Oct 8, 2009

Drying Time

It's been so great - the arrival of Autumn. I am in love with this season. Yes, spring is nice and summer, too. And we know how great winter is, what with the reading all those books sipping made-from-scratch hot cocoa. But, Autumn? Yes, Autumn. Season of my soul! What do I love so much?

The harvest. I love going out early each morning to see if any new tomatoes are ready for picking. I love checking the chickens for eggs, even though it's a bit too early in the day. I love counting the squash, debating on whether this or that one is big enough for the frying pan or if I should let it grow just one more day.

Many times a day, the ripening tomatoes call me from the back yard. I glance out the kitchen window and see their red, orange, and yellow hues beacon me to come check them again. It's a beautiful time.

And I always, always wish that I had planted more.

Lately I've been watering my 7 precious broccoli plants that have survived the dog's attempts to find a lost bone. I've been counting tiny little carrot seedlings, and spinach seedlings, and arugula seedlings. However, I planted some seeds over the previously planted rows. Now I have 2 things coming up in several places. And of course, I didn't write down (either time) what I had planted!

I think I see some kale. A few garlic shoots. Carrots. Spinach? What a fun mystery it is!

I've been so thankful for the food dehydrator I was given by my mom. I remember drying apples on this thing as a kid. I've dried rack after rack of tomato slices (red, orange, yellow and green zebras!). I've dried zucchini and yellow crookneck squash for stews this winter. I've dried butternut, as an experiment to see how nicely it can be made into a thick and hearty soup. And, my daughter's favorite - little tiny grape tomatoes. These make yummy snacks.

Today my neighbor gave me some beautiful and precious Dixon, NM apples. I had those things in the house, sliced, dipped in lemon water and drying within an hour! 8 beautiful racks of apples - what a great filling they will make for pie (gluten-free of course) this winter!

Thanks for all this bounty, Lord.

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