I hope this entry finds you healthy and in good circumstance! When this, or any other entry, is read, you know I am here and bumping along life’s road. I do wonder though, how you are doing. I feel concerned that you are safe and well, hoping that you are able to meet the challenges you face during these interesting times.
Attila is still home safe, and his breathing has improved immensely, he has his colour back, and his energy levels are improving. We have some serious decisions ahead of us on this account.
In the meantime, we are enjoying our time together, and grateful to have one another as we self-isolate. We went for a walk the other evening, and there was not a soul in sight, the world has gone quiet again, much as it did when the lock-down was declared during the first wave of the Pandemic. Here we are at the rising tide of the second wave, and it seems as if the human population has either sobered to reality, and gone mad at the prospect.
The weather is chillier now, and this has brought good news. Attila’s last renovation project, insulating the basement, has made an incredible difference in how well our house is insulated against the cold, and the heat. The outdoor temperature has dropped to single digits for quite a few nights now, and when I get up in the morning the thermostat still reads 23C. It seems that canning and dehydrating projects are able to heat the house. The thermostat has been turned off since last spring. It will be interesting to see when we will feel the need to turn the heating system on for the autumn season.
Here we are, busily tending the garden, and taking every last bit of nutrition we can from it. We had a frost in September, which Attila mediated by covering the garden with sheets of plastic, sheets we bought years and years ago, used, saved, and reused. The garden was saved, and produce kept coming in for preservation. Another frost was predicted a few days ago, and again, Attila mediated it by covering the garden. But there is only so much one can do at the end of growing season in Ontario, Canada! The garden is winding down.
We continue to harvest and preserve everything edible that can be eked out of the garden’s last days. This morning Attila chopped a Winter Keeper Cabbage, some Carrots, Peppers, and Onions, which I turned into Coleslaw, and canned. The outer cabbage leaves are tough, but not bitter,so they will be chopped fine and used to make our dinner, a Cabbage Roll Casserole, in the Instant Pot. Some of the Tomatoes that were picked green have ripened. Today they were chopped, pureed and turned into Tomato Sauce, some to use for tonight’s casserole, and some to go into the refrigerator in a mason jar, until an adequate amount has been saved to justify a canning session.
It will be close, but it looks as if we may just run out of canning jars! In the spring, when garden supplies were flying off the shelves and hard to get, I decided to increase my supply of canning jars. I bought 14 cases (a dozen jars each) of new jars, and enough lids to use for the jars that were already here. The lids were hard to find, but I kept at it, and eventually managed to purchase them. As of this morning, there remain 18 empty 500-ml jars, and about the same number of empty 1-liter jars. Tomorrow we are canning Salsa Verde again, and Attila feels there are probably about 25 pounds of green Tomatoes still in the garden, so we shall see how many more jars are needed to deal with the rest of produce.
We suspect that we will need every ounce of nutritional food we can get over the coming months, perhaps years. Our estimated income will not stretch far enough to purchase the food we have been accustomed to enjoying, fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee, juice, that sort of thing, will have to rationed here, and consumed only for special occasions, such as Christmas and birthdays. Our purchases will also be focused on the ingredients needed to preserve our garden harvests, such a vinegar, celery seed, sugar, that sort of thing. Our dollars will be spent on things like flour, rice, dried beans and peas, and things like that. We are planning for the worst of course, as is our want. There are food banks if things get too harsh, but we would prefer to leave those supplies for those facing even more dire circumstances. And who knows, things may turn out far better than the worst case scenario, but if they don’t we are as ready as we can be.
We won’t live like kings, we are cabbage eaters.
I love cabbage.
Luckily happiness here at Mist Cottage is not based on acquiring non-essential material goods and services.
Stay safe dear friends!
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Monday 5 October 2020
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Dew point: 8.9°C
Wind: WNW 12 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“The time has come,” the walrus said, “to talk of many things: Of shoes and ships – and sealing wax – of cabbages and kings.”
Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter
The poem so aptly describes the current extremes in human behaviour.