Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Catching Up: Conference Extras, Garden Wrap-Up, and Opening the First Tomatoes

Woah! Apologies for dropping off the face of the earth!
Did I mention that I'm teaching an extra course this semester?   And that it's midterm season?  And that the conference put me WAY behind on grading?

I've been using the last week or so to catch up on life, and have let the blog sit on the back burner a bit.  And as usual, I've been cooking a bunch and barely photographing it.  While part of me feels like a bad blogger, I have to make it clear that I've made an effort not to let the blog seriously interfere with my ability to live a normal life.  I have to remind myself often that it's optional to photograph something I cook, and that some things deserve to be just for me, and that's a very good thing.

The details of the conference have taken on new meaning after I left the bubble of like-minded individuals and returned to my normal routine.  I've been listening to the interviews on my computer and taking notes.  I am energized by just how bright, well informed, and generous each interviewee was.  I'm so excited by just how much information is crammed into each of these interviews and can't wait to share them with you.  I want to make sure I weave them together in a way that is accessible to a large audience, but still does justice to the nuanced content.

Back at home, I spent some time this week putting my garden to bed.  Some people spend a lot of time retilling and piling on compost, but I just pulled out my tomato plants and turned over the dirt with a shovel.

First I pulled up the onions, tied them into bunches, and hung them in the pantry downstairs.  They'll hang for a couple weeks while the skins thoroughly dry, and then I'll store them in a cool dark place.

They're hanging in the space where I started the seeds in the basement.  They share this space with all the canned goods I managed to stock up over the summer season.  Including

Canned green beans, pickled beets, and tons of tomatoes.

Pickled green beans and more tomatoes.


All together now.

It's convenient for me to keep my preserved goods in the same place as I start my seeds.  By the time we're ready to start seedlings in January, this supply will be depleted and move upstairs to the normal pantry.

Speaking of preserved goods, we opened the first can of tomatoes yesterday!  It was a mixed experience of excitement at tearing into some delicious tomatoes and disdain at surrendering to the waning harvest.

I made pesto over the weekend to use up my basil before the frost, and picked up a small pattypan squash at market on Saturday.   It became clear that these needed summer tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and some pasta.

It gets dark so late this time of year so this photo doesn't look like much, but it tasted fantastic.

We experienced an early frost, but these last few days have been warm and the foliage has been gorgeous.

I'm eating squash and apples in great abundance, so things are good.  I plan to cook and freeze a bit of both for the coming months.

Until we speak next, get out there and squeeze what's left of October!

1 comment:

julie @ a day in the wife said...

Thanks for the comment, I feel the same way! LOVE that he told your friend she looked fabulous. Most excellent. But now I am drooling over your garden photos - this is what I aspire my "cellar" to be in the fall. We had our first big garden this year, and I am sick over how much produce I let go, and I have a freezer full, but I haven't tried canning. I am inspired!!!

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