Autumn Thoughts

Autumn Thoughts

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

I welcome Autumn weather, it is my favourite time of the year.

Outside it is autumn. Inside Mist Cottage summer carries on. The air conditioning was turned off when the night time temperatures fell below 18C. Then the temperature inside Mist Cottage rose to 26C. It has now fallen to 24C. Last night, despite the very cool low of 9C, our indoor temperature did not fall. 24C is a little on the warm side for my taste, but 9C would be too cool for comfort, so I am glad the house is maintaining its warmth so well. (Update 2:00 p.m., despite it being chilly outside,14C, the temperature inside has risen to 25C, uncomfortable! As much clothing as is practical has been removed for comfort. Not good enough. So I’ve had to open the windows to try and cool the house down a wee bit. Baking bread increased the temperature in the house by 1C.

As a child I loved school, and that love never faded. I hated to miss a day! Once we were quarantined for weeks, when my middle-sister contracted Scarlet Fever. Oh how I pined for the classroom, the lovely order of words and numbers. My sister recovered nicely, and neither I nor any of my other siblings caught Scarlet Fever. The children who have missed school for many, many months have shared their situation with all the other children who have missed school, and they have been able to connect digitally to education, and friends, and loved ones. I must have a peek and see how schools operated during the 1918 Pandemic, isolation then was a more intense form of isolation.

It has been one year and seven months since I began isolating due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. I fervently hope that our current fourth wave is our last wave! It seems that Vaccination Passports, required as of last week for entry into bars, gyms etc., have been the inspiration for a great many young people to get their jab. Thank goodness, as it has been the young that are responsible for most of the spread after the first wave. Also the third booster shot of the vaccine is beginning to go into the arms of the most vulnerable, the statistics are beginning to give numbers for the third shot.

Early mornings are wonderful. I arise with Attila every day of the week, which means on weekdays I am up and at ’em before 6:00 a.m. every morning. Usually by 10:00 a.m. I have accomplished most of the day’s pressing tasks. Here it is 7:21 a.m. and the bread baking has been started, the overnight grazing dishes have been washed, dried and put away, laundry is washing, and preparations to pay bills have begun. I always check to update the operating system, and any software, before paying bills, which usually takes a half an hour or so, sometimes longer. There is a dehydrator full of dried Cilantro that needs to be stored away in a sealed jar.

I have been putting off deep cleaning the house until the peak of the canning season has passed. Chaos reigns here at Mist Cottage. Clutter is a word that doesn’t come close to describing intensity of actively used equipment and food stuffs that surround me. I will welcome a more neat and tidy environment, and I will miss the activity and sense of accomplishment that harvest season brings to my life. There are few absolutes I find.

Tuesday, October 6, 2021

After a cloudy morning, the sun is beginning to peek out from behind the clouds. It is cool, and humid, and I love this weather.

We have been busy with harvest season, which is beginning to slow down a bit. Potentially this weekend will bring more intense days of canning, as we don’t expect frost. More Tomatoes, Peppers, Tomatilloes, and Cabbages still need to be brought in and canned as Tomato Sauce, Cowboy Candy, Pickled Peppers, Salsa Verde, and Coleslaw. Some of the Cabbages will be blanched and frozen for winter casseroles.

We are approaching the end of our canning jar supply! Canning jars were on sale at the local grocery store months ago, I bought five cases. There are three jars left of the five cases. I have some older jars that I will be pressing into service. There are more empty jars on the way though, because as the garden winds down, we begin to eat the food we preserved from the garden. Hopefully the jar demand will keep up with jar emptying activities. I don’t want to buy more jars!

The reusable lids that I canned with, applying them at room temperature, are still sealed. This is great, and I fervently hope they stay sealed! I’ve had real issues with sealing the lids when they are heated, although that is what is recommended by the manufacturer.

Today I am baking muffins for Attila’s lunches. He likes Rhubarb Muffins, so this morning I took a package of our frozen Garden Rhubarb out of the freezer. We don’t harvest much in the way of fruit yet. High Bush Cranberry, Red Currant, Strawberries, Ground Cherries, Melons, and Rhubarb. This is the first full growing season for the High Bush Cranberry and the Red Currant, so there wasn’t much fruit, no Cranberries, and a quart of Currants. It is the first full growing season for the transplanted Strawberries, and we did get about a quart, a few at a time. I’ve eaten the Ground Cherries as they ripen, they don’t make it into the house. We eat the melons as we harvest them, they are wonderful fresh. The Rhubarb provided us with many pounds of fruit for the freezer, our main fruit harvest for 2021.

Another project I began at 6:00 a.m. this morning was Vegetable Broth. We have accumulated enough vegetable scraps during harvest season to do three batches of broth. It takes many hours to make the broth using the steam juicer. Last night Attila brought the juicer and the electric hot plate up from the basement for me, and this morning he brought up ten bags of frozen vegetable scraps. I set up the hot plate on the back porch, then setup the steam juicer with the frozen vegetable scraps. It took an hour and half for the steaming process to begin, and it was finally ready to come indoors at about 11:00 a.m. I brought the broth into the kitchen and poured it into a large measuring cup to cool, it made eight cups. The rest of the steam juicer was left on the porch to cool down. When the broth is cool, it will be poured into plastic containers, labelled, and put in the chest freezer. I use a lot of vegetable broth in my Instant Pot casseroles. The broth is made from a hodgepodge of vegetable scraps, Onion, Carrot, and Kohlrabi skins and peels, Bean stems, Pea pods, bits of Swiss Chard, Kale, and Kohlrabi leaves. We freeze every bit of vegetable scrap that hasn’t been affected by rot or insects. It makes for delicious casseroles.

I’ll be researching Oat Bread today, as I’ve decided I want to make some. I think I’ll use Molasses, a wonderful flavour with Oats. It is fun to look for recipes.

A month or so ago Attila and I passed a house that had put furniture out at the end of the driveway, to give away. We loaded two cabinets into the car and brought them home. They had been in a basement, smelled of mildew, and one was full of “stuff”. They have been sitting out on the back porch, doors open to air out. A few weeks ago the contents were removed, sorted, some items thrown away, and some items set aside as potentially useful. The most interesting item was two pristine swatches of quilt batting, which were put on the clothesline to air, before washing. Last weekend I sprayed the interior with hydrogen peroxide, then soap and water was used to wash the cabinets thoroughly. Today I began the process of moving the gardening items in constant use into the cabinets. Attila has been tossing everything into a large plastic bin, a chaotic approach. Sorting through the bins, I was able to organize the equipment and items on the shelves so that they would be handy. The back porch becomes extremely cluttered during planting and harvest seasons, so this is a big improvement!

This week I renewed my library card. I haven’t been to our library for a very long time, the card had expired. Since I last looked at our local library, the services have improved by leaps and bounds. There are not a lot of e-books to choose from, and even videos. I am currently reading Unorthodox. After watching the series on Netflix I was curious as to how far the film strayed from the original story. When my eyes get tired, as they often do these days, I switch to audio books. Right now I am listening to a Sherlock Holmes story narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. And I am watching the second video in the series ΤΟ ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΟ ΤΟΥ ATLIT YAM ΕΠΕΙΣΟΔΙΟ. I seldom sit for long, read, start the muffins, watch a bit of video while eating a few walnuts, clean on the porch, listen to the audio book while I wash dishes, the days flows by in this way. Variety is the spice of life.

I hope your day is going well, today, and whenever, or wherever, you might read this.

Stay safe dear friends.

Worldly

Weather

9°C
Date: 6:00 AM EDT Tuesday 28 September 2021
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 9.8°C
Dew point: 6.6°C
Humidity: 80%
Wind: NNE 18 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Wed, Sep 29, 7:15 AM
3 °C
FEELS LIKE 3
Clear
Wind 1 W km/h
Humidity 100 %
Visibility 20 km
Sunrise 7:02 AM
Wind gust 2 km/h
Pressure 101.6 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 6:52 PM

18°C
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Wednesday 6 October 2021
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 18.1°C
Dew point: 14.2°C
Humidity: 78%
Wind: NE 16 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
Aristotle
384 BC – 322 BC



8 Comments

  1. Your days remind me in a way of a life lived on a smaller scale many years ago.
    Maggie I’m sorry but I haven’t quite followed/understood your broth making method……I’m curious to know what happens to the veg scraps once you have ‘cooked’ them – I assume you strain them off from the liquid…..then what?

  2. Joan, the cabinets were a great find! People here set all kinds of things at the end of their driveways, to give away. We have found very useful items, new Rhubarb plants, and a Tupperware measuring cup come to mind.
    We enjoy wonderful food!
    Stay safe dear friend!

  3. Cathy, I use a steam juicer to make my Vegetable Broth, like the one in the link: https://www.amazon.ca/Stainless-Multi-Use-Juicer-VICTORIO-VKP1140/dp/B00B2CJNNU/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=steam+juicer+victorio&qid=1633606023&sr=8-5

    The bottom pan is filled with water, the middle pan collects the distilled vegetable juice, the top pan holds the vegetable scraps. The water in the bottom pan is brought to a boil, the middle and top pans are placed on top, and after a few hours the broth is ready. The broth is clear, distilled via the steam from the boiling water. It works like a charm. The vegetable scraps remain separate from the broth, we were composting them, but the rodents are just too fond of cooked vegetable scraps, so for now we are putting them in the garbage. Last year a barn was demolished near us, and the rats migrated through our neighbourhood, so we couldn’t leave cooked scarps in the compost. We think they have moved on now, so perhaps we will attempt composting them again.
    Stay safe dear friend!

  4. Bex, the steam juicer works better at making vegetable broth, and I don’t have to separate the broth from the scraps. Also, the steam juicer will hold more scraps than the Instant Pot, and we generate a lot of scraps. The juicer has a lot of advantages over the Instant Pot in this particular project – which is unusual as the Instant Pot is my go to for so many things.
    The steam juicer is a one trick pony, and it does that one trick so very well!
    Stay safe dear friend!

  5. Sandy

    Autumn is my favorite season too. The cabinets were a great find! It always surprises me to see what people who live near me put out on the curb for pick-up. Could you use the juicer to make bone broth?

  6. Sandy, it is great that people put out servicable items that they no longer need! Recycling at its best.
    Yes, I could make bone broth in the steam canner. People have cooked whole chickens in steam juicers. I love it. Fruit juices are very easily made as well, such as grape juice, you can even leave the fruit on the stem. Since I made bone broth when we bought a quarter of a cow, years and years ago, I’ve had no bones to use for broth. We have turkey bones, but Attila grabs those for his soups and he likes to make his broth in a large pot on the range. I think bone broth in the steam juicer would be very interesting to try!
    Stay safe dear friend!

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