Google+ What I Made Today: September 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ready for the Stretch of Urgency

Autumn has arrived in my little corner of the world and I welcome it with open arms. It marks the time of adding an extra blanket on the bed, of sleeves and socks and shoes, and it marks the final seasonal stretch of extreme urgency. 
I've been harvesting greens for drying, canning, fermenting. And cooking for meals, almost daily.
Tomatoes are still coming and I'm still drying and canning those too. I must ferment some, too, for a delicious tomato juice that makes a very special Bloody Mary. ::nods::

I still have beans and peppers, beets and squash, sweet potatoes and eggplant, lemon grass and parsley, calendula and nasturtium, kohlrabi and leeks, carrots and surely others I'm forgetting that will need my attention as the weather waxes frosty. As one who grows most of her own food, I put a lot of pressure on myself as October approaches. When it feels like "too much" I recall my sighs of delight and pleasure when "shopping" in my own pantry in the dark of winter. 
I've been fermenting all manner of harvests too, among them the better known cabbage ferments: Sauerkraut, kimchi, cortido, as well as variations on those themes. I have apple cider vinegar started too, from all the skins and cores from the apples I dried and canned as sauce.
I've been planning and plotting simple mini-workshops, like making your own vanilla and other culinary herbal extracts.
And I've been doing my best to make time to smell the flowers, as they say. Some days it's a real challenge, but I force myself. :)

I'm looking forward to October, when this season of harvest-urgency begins to calm. I look forward to it, too, because it is my month for diving deep, a month for reflection and projection, a month of endings and beginnings, a month of eternal moments with no past or future, a month of mysteries... a month Just for Me.

So today, I make ready for this final seasonal stretch.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Good Medicine - All of It

September has somehow evolved into the double-digit phase. How did that happen? Where did the time fly? And from what magic are those wings made?
Yet, I've managed to get many harvests put by, as they say, for the many meals that lie ahead. I've been drying and canning and freezing and fermenting. Not to mention infusing oils and tincturing with delightfully fresh herbal harvests. It's Good Medicine. All of it.
I've tried something new this year, thanks to a online friend and preserving enthusiast. I make quarts (and more quarts, and pints too) of tomato purée and have historically added the "waste" (skins and seeds) to the compost. This year, I've been dehydrating it and blending it into a powder to be added to soups, stews, sauces and who-knows-what-else? It's a new experience for me and I can dig it.
I've canned collard greens and beets too... and have more still to harvest and process. And then some.
I still have dried broccoli from last year, so I've been harvesting and freezing packages for winter enjoyment. Carrots, squash, parsley and leeks are also in the mix of preserves, in their many forms.
And I've been heART journaling on a more regular basis, not daily, but every other day 'r' so. Keeping it simple has been key to this renewed practice. Isn't that always the way? Now... if only keeping things simple were... simple.

That's a taste of what I've been up since the calendar flip. As for today, I have studio time, dispensary time, weather-dependent garden time, kitchen time and then more studio time planned. Wish me well!