight.

Enjoy the rest of your week!