Home Keeping In Autumn

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Now that fall is here, we get to rejuvenate our home decor.  Somewhere we have a few things stored away.  Frances is finding it today and is at home creating for us.  (While I am over here at the house near the job brainstorming about what to beautify at home.)

The big pot of mums should be put in a seeable spot on the patio near to where a new rick of firewood ought to be stacked up against the house.  Wood against stone will be the result which is rather pleasing to the eye in my book.  There are a couple of grapevine wreaths somewhere, one of which ought to be stuffed with all things autumn and hung on the nail opposite the Welcome To Our Cabin sign by the door.   There will cobwebs to sweep down.

Inside the house there are things to do, as well. The mantel piece, the centerpiece for the table and the china cabinet surface should all be set with fall leaves and things.

The refrigerator  is full of tomatoes to be turned into pizza sauce later this week.  Charlotte will come to help and we will have a grand mess of creating.  We’ll use the thick sauce and add garlic, onion,  Italian seasoning, basil, oregano,  Jalapeño peppers, and tomato paste. Then we will let it simmer… fill the house with fragrance while we wash pint jars.  In the end there will be rows of bright pints of pizza sauce to share and store in both our pantries.

Last time I made this I took Amy’s advice and cooked the onion and garlic and peppers with the last batch of tomatoes so that it all can be squeezed through the Victorio Strainer all at once.  Then you have no lumps, only wonderful flavor.  The Italian seasoning  gave it the grand finale in color and texture.

My family was impressed. “That stuff warms you all the way down!”  This is a good thing at our house.

Then there are lumps of gold (pumpkins) still out on the garden to be turned into canned pumpkin sauce for pies and custards.  We will bring them in with the wheel barrel and have a picture or two of it before performing a grand butchering of them.  I have used the pressure canner to soften the pumpkin before,  spooning it off the rind.  But is this the best way? Pressure tends to altar the taste a bit and rob us of the vitamins. I want your ideas.

This winter on cold and blustery afternoons  I will measure eggs, milk ( cream would be better), spices, butter, and brown sugar into the blender with the pumpkin sauce and blend.  Next, I will pour this into a glass cake pan and gentle slide it into a heated oven. It will  bake till it thickens like a custard pie.  We’ll eat it warm for desert with milk or vanilla ice cream.

I don’t want to forget those two rows of carrots.  I am thinking that if we top them and throw them all into the conventional washer full of  water that we can shorten up the cleaning of them by quite a bit.  Is this a bad plan?  My aunt used to wash her baby cucumbers that way to get all those prickles off for canning. Seems to me that a few minutes with the dasher in plenty of water ought to be a perfect way to clean them.  I can easily visualize a row or two of canned carrots on our pantry shelves.

Frances and I enjoy Julienned carrots a lot.  I know… the calories add up terribly with all that butter and brown sugar, but we try not to think about that too much.  It’s a yummy addition to a snowy night’s dinner.

We found hazel nuts still on the bush the other day when we were walking in the woods. Each crinkly husk hides a tiny, brown nut that you must crack with a pliers to get the meat thereof. Very sweet and mild tasting.   And the rose hips are glorious this year. I am still thinking about them.  They supposed to make good jelly that tastes a lot like red zinger tea. 

Apple time is coming soon, too.  We’ve been out of apple sauce for months.

Comments

  1. I always bake my pumpkins. Halve or Quarter them, seed them, put them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 until soft.(I often add just a little water to the cookie sheet to help them steam.) I, then, just run the pulp through the blender and fill my jars. This reminds me of the ones that I have sitting here to do.

    I wish I had two rows of carrots to can. Carrots don't grow here like they do in Northern MN. Try adding a bit of mustard to your butter and brown sugar. Wow! This is one of our favorite vegetables.

    Wendy

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  2. Ya, what Wendy said. Carrots will keep a LONG time in the fridge for fresh eating too if you wash and dry them properly and put in bags. Jays put their carrots in their root cellar and they were still eating them in January. And they were so very very good.

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  3. Yup that's how I do my pumpkins too.

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  4. It's feels oddly otherworldly for me to think of canning season. And pumpkins in this country aren't orange, they're green, even when ripe. But they're still good and we've learned they cook a lot faster when they're only halved. Traps the steam I guess.

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  5. seems strange to be thinking of gardening now....:-)

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  6. I wish I could grow carrots in my garden... I was considering making my own little "carrot bed"... do you think that would work?
    I love this time of year... I should round up so fall decor, all I have so far is a pumpkin on the front step.

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