Last Week On The Homestead: Fall 💗, Recipe Links, and What I've Read!


October 2-9, 2022

Hello friends!

Fall is all around us and it's as beautiful as ever.  We are surrounded by the vibrant autumnal tones of the leaves, the sky, and the landscapes.  It's just glorious.  We were working in the yard a couple of afternoons last week and I took time to stop and enjoy the marvel of it all.  I hope you've had time to stop and take it in too.

The garden has been halfway prepped for its winter rest.  The other half is still at work providing us with goodies - beets, carrots, greens, cucumbers (very few), green beans, winter squash, tomatoes (very few), and summer squash.  Most of it will go once we have our first frost, so we'll enjoy it while we can.  I came in with a small handful of green beans and told Jay we'd have to split them 3 ways.  He chuckled in agreement.  They are like gold in this household!  Jay, Oliver, and I LOVE fresh green beans. 

We've been eating dinner outside on the warmer evenings, trying to get our fill of the outdoors while the season allows.  We've also worked at being conservative about the use of our heat, both from a cost perspective and a forming new habits perspective.  When I say "we" I really mean "me" because my husband would be ok with not turning on any heat for a few more weeks.  (it was in the 30's yesterday morning when we were setting up outside at the farmers market and he was STILL in shorts!)  When the indoor temps drop to the low 60's, Ollie and I vote for a little warmth.  Just to bring the temp up a couple of degrees - nothing drastic.  The afternoons have been relatively mild so heat in the morning is all that's required.  So far.

Oliver is obsessed with corn on the cob.  Obsessed I tell you.  Every single evening he gets all excited thinking he's getting a cob.  I've had to cut back to 3 times a week because corn season is just about over!  How to break it to him?  

I've blanched a few dozen ears and put them away in the freezer.  That's all I have room for.  This will give him a half a cob a few days a week going into winter.  He's 12 1/2 years old - we'll find a way to give him anything simple that brings him that much joy.  

It's so cute when he's getting corn for dinner.   I've begun showing him the cob, since it's no longer served nightly, and he jumps up and down as I husk it.  Somehow, we've also created a routine of him getting to strip a few kernels off of the tip of the raw cob as soon as it's husked.  He literally bites the air trying to reach it until I lower it to his mouth.

The little things he looks forward to.

I dug up the sweet potatoes last week.  Unfortunately, our crop was a bust this year.  I think it's the soil.  We received incredible greens but very few potatoes which leaves me to believe the soil is too rich in nitrogen.  We will test and amend that next year.  We had a bountiful sweet potato year last year and I added more soil to that area this year without first testing it.  Lessons learned...

I baked a couple of sourdough sandwich loaves last week.  I use this recipe from Northridge Farm.  It's easy, moist, and has a great tang thanks to a 12-18 hour first rise.  If you don't want to deal with turn and folds all day for a sourdough artisan loaf, I highly recommend this.  Blueberry muffins were also made with some sourdough discard. 

I'm still incorporating fresh veg from the garden into our daily meals.  I tried this recipe (Six Sisters) for Chicken Pasta Casserole with Corn & Zucchini for Jay last week and he declared it a winner.  It uses chicken, zucchini, corn, and spinach.  I added onion from the garden as well and sauteed the veg in a little butter rather than following the directions and adding them raw to the mix prior to baking.  It's quick and easy and a great use of leftover chicken as well as what's currently fresh from the garden.  Soups are regularly on the menu these days and roasts, casseroles, stews, and pot pies are beginning to make regular appearances as well.

I got into the habit this summer of cooking "baked" potatoes in the instant pot so I could avoid turning the oven on.  This will continue as my regular way of making them.  It only takes 15-18 minutes of actual cooking time, and they turn out very creamy.

We've been making and packaging products for our Soap & Mercantile business daily.  The next busy season is quickly approaching!  The next two months will zip by because of the busyness of the business (how's that for a tongue twister?), but we will make every effort to take moments to enjoy the season.

I've read a book!  The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand.  I have to be honest - I was expecting to read a light-hearted rom com and, well, it wasn't that at all.  I love Elin's writing and this book didn't disappoint in that aspect.  What surprised me, however, was finding out it deals with a serious medical issue and death.  Not exactly light-hearted.  I almost stopped reading it, but all of her books are so nicely written I decided to forge ahead.  It was a beautiful book that weaves through a love triangle, matchmaking, parenthood, friendship, and absolute heartbreak.  I recommend it as a touching read.

That's life last week on our homestead.  I'm hoping you had a wonderful week as well!  Did you get a chance to enjoy the season?


  1. Oh sweet Oliver - corn on the cob, I love that! Your business displays look so nice, and the rock wall is so seems that all is well on the homestead! My garden has been put to bed, but I did get some grapes at the local farm market so next week it will be jam making time. Enjoy those golden days, taking the time to let it all sink in...those dinners outside sound ideal. Mary

  2. Thanks Mary! Isn't it a great feeling when the garden is finally put to bed for the year? As much as I enjoy growing some of our food, I am ready to take a break by fall. Local grapes - what a treat!
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  3. Your autumnal photos are stunning! I can't imagine the color you must have up there. We are starting to enjoy the cooler temps and the colorful trees here in the Piedmont as well. Fall is the best!

    Oh, Ollie. It's the little things...

    Those muffins look delicious. I hope to someday be able to eat conventional baked goods again, but for now, it's gluten-free. Just not the same texture...

    Enjoy the glorious season upon us! Sending you peace, my friend.

  4. Such a sweet story with Oliver and the corn. And green beans too! It takes so little to make them happy, doesn't it? A neighbor dropped off a bag of apples recently, and I've been cutting up one each morning for their breakfast. They love them, and will beg for the core any time I eat one.

    Your garden sounds a lot like ours, with things still trickling in.
    The sourdough sounds wonderful. I miss it, but just yesterday found a new recipe for GF bread to try that had great reviews. We'll see. It had some different ingredients I'll need to purchase.

    Sorry about your sweet potato crop. We've had those years too, and I'm always thankful for the good years. I've had an enjoyable read this week, called The Orphan Train, and will be sorry when it ends. Enjoy these Fall days!

  5. Daisy - thank you so much! Fall definitely is the best! I certainly hope for you that you're able to enjoy regular flour products again. I know gf stuff can be tough. Wishing you a wonderful week!

    Laurie - Ollie loves apples too. Especially the dehydrated apple slices. Have you ever looked at the Wild Yeast Sourdough Cookbook by Mary Jane Butters of Mary Jane's farm? I have not personally tried the gf sourdough recipes, but she certainly offers a few options of different gf flours. The book shows the recipe for making sourdough starter with each type of flour and then she offers a nice selection of bread recipes using each.

    I agree on being grateful each year with whatever crop does well. So true that you never know year to year! Thanks for the book recommendation - I'll check that one out!

    Have a wonderful week!

  6. I haven't looked at The Wild Yeast Sourdough cookbook, and will check it out. Thanks. I'd love to find some sort of bread that's worth eating this fall/winter. The book is just Orphan Train, without The. Oops.

  7. Laurie - yes, I hope the bread book works for you. I know it's been a struggle to find something good. I immediately searched for the book after I read your comment because it sounded like something I would love. I can't wait to read it!

  8. That photo of Oliver with his upturned face is an absolute keeper! His love of corn is adorable; how did you ever discover that? I cannot imaging living in such a place where the splendor and beauty of Autumn is so intense. What a treat for you! Autumn is my absolute favorite season, but here on the Central Coast of CA we don't get much color. A bit of yellow, and the liquidambars give us some strong reds (usually not until January!!) but I look forward to the day we retire to the East Coast and we can experience it first hand. Something to look forward to! Good luck with your upcoming busy season with your business.

  9. Thanks so much Jennifer! We give Oliver any fruit or veg that is dog approved. He LOVES sweet potatoes, watermelon, corn on the cob, and apples (especially the dehydrated slices). He'll eat all of the others most days, but not always.

    Yes, the fall colors in the northeast are incredible. Happy to hear you get to see some colors at least, and you'll get to see them annually once you move!

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Thanks for stopping by!


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