Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Welcome, Autumn

Cold,  wet, and windy today. High of 68 in the early morning, dropping to 63 as the new front blew in.

Van Gogh's painting, Autumn Landscape with Four Trees, seems to capture the feel of today. Autumn arrived with a blow, indeed, and sheeting rain, blowing leaves, and falling nuts. There's a definite sense of the change of seasons, and the cooler weather will be with us for several days. 

This weather is a blessing, as yesterday I bought some mums that need to be planted, and a friend gave us some nice strawberry plants which we will put into planters tomorrow. These will go into the center of the smaller vegetable garden, and my hope is that by being in planters weed control will be easier. Planting will be much more pleasant when done in cool temperatures. We have some other garden cleanup to do too, as the garden is slowly winding down. 

Today, after a run to pick up some things I bought from a picker for my booths, I worked on tomatoes, again. This time I'm drying some of them, and I sliced some and flash froze for an experiment I'm going to try. My idea is to put parchment paper between the frozen slices and slide them into bags for vacuum-sealing. I hope that these slices will be acceptable on sandwiches, perhaps a little mushy but useable. We shall see. Have you ever tried anything like this? I froze sliced cheese this way earlier this summer. A friend had large blocks of sliced cheese left over after an event, so we bought 2 of the 5-pound blocks, and I froze them with the parchment paper dividers. The cheese froze beautifully, and is very easy to use.

I'm also canning the base for turkey soup today. It's in the canner now. I made the base with broth I canned earlier this year, some of our carrots I'd sliced and frozen, some of our onions and garlic, chopped celery, bay leaves, salt and pepper, and diced up turkey that I froze last March. It tastes heavenly, and when it's time to use it, all we have to do is add noodles or rice. Yesterday I canned split pea and ham soup, and it too tasted wonderful and will be an easy quick meal in the winter.

Larry has been working on his truck today, getting ready to replace the fuel pump--which means taking off the bed of the pickup. Not a small job, but it has to be done. We got new tires on our van yesterday, so vehicles have taken a large bite out of the budget for this month. 

We had a nice visit with some friends yesterday. Sadly, the husband is having serious health issues and is on oxygen all the time. It's changed their lifestyle considerably, but his attitude is cheerful. My friend used to have an antique shop, and she had several boxes of antiques reference books for me, which I will certainly get a lot of use from. This time of life is not an easy one, as we see our friends, like us, getting older and dealing with some hard life decisions. My Dad used to say, if you're going to get old, you've got to be tough. He was right. I know that Larry and I are fortunate to continue doing the things we enjoy.

Off to check on my canner, and on the table I'm stenciling this evening with a Buffalo check pattern. There's never a lack of things to do around here, the difficulty is in choosing which ones.

Leaving you with two versions of an English traditional harvest song. Which do you prefer?

Then this one:

Either way, it's a lovely tune.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


  1. I think I haven't a clue what your picker this phrase."...I bought from a picker for my booths," Is he/she like a wholesaler? Good to read of your busy life. I have a feeling tomatoes don't freeze very well, or they'd be packaged that way sometimes. Good luck on your experiment.

    1. A picker is someone who buys or "picks" for a another seller. This guy isn't exactly a picker in the true sense but he's a great source for booth stuff.

      Thanks for the good wishes on my tomatoes. We shall see. I guess I can always throw them into soup if my idea doesn't work!

  2. You sound very busy, plenty to do that's for sure. Interesting to see if the frozen tomato process works. If not soup will work. :) Enjoy your weekend!


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