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.
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.