Here it is, the end of October and the garden is still offering up bounty. Everything but the Swiss Chard, Brussels Sprouts, and Cabbage have been harvested now. I canned the last of the Tomatillos yesterday, a lovely batch of Salsa Verde. The only canning left to do for the season is the Tomatoes as they ripen, and Coleslaw as the Cabbage is harvested.
I am out of 500-ml jars! There are only five empty 1-liter jars left. So Attila is holding off on harvesting the Cabbage until we gain empty jars by eating what I have already canned. One more, perhaps two more, cases of 500-ml jars would have gotten us through, but there are none to be had. Canning is suddenly “in”. I think though, that the fad will pass, and then I will be able to purchase used jars for next to nothing, as people unload after losing interest.
The vinegar I’ve been making from Crabapples seems to be going well. The crock is bubbling away like a bubble machine, and it drives the fruit flies mad. They can’t get at the contents, so they sit on the lid near the releasing bubbles, breathng in the fumes, dreaming. I stir the fruit in the crock in the morning and in the afternoon. The fruit had been weighed down with a plastic bag filled half full with water, but that soon turned into a big plastic bubble that lifted the lid. So the bag was removed and the mixture is stirred daily to keep the fruit in contact with the fermenting liquid. This seems to be working very well. When the fruit sinks to the bottom of the crock, the liquid will be strained, then moved to a glass jar with a coffee filter secured over the lid.
Attila’s illness was scary, and I am very grateful that his health has returned. His condition is ongoing, so if it is a hot humid summer next summer, he will be in trouble again. He pays for insurance for illness, where he works, but we found out how truly awful, and almost useless, that is. His claim was originally rejected, shocking, despite the health practitioner’s submitted report. There was no explanation. So he had to appeal the decision. It was almost impossible to communicate with the insurance company, their method of secure communication did not work, and Attila was encouraged to send personal documents insecurely to get around their technical issues. He didn’t do that. Needless to say, it was the stuff of nightmares. Not what you need when your health is compromised. In the end, after jumping through seemingly endless hoops, he won the appeal.
There has been no income or compensation since the middle of September. Attila does not qualify for any Covid-19 government assistance, he has fallen through the cracks. This is not a comfortable situation. We stopped buying food so that we could pay the mortgage, hydro, utilities, and insurance bills, and were short there as well. We are expecting a wee bit of money to come at the beginning of November, as Attila is now back at work on modified duties, and will be paid a partial wage. Thank goodness for the garden!!
It is funny, the thing that upsets me the most about the financial situation is that we might not be able to send the Grandbabies the usual modest gifts of money in a card. The last luxury gone.
Despite our health and financial situation, we realize things could get a lot worse, and since they are not a lot worse at the moment, we are glad to be clumping along in our little life.
Yesterday we prepared a delicious Sunday dinner. One chicken breast was roasted to perfection. Potato wedges were roasted in the oven, sprinkled with Attila’s secret herb mix, yum. The last of the Zucchini, Sugar Peas, and some of the Swiss Chard were harvested and combined in a delicious stir fry. For dessert the last unripe Melon from the garden was peeled, the seeds removed, diced, then boiled in sugar syrup. The sugar syrup was left over from having made Candied Melon Peel in early September. Frozen Cranberries were added to the Melon mixture, and after boiling for about a half an hour, the mixture was thickened and used as a filling for Cranberry Melon Squares. It was delicious, but too much sugar for me, so Attila will take the rest in his lunches.
On Friday last the weather was incredibly nice. The temperature rose to 21C. The sun shone. All the windows in the house were opened wide. The garden buzzed with insect activity. It was glorious. One last blast of summer. As the evening cooled I was very conscious that each window, as it was closed, would stay that way until April.
The weekend saw cold weather return. The temperature dropped below freezing on Saturday night. The house, so far, remains comfortably warm without turning on the heating system. This morning it was 21C. It seems that the interior temperature cools 1C every 24 hours. I wonder if we can avoid turning on the heat until November, that would be great. It will soon be time to get out the flannel sheets, and the cozy comforters!
6°C (Interior Temperature 21C)
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Monday 26 October 2020
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Dew point: 5.3°C
Wind: ENE 12 km/h
Visibility: 8 km
“I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.”
Frank Lloyd Wright
1869 – 1959