Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Definitely Fall!

I love the cooler weather we are having now. There have been a few days where we came close to starting a fire in the wood stove, but we held out. On nights where the temperatures dip into the low 40s, we have a little space heater we use in the hall, aimed towards the bedroom doorways and it wards off the night-time chill. Pretty soon, the wood stove will be fired up, I'm sure, but the longer we can put it off, the longer our wood will last.

It's been an extra busy week here. I took the remaining green tomatoes off the vine and turned it into green tomato salsa. Oh my! How tasty that was! I made a small batch first, to see if we would like it, and it was so good, that I made a bigger batch the next time, after buying what I needed to make more. I ended up canning 12 pints of green tomato salsa to enjoy during these cold winter months.

My Aunt and Uncle also brought us 150 pounds of russet potatoes! I took about 25 pounds and turned them into potato skins, loaded with bacon and cheese and froze them for later snacks/meals. All the potato that was scooped out has been turned into potato soup and mashed potatoes. Yum! We are a family of potato lovers and we definitely eat our fair share of potatoes around here.

Oldest was playing around with the bungee cords that we are using to keep the chairs with the table, to prevent Baby from climbing them (read previous post for more info). We tell the kids all the time not to play with them, they are like big rubber bands and they'll snap back and might poke your eye out or hurt you. Sure enough, Oldest hooked one end to the door knob, the other end to the sliding door handle and it popped off and clipped her in the eye.

*The day after*
It gave her a deep little cut in her eyebrow and left a shiner the next day. I am SO relieved that it missed her eye. She had a very swollen eye for a day, and now she is left with what looks like a bad make-up job on her eyelid. I hope she has learned her lesson (a painful one at that!) and will not play with the bungee cords anymore.

There will be one more preserving of food for me before I can finally put away all my tools for the year-- pumpkin! I have no pumpkin left from last year and am looking forward to making pumpkin pies, breads, cookies, and more! Hope to get a pumpkin this week and believe it or not, I'm actually tempted to get another bushel of apples. Wait and see how busy it gets this week, before I decide to get more apples. I feel like I turned all the apples into sauce before we really got to eat any out of hand, so I am craving the crunch-crunch of apples and the juice dripping down my chin. Plus, I've never made caramel apples for the kids before, and I think the kids would love to try them!


DJ Kirkby said...

Do you ever preserve pumpkin pureee to use later on for pies? I want to but am not sure if I can do it in a 10 minute boiling water bath like with jams or if I need to use a pressure cooker?

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

OOOOoooo DO make the caremel apples! My mom used to let me help (or was it watch??) and I still have good memories of it. Plus - lordy - they're just so GOOD! ! :)

jenny said...

DJ--I freeze my pumpkin puree so I don't need to worry about the canning part of that. I checked my canning book and there is nothing in there about canning pumpkin. I remember a few years back, I made pumpkin butter and there were lots of caution and conflicting information about canning it because it was low acidity, so I just ended up freezing the jars. If you have the freezer space, then go ahead and freeze them, I freeze them in little zippy bags in one-cup portions to make it easy for measuring later on.

Gringa-- At least if I don't get a whole bushel, I should at least buy a few for caramel apples, huh? I remember once, we went to an apple festival and I ate so many caramel apples! ugh! I didn't want to see another apple for a looooong time after that! :o)

Lantana said...

My former husband who rides a Harley lost an eye from a wayward Bungee Cord. These devices are not to be taken lightly, handi, yes, but watch out! I have to deal with them constantly to tie down my porch furniture, due to our 145 mph gusts that will move re arrange ANYTHING! I am scared of Bungee Cords and respect them with caution!

K.L. said...

Hi Jenny,
Do you use the big carving pumpkin, or the small sugar pumpkins. I do all my pumpkin baking with the small ones, as they have much better flavor, and are not nearly as stringy. I love pumpkin season.

Poor oldest. Those life lessons can sure be painful.

DJ Kirkby said...

Hmmmmm ok thanks. Not much freezer space (everything is smaller in England) so I might avoid making it all together. Can't buy tinned pumpkin here though except at Halloween which is why I wanted to do my own. I made pumpkin jam this year and there was now arnign swith that, I wonder why jam is ok but not tinned pumpkin puree? xo

Carol said...

Oh that eye looks sore!! I hope she's on the way to recovery!!

(I do have to ask...did she make up the other eye to match?)

C x

jenny said...

Lantana-- Ouch!! I told my Oldest to read your comment and her eyes went wide. She hasn't played with the bungee cord since, so I think she realizes it's not a toy and it can hurt you if you use it in the wrong way.

K.L.-- I have used both large pumpkins and the small ones and I must say, I can't really TASTE the difference, but yes, the larger ones are more stringy. I puree them in the food processor, so it makes no difference to me really. I didn't grow pumpkin this year *smacks head* so we will head to the pumpkin patch soon.

yes, those life lessons can be painful. Sometimes we just need to learn the hard way, don't we? :o)

Dj-- Can you stock up on the tinned pumpkin when it's in the stores there? I'm sure the expiration date on the cans say they would be good for at least a year or two?

Carol-- she's on the mend now! It's a pale yellow-green now. And no, LOL, no make up to make the other eye match! :o)