Sunday, November 09, 2008

Domesticity (and food) again

Whenever autumn rolls around, I get infected with what I think of as "the domestic bug." Some women nest mainly when they're pregnant, but I think I nest most of the time, especially as the seasons turn and the weather becomes cold. It probably has to do with the fact that we spend more time indoors, so the things I occupy myself with in the spring (like working in our tiny little garden or going on walks) aren't as feasible when rain is pouring in torrents out of the sky, like this week. So I turn to more indoor productive tasks. I have been working in the kitchen many days this week, and knitting and working on some Christmas projects. This last Tuesday, my friend Jenn came over and helped me make apple butter with a big bag of apples a friend gave me. Here is a bit of the finished product (some went into the freezer and the refrigerator):
and here is a bit of the mess I had to deal with at 11:00 pm when the ordeal was over:
I think it was worth it, since I have been trying to put aside as many "fruit" things as I can, since we don't buy much fruit through the winter, given our goal to eat our produce as locally as we can. It totally increases the enjoyment we have in fruit when it is in season, I can tell you that! I don't think you can understand the joy and beauty of a tangerine in Laura Ingalls Wilder's childhood Christmas stocking until you know what it means to go without. Strawberries this last spring were received with exuberance not quite seen the previous year... Then by the time we had gorged ourselves on cherries and berries, it was peaches and plums, and then melons, and then back to our staple through our winter- apples. We didn't buy oranges, bananas or other exotic fruit other than a few lemons to cook with since they aren't worth the cost in gas they require to transport and guess what? We didn't miss them at all with the abundance in our own backyard (literally and figuratively.)
So now I am meal planning with a lot of squash, pumpkin, apples, corn, some late-season broccoli.
We bought a share in a local farm for their winter CSA (community supported agriculture) and got our first share this week. We got the following (click on the text to go recipes for those foods):
"Acorn" Winter Squash
"Red Lasoda" Potatoes
Beet Greens with Baby Beets
Red Russian Kale
Bell Peppers

The kale was delicious sauteed with a bit of olive oil and garlic. Yum... I hope they have that again next week.
I just pulled out a walnut-squash pie from the oven that looks delicious - Jesse picked out the recipe when he saw me pass it in my Better Homes cookbook. I threw a ham in the oven after that since we're having company for dinner, and I am making a kabocha squash soup with ham on the side and will probably serve a bit of salad as well. It sounds yummy to me!
I am excited to have tomorrow off of work as we decided to celebrate Veteran's Day on Monday instead of Tuesday to have a long weekend. Glorious! I need an extra day, it's been a crazy week and weekend!

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