Friday, September 7, 2012

Getting chilly

Yesterday I thought I saw the first few snowflakes falling. It turned out to be itty bitty leaves (or leaf parts?) from one of the nearby trees blowing in the wind, but the fact that it didn't really surprise me that there might be snow should tell you something about the weather around here. I keep forgetting to actually pull out the big down comforter so instead I have a bed piled with lots of small blankets. When I wake up in the morning, the cat is snuggled at my feet and the dog is pressed up against my side. Even so, I've woken up shivering a couple of times. (Don't feel bad for me--if I'd remember to pull out that darn blanket I wouldn't have that problem! But I don't seem to remember until I'm actually crawling into bed, and then I'm too tired to go rooting through the boxes in the garage to find it.) I've been winding down my "get ready for winter" activities and am transitioning to activities more suitable to late autumn. I still have some canning and such left to do (tomatoes!) but that is winding down. I've also started doing things like walking to and from work, rather than biking, just in case it snows during the day. (Me on ice can be pretty bad at times. I don't want to add thin tires on steep slopes into the mix!)
Our freezers are mostly full, although I've been pulling things out of them so there's a bit more room now than there was last week. There will be a bit more space next week, too, since I'm actually going to dig into my stash of blueberries and use some. :) I'm super excited for our anniversary celebration dinner!
However, I'm still getting food from my garden. Last night I made chicken pot pie. As my brother said, "It feels like a chicken pot pie day." That was my thought, too, when I was walking home from work. With the leaves falling all around, the wind blowing, and the gray clouds it was a perfect day for chicken pot pie. And I realized that I could turn it into essentially a one-pot meal, thanks to my cast iron skillet. (I say "essentially" because I did have a small bowl in which I mixed the pie crust.)
Despite the season, though, I was still able to go onto the back porch to collect some items for dinner, carrots and celery. The way my mom and I make chicken pot pie is to have a standard mirepoix (carrots, celery, onions) plus garlic, potatoes, and (shelled) peas. It's super veggie heavy and healthy, but hearty enough to feel like just what you need on a cold evening. As I was chopping the vegetables I realized that, beyond the carrots, if I'd wanted to make it even more of a homegrown meal I could have used some of my own freezer peas (I used store bought ones which we've had in the freezer for a while) and some of my own potatoes. (I haven't dug them up yet! I used some of the ones Spencer gave us before he moved, since they're getting shriveled and old anyway.) But it was still nice to realize how much I've grown, and how much of this meal I could have put together with food from my garden.
I'm sure the list of homegrown veggies in meals will expand (I want to grow onions next year, and plant garlic for the year after that, hopefully--I've been waiting to do garlic until we're in a place of our own) and soon enough I'll be eating entirely homegrown meals other than salad. What a lovely thought!
Soon enough it will be time for hats and scarves and boots and heavy winter coats. For now, however, I'm enjoying to the fullest the transition time that is autumn.

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