Friday, November 1, 2013

Notes From The Country - November 1st

It's November. Time to prepare for cold weather and my two favorite Holidays and a good deal of activity - indoors. 

We got a bit more snow and this is what it looked like the next morning. Snow fog and snow thunder! the night before. It's the closest thing to the sound of a rolling earthquake. It's a loud, low, groaning, muffled echoing thunder that rumbles on for a bit.  

When it looks like that outside - you can usually find me inside - unless I'm out in the pasture loosening the electric fence wires with a wrench so my two wayward alpacas can find their way under from the neighboring pasture where they spent two days!!! After chatting with my neighbor and her pit bull and rottweiler, who took a break from burning sticks in a garbage can to come meet me at the fence...don't ask....I defrosted my fingers and ears and had some tea then decided to deal with all the apples in the kitchen that were past their eating prime. I could have taken the easy way out but I decided to go the long route. I cut them all up and made apple butter.

Yucky bits and apple cores and old bread became a feast for the chickens.

The rest got cooked down, processed, and after a goodly amount of white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, a couple of my own spicy additions, and a lot of slow cooking, turned into apple butter. Since I wasn't canning for fair entries I gave myself a little leeway. Fair entries for canning is  very very precise. You have to use recipes from the right book, can't change the ingredients, use the proper jars. They even measure the headspace at the top. I know this because I made all these different style jams and chutneys my first year from a really fun canning book I had found, and when I went to enter them they were all rejected because they weren't from an approved book. I cried. 

So I used some fun jars my Mother-in-law had given me, and added a few different ingredients. I think we'll survive. 

Here are some of my favorite canning books. Some I've had for years and a couple are newly aquired. The "Tart and Sweet" book has some fun recipes in it. You can get it here Tart and Sweet.

Thanksgiving is coming - so a few more weeks to enjoy pumpkins and indian corn and basically the color orange. 

Like bittersweet. I love bittersweet. I ordered some fresh from a Vermont farm. I have a bittersweet vine growing over the chicken yard. It does really well every year but apparently I have a female vine? I thought I ordered a male and a female and I guess I didn't get it. And you need both to produce baby berries. I'll stop there.

Have been sewing, of course. Here was my last apron packaged up and ready to ship out to a new home.

 And, since it's Friday, I have to have a nod to happy hour! Have a great weekend! 

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