Monday, October 19, 2015

Autumn Passing

Via
This has always been one of my favorite photographs. In my marital home I had a framed print, which I loved - I'm not sure why I left it behind except that things were so incredibly difficult at that point and leaving was so hard. 

Anyway. 

Many of my blogging friends report heat waves and leaves just beginning to change. Things are different up here on the mountain top. 

The weekend started off on Friday like this - beautiful foliage, just past peak. 


And by Sunday morning I woke to this: 


Check out the snow on the top of the mountain - and that white sky, a sign of more snow to come. 


A short while later we looked out to what looked like a blizzard! 


It was hard to capture in photographers (sorry!) but oh, so beautiful! I had a cozy fire going and was so happy to have the day off to enjoy the first snow flurries. 


The strawberry plants  didn't enjoy it quite so much. 


Nor did the mums. 


These poor mums never even had a chance to open their blooms! 


The temp was below 30 when we woke on Sunday and stayed in the 30's pretty much all day. 


Fortunately I had followed the advice of my friend Deb from Frugal Little Bungalow and picked the last of my blooms for a little kitchen bouquet. She also suggested cutting some hydrangea blooms and putting them away to dry for after-Christmas decor.....


That's me in the down jacket and wool hat, hiding behind the hydrangeas! They are now drying in  my utility room. She's a smart woman, that Deb!!


I spent hours on Saturday getting ready for the hard frost by putting the vegetable garden to bed. I stored all these bins in the garage overnight and knew I had a TON of work to do on Sunday. 


Look. At. My. Kitchen. Oh boy.

Totally overwhelming at times, trying to figure out what to do next. I always try to preserve as much of the bounty of the summer harvest as possible to use in the winter months. I also gave some to my sister to take home for her beautiful family. 


The tomatoes were about 4 inches deep in the bottom of my sink. I separated out all the ones that had actually ripened on the vine thanks to our warm temps last week. They will be in tonight's dinner, which is repeat of this super simple weeknight meal.


After hours on my feet sorting, scrubbing, washing, trimming - this is the final harvest. Not too shabby for a girl born and raised in the city!

I always knew I was a country girl at heart. 


The herbs are processed and stored in the freezer in freezer bags to pull out as needed. I try to get as much air out of the bags as possible, rolling them up and then zipping them closed. And the herbs must be clean and dry. Woody herbs get stored on their stems, like the rosemary above. Leafy herbs take more time as I need to pull all the leaves off, chop them very fine, and then freeze them. You can break off chunks as you need them to drop into recipes. Last year my fresh garden herbs lasted all winter!


The beet greens were rough chopped to throw into soup. Also in the freezer, same method as the herbs. 


Some of my beautiful harvest went into a big pot of chicken noodle soup. Just the thing for a snowy, cold mountain evening. I used half the broth I made Friday and the other half of the broth went into the freezer also. There's a good reason I have multiple freezers!


Chicken noodle soup and toasted sandwiches with Muenster, Cheddar, and sliced garden tomato on an Onion Ciabatta......mmmmmmm, guess what's for lunch today? Leftovers, yippee!


And I'm so glad to have it because when I woke up today the temps were in the teens. I have a chill in my bones and it just won't leave. 

Stay warm, my friends. 

17 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to have found your blog a few days ago. I'm Valerie and I blog over at Cottage Making Mommy. As I have time I'm reading your posts. I love your pictures and your home.

    Hugs from Oklahoma,

    Valerie
    Cottage Making Mommy

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    1. Hi Valerie! I'm so glad you found me also - I've been catching up on your blog also as time allows! You're a busy, busy woman!! :)

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  2. The sun was shining brightly at our house this weekend, but a mere two miles away it was snowing. My kids were getting texts from friends saying check out the flurries! It's on its way no doubt!

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    1. Without a doubt, Kim! Our temps are going back up later this week, at least temporarily - but unfortunately it's too late for the flowers....the frost got them this weekend. Sad!!

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  3. Stay warm??? I'm wearing shorts and have the air conditioning and fans on. It's hot here. Haven't seen many leaves turning. I'm so glad you got to enjoy your first snowy day at your new home!
    Brenda

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    1. Still hot there, huh? When does the cooler weather kick in around your home, Brenda?

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  4. I enjoyed every single photo that you shared. It is still quite warm for October here in England but it is starting to cool down and the leaf colour is gorgeous. My sweet peas are still producing the most gorgeous fragrant flowers. I have just picked a big bunch to brighten my sitting room. x

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    1. Why thank you, Cherie!! Today the temps are supposed to reach 62 F which is quite the change from 17 F on Sunday morning! I let the wood-stove die out last night and will keep it off until our next cold spell. Thanks for visiting my blog!!

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  5. I love your blog! You bring back many fond memories for me.....I was raised in New England where the weather is similar. I remember braiding Hydrangea blooms for a really fun swag. I also remember that my Dad would leave some carrots and parsnips in the ground for a spring treat after the ground thawed. I miss the changing seasons......I'm in S. California now and it just has started cooling of yesterday and this morning its cooler. Thanks for all you share on your blog love it!

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    1. Thank you so much, Robyn! I have to admit I'm kind of new to this whole "farming" thing so I wasn't sure if I could leave the carrots in the ground. Perhaps next year I'll give it a try!

      I would truly miss the change of seasons if I was in somewhere that was warm all the time but it also has amazing benefits, doesn't it?

      Thanks a million for coming by to visit my blog!

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  6. I love that first photo as well...I can see how it would be a favorite! So there I was reading along and then laughing when I got to my name :)

    WOW your kitchen looks like a harvest home photo or something...what gorgeous photos of your bounty!! I don't know if you do it but I layer green tomatoes between newspaper like my grandfather did and in the basement, in the colder area....not by the furnace or anything, they slowly ripen. I did not have very many this year but last year, I had about 30 or more and was enjoying the last of them around Christmas! :)

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  7. I love that first photo as well...I can see how it would be a favorite! So there I was reading along and then laughing when I got to my name :)

    WOW your kitchen looks like a harvest home photo or something...what gorgeous photos of your bounty!! I don't know if you do it but I layer green tomatoes between newspaper like my grandfather did and in the basement, in the colder area....not by the furnace or anything, they slowly ripen. I did not have very many this year but last year, I had about 30 or more and was enjoying the last of them around Christmas! :)

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    1. Yes, it was insane for a while, Deb, with all the veggies and herbs! I still haven't finished processing all the herbs - I took the night off last night - they are wrapped in damp towels and in the downstairs fridge for now.

      I tried the newspaper thing last year for my green tomatoes and a bunch rotted. Perhaps I did something wrong? I am trying to ripen them on windowsills this year and I will make them into sauce or soup and freeze them. I'm sure I'll lose a few but it's hard to avoid....oh well.

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by and for your comments - and for the great tips on your blog!
      :)

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  8. What a beautiful, bountiful harvest you have! And snow already! I love snow...I don't know how I've survived in the south my entire life when winter is one of my favorite seasons! :-) The soup looks delicious...since I'm new to your blog, is there a recipe to be had somewhere??!!

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    1. Thank you, Benita! I love snow also although shoveling it does get old after a while! But the first snow of the season is always exciting for sure! No recipe for the soup....yet. But there will be! I will have to recreate it as it was the best I've made or tried ever!!
      Thanks once more for your visit - it means so much to have all these new amazing blogging friends out there!

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  9. I left a comment on your lovely bathroom a minute ago but I have to say that the picture of your late garden harvest spread over your island impresses the heck out of me--and my husband, who I just showed it to! You are a serious gardener! I feel like I'll have new treasure to explore here at Mountain Mama!

    Now to go cover up my herbs as here in Nashville we'll have 2 nights of frost and then back to nice weather. I'm trying to keep them going through Thanksgiving cooking.

    Dewena

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    1. Feel free to reach out if you want some tips on how to keep them going after things get too cold - I have been preserving my herbs for cooking (in the easiest way I can since I work full time) and last winter I even had some left over at the end of the season! Yes, I love to garden and someday hopefully I'll be able to have more time to dedicate to my garden. This was a tough year, sort of, since I moved into my new house in early April - it was such a busy time just moving in, never mind getting on top of the whole gardening thing!! Thanks for your sweet words, Dewena - I look forward to exploring more on your blog as well!!

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