Sunday, October 4, 2009

First Snow

I spent yesterday morning at the Muscle Powered bicycle valet for our last Farmers' Market of the year. The Market organizers would like to see us do it again next year. For the most part, we all enjoyed our Saturdays we volunteered and thought it made for a good presence in our community. After talking it over, we decided to try and do it again next summer.

It was a bit blustery in the morning, and there was a definite autumnal feel to the day. By noon, the wind really started to pick up. We were glad we'd decided against putting up the shade structure as we watched some vendors trying to hold onto theirs, before finally giving up and just taking them down.

That afternoon, I had wanted to go to a walk-n-talk about the reconstruction efforts after the Waterfall Fire, but when I went out to the meeting place at the College the cold wind was blowing so hard I decided I'd rather just come on home.

So I did, and got another 5 pints of tomatoes into the canner. With a late Spring, a cool Summer, and now an early snow, this hasn't been the best year for the vegetable garden, but we did get quite a bit of fruit for a change. I bundled up and headed outside to start getting ready for the snow - rearranging the shed a bit, putting away the umbrella and outside cushions, moving some of the outdoor furniture. I took the eggs away from Junior - she'd been too fast for our little rooster and none of the eggs were fertile, so it's time for her to go back in the coop with the rest of the flock. When Aries got home from work, he cleaned out the woodbox, and then filled both it and the kindling box. The first sleety pellets started to fall at nightfall.

Curing this year's pitiful squash harvest - less than a third of normal

We woke to a drippy, gloomy day. I was thinking it would be a good day to make a pot of chili. Aries walked down to the store to get some milk and the San Francisco Sunday newspaper for me. He always likes to check the meat department for sales, and today came back with chicken, so I decided to make white chili. This afternoon, while I got some great Northern beans cooking, Aries sat down in front of the TV and started de-stemming grapes. As he'd get a bowlful done, I'd wash them, give them a 10-second dunk in simmering water (just long enough to crack the skins), and filled the dehydrator trays. I started cutting up a bowlful of bird-pecked Asian pears, and managed to get two cups of chopped fruit - using them instead of apples to make these muffins. Then I started on the chili. So tonight, we're all snuggled in with full, warm tummies, in front of a warm fire. Let it snow!


Carol said...

Tell me what you do with dehydrated grapes. I've never heard of doing that and wonder if I might be able to use that process for our muscadine (native) grapes.

Anonymous said...

It is difficult for me to imagine snow... just yet. Nights are in the 40's and days in the upper 60's.

Love the fire!

Sadge said...

Hi Carol! My grapes are red, seedless Reliance, and make great raisins. We eat them by the handful as snacks, put them in muffins and cereal, & make GORP (Good Old Raisins & Peanuts, and sometimes chocolate ;-) for hiking. I also freeze some of the grapes and use those like blueberries. They'll keep fresh, in bunches on trays in the cellar, until Christmas too.

If I had muscadines, I'd try making wine. I've thought of trying it with some of my red grapes sometime, and am patiently waiting for a Golden Muscat grapevine to get big enough to bear enough to play with.

Meadowlark said...

We had four inches, but it's going to melt today. SIGH.. :(

Francesca said...

What a nice image of your cozy fireplace: looks like you'll be in good company:)!
We're having an unusually warm early fall, and I'm hoping the snow won't surprise us all of the sudden - our one road gets blocked when it snows!

Nancy M. said...

Wow, it is hard to believe it's already snowing!

Margaret said...

Chili at my house tonight to but without the snow. Wow..snow already in your part of the world.

Annodear said...

Let it snow!
Sounds very cozy..