September 21, 2009

Happenings including Zucchini

Heather and Will are gone. Monte drove them home over the weekend. Now he's on to Houston for some meetings. I've got computer editing and art work to do, so missing them won't be so bad. I did hear a bit of music the other morning that reminded me of one of Will's toys and had to remind myself they're not here.

Dawson and friends started logging our woods this past weekend. There's lots of dead trees to cut down, especially the aspen, before they drop their leaves and then we don't know which are dead. I prefer burning aspen in the stove over pine, it burns hotter. We don't have hardwood in our woods. The aspen were just starting to show tinges of yellow for their Fall color. Don't know what this heavy snow will do - maybe break some branches and just turn the leaves brown.

I cleaned the front porch of summer wind debris and made room for the chopped wood, moving furniture around. Our front porch gets the brunt of the wind and on the north side of the house, so total shade. Monte had made me window boxes years ago, but I gave up on real plants. So Saturday I changed out the summer fake flowers to fall's (click here to see a picture). Dawson brought a load of wood into the house, which I'm burning today. "Why" you might ask? Because it's snowing! Arghhhhhh...!!!!!!

I have been afraid to look at the ten-day weather forecast knowing our first frost was coming any day now ... but several inches of heavy snow?! It was close to 80 degrees 24 hours before, so it's melting as fast as it's coming down, I'm sure. Since I've not had a Monet wildflower garden before I don't know how many of the flowers are tender and will die. I was SO enjoying them! Saturday I put the potted plants I wanted to save in the greenhouse where they'll stay now all winter. Sunday I picked all the squash and beans, should have pulled all the basil ... can I make pesto from frozen basil? (I have a friend I can get some basil from - mine were so small - cool summer - and still have pesto in freezer from last year.) I covered some of my tomato plants. We'll see.

AND we did have a bear again - got into the bird feeders twice last week. How, with the electric fence? At first we thought it walked over the long front porch to the back. But no, the second day, Monte noticed the back wires next to the house spread apart. We didn't finish the split-rail fence there cuz we're going to do a gate. And would a little prick of pain, maybe like a mosquito bite, hurt a thick-haired bear? Probably not. Monte put up more boards and wire and wrapped some wires with bacon. That ought to hurt - so, Yes to pain and no gain (I hope)!

I started a big batch of sourdough starter today for making zucchini bread tomorrow. The recipe from the book Nourishing Traditions calls for 2 cups buttermilk to 3 cups flour (I ground kamut) to sit for up to 24 hours before making the bread. It's a master recipe for banana, apricot almond, or ... Having made it once before, I'm going to add a bit more maple syrup since zucchini is not sweet like bananas.

I went to our local health food store on my way to pick up our weekly farm share this late afternoon (snowing cats and dogs - ugghh) to get more eggs and buttermilk and they had some unhomogenized milk, so I've got it warming by the stove to make my own cultured buttermilk. It's got to set out at room temp for about 18 hours. This is an experiment from the Milk book I wrote about not long ago - I've not done it before, tho I make yogurt all the time.

I've already froze a lot of Zucchini, Potato, Onion soup (click to see the recipe). We really do like it reheated over winter. I've grated zucchini and froze it before, but found I don't use it, so prefer the soup and bread. Monte likes to dry slices of the bread, I like slices heated with thin sliced cheese on it.

Supposed to be back close to 80 again by Friday. Should I report on what survived? Now it'll be Indian Summer and Heather and Will will return around Thanksgiving for the Holidays. Dawson's hating his homework this semester. It's the Jewish Rosh Hashanah's High Holy Days and our church is celebrating it this year - a first, and I'm loving, living it!
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