I'm back from my two-week hiatus! Sorry for the absence. It's been quite an eventful two weeks; a lot has gone on, most notably the totalling of my beloved little car. That issue hasn't been resolved yet but I tore a couple of ligaments in my neck and am currently undergoing massage therapy twice a week to heal the damage while I try to negotiate a nice settlement to get a new car with.
The bright event in the last two weeks was our one-year anniversary. We celebrated with a pleasant drive out to the Columbia River Gorge (more to follow), picking 37 pounds of Asian pears for free, and a fantastic dinner at Ned Ludd - can you think of a better place for the Urban Luddite to dine?
In the meantime, I'm still cooking and canning. I'm almost done processing the 60 pounds of apples and hoping to finish that today; I have jars upon jars of applesauce (with and without maple syrup), apple butter, and apple pie filling. I've also got a big bag of dried cinnamon apples and more apples to go in the dehydrator today. I think this afternoon I'll put up some more apple butter and then we'll carve up a jack o'lantern tonight for the Halloween festivities!
Halloween should be a fun day; my brother's coming up for a month-long visit, and we're opening the house up to all and sundry for trick-or-treating or a drop-by on the way to wilder parties. I'm making up a big vat of steak chili, another of vegan chili, a pan of honey cornbread, and some homemade pumpkin fritter-donuts. I got a huge harvest of fried green tomatoes so I might fry some of those up as well. It won't be the healthiest evening but we eat healthy most of the time, so one night of celebration can't hurt.
The rest of the green tomatoes, by the way, are going to be pickled this afternoon. I just heard about pickled green tomatoes (to be used in place of regular pickles on sandwiches, burgers, etc.) and I'm super-excited. Our late heat snap this summer made my tomatoes go crazy with another round of production; I actually harvested some delicious ripe tomatoes in late October (imagine!) but most of the tomatoes are still green and unlikely to ripen. So I'm pretty stoked to pickle them!
I also harvested the sunchokes and hooooooboy. Back in the spring I bought a pint of sunchokes at the farmer's market, and instead of eating them all, I planted about half of them. They grew into massive six-foot sunflowers, and when we pulled them up, I'd say we found about 30-40 pounds of sunchokes buried like treasure in the dirt. Eating them all before they go bad... well, it's a tough job, but somebody's got to munch tasty homegrown veggies! I think I'm up to the task. (And some of you should be on the lookout for a care package.)
As far as the chickens... Lucy and Doris are almost finished with their molt, and hopefully will start to lay again but they may take the winter off (argh). Lana still hasn't laid anything beyond that first little fart-egg, which may not have even been hers. Jane is laying faithfully almost every day so has taken Lucy's place as my favorite hen. I'm sorry I threatened so often to eat her.