Putting food by

It’s the time of the year for garden produce to end up in the freezer or on the canning shelf. This year for the first time in ages we had a bumper crop of cucumbers; that led to a large batch of cucumber/tomato relish now on the basement shelves. I dug out my old USDA canning books, found some great pickle recipes, and I think used the one I first used for relish back in the 70’s. Basil has done well this year (as it has for the past several years) and I’ve begun freezing a simple pesto base for winter treats. It’s easy to do in the food processor and takes no time at all. Then in the winter you just thaw and add cheese and butter and what a wonderful midwinter treat.
We had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year (as opposed to last year when late blight took almost everyone’s tomatoes). I’ve been making a simple fresh sauce from tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil (and a hot pepper); it’s great for spaghetti, pizza, or, when you have enough, for the freezer. I’ve even tried freezing fresh, skinned tomatoes; they work really well as an additive to sauces made with canned tomatoes.
And the tomatoes and peppers are great inspiration for a pastel painting!
Now I have to find someone who is throwing away the rind from a watermelon. I would love to make a batch of watermelon pickles!

Getting Ready for Winter

Look at all that wool, carded and ready for spinning. The dyed top and the white fleece on the left are from Pricilla at the Lakeview Store in Averill (She also sells Schacht wheels like the one in the photo.) The grey fleece and the very soft white one on the right are from another spinning friend, Flo, who said I just need to spin some of her lovely wool. So I have lots of spinning and knitting in store for me this winter.
Lots of cello playing in store for this fall and winter as well. I’m continuing with lessons every week and again am playing in the Cape Community Orchestra; practices have started already. It’s going to be an “Artsy-Crafty” winter!

Signs of Fall-September 11

After a scorching summer, it seems fitting that the trees are still sporting their green leaves and the lake water is still running at 65 degrees. Cooler nighttime temperatures and spectacular sunsets, though, all portend the arrival of the fall cold fronts.

We pulled in the docks this weekend; a beautiful quiet sunny day, warm enough for sitting on the dock in shorts and even for a dip in the lake. A walk down the road rewarded us with one Fall arrival: a white Hericium ramosum fungus growing on a rotting Yellow Birch stump. This is a choice edible tooth fungus, and was delicious in an omelet for breakfast this morning.
Today and tomorrow should usher in rain, a cold front, and some real fall weather. And maybe the trees will respond with their coats of yellow and orange.

No sign of Autumn yet

Temperatures in the 80’s and warm sun seem more like July than late August and early September. Not even any leaf color yet.

A walk along Cottage Road is enhanced by stone people along the rock walls. Quite a few are visible along the lake shore, as well.
Headed to Cape Cod to prepare for Hurricane Earl…….