the next season

We had our first frost last Wednesday and, of course, I wasn’t prepared even though I knew it was coming and every gardener in western Montana was saying up late at night making sauce and pesto and relish. Last year, I nearly lost tomatoes. This year, the basil went down hard.

I didn’t get home from work on Wednesday until after 9pm and, well, basil harvest just escaped me. I always feel so guilty and irresponsible when I let this happen. These little seeds all full of hope that, for months, I nourished into statuesque, healthy bushes. And, then, I recklessly killed them.

In other yup-its-fall news, we turned our heat on for the first time this season and have been eating a lot of soup. The chickens egg laying has slowed but we still get one or two a day. I have been sewing (well, piecing together thrifted items with the use of some store-bought fleece, pipe cleaners (are they really used to clean pipes?) and electrical tape) bug’s halloween costume. You best believe she will be the cutest damn bee you ever did see.

I have been blanching and freezing and canning like a mad woman. Most of the fruit I got for free: plums from mullet neighbor, apples from a giant tree on city property that Andy and I snuck up on one Sunday morning, the most gorgeous apricots you’ve ever seen from friends. I bought corn from the farm five blocks from my house.

Our freezer if full. Behind the plums, apples and corn is a red biohazard bag containing my placenta. It’s true. I am hoping to get it in the ground with some daffodils before the soil is frozen. Andy will be glad to see that go….but seriously, how could I just throw it away? It was an organ my body grew that sustained my bug for 10 months.

I peeled, cored and blanched the apples to freeze. It was a sticky, many day process. I have enough for seven pies this winter. I halved and froze bags of plums ready for cobbler. I made butters: peach, plum and apricot. Froze the corn.

Next, the green tomato relish I relish so. But first, a little getaway for our little family. Today we go to stay at a friend’s house up in Seeley where there will be snow on our hike and homemade pizza on our plates. Wishing everyone a warm and full fall weekend.

11 Responses to the next season

  1. TRB Holt says:

    Burb ~ you never let me down as I read your Blog. I am so happy to see you enjoy canning so much, there is nothing like the feeling to stand back and look at the yield! Your house looks like a cozy, lived in and full of love home…witch it is.

    Love you, Mom

  2. Heather says:

    Damn girl, we are two peas in a pod. Today I peeled 900000 apples for applesauce, and I have got to get one of those peel-y core-y jobbies because I swear I have a blister from hand peeling. Jeez.

    As for stuff the frost gets; I always console myself with the thought that it’s good for compost; part of the circle…

    I am gonna go leave you a comment at my house about the lights in the coop thing…



  3. Kelle says:

    it’s 92 degrees here. are you TRYING to make me jealous ‘cuz I would just go friggin bananas to be able to scarf and mitten up the cubby and take her for a frosty walk. your mama’s right…your home looks loved and lived in and so cozy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m with Andy on the organ in the freezer.

  5. Melinda says:

    Beautiful photos. Wow. Those plums! Mmmm. Frost hasn’t hit yet here, but it has quickly become very chilly for early October.

  6. Susy says:

    I’ve been canning & freezing like crazy this year as well. I’ve been making apple butter with all of my apples – yum yum. They’ll be making up most of my Christmas gifts along with some mulled apple cider jelly and some chutneys. I’m so excited to try the Green Tomato Relish recipe, I will be picking all my green tomatoes soon. I was going to last week but it’s going to be in the high 70’s here this week.

  7. DUDE! i still have my placenta in the freezer too. in fact, right by some applesauce i made last weekend. ah, what’s a girl to do? we keep meaning to do something with it and then we can’t really decide and it passes. i’ll go talk to jeffy about it now!


  8. LeLo says:

    I love that peely-a-gig thing. It’s like a toy in the kitchen and before I know it, I’m done.

    Can I just say the photo of Bug among all those apples is just great? I hope she doesn’t get knocked on the noggin with one, but I have a feeling, looking at the photo, she’d probably just giggle a bit and her eyes would get real big and she’d burp.

  9. joan says:

    judging from all the apples on the ground where Margot is sitting it looks like she could have used her helmet. Our garden looks better since teh snow is covering it. No frozen foliage to look at, XOXO J

  10. Tracey says:

    What a delightful blog! Canning and preserving and chickens. I am totally inspired!!

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