I’m planning on doing a scheduled shop update in early(ish) November. The date and time are yet to be announced. It might be big or it might be small, it depends on what I can make between now and then. What I have will be what I have. I did get a few emails over the summer from folks who prefer official, heavily previewed and scheduled shop updates so I’m trying to give lots of advance notice before everything goes live. However, I will continue to stock the shop at random times, too. Because I like it when you are able to peruse my Etsy shop calmly, and I like it when you write me notes about how serendipitous a purchase was for you. I like that, also.
I’ve been slowly closing down my gardens at the strawbale house. It’s amazing that another growing season has passed. Sometimes I ponder on how many different ways there are to measure time — sunsets and sunrises, the coming and going of the growing season, full moons, clocks, bug hatches on the river…
Food I put up this fall:
-cardamom plum jam which is HEAVENLY — the farm has three types of plum trees and since this has been my favorite jam since I first made it at the Pocatello house years ago — REMEMBER THE GOLDEN TICKET GIVEAWAY???!!! — I can delight in the fact that my pantry will never be without this culinary miracle
-regular plum jam
-and in the freezer I have an infinite amount of frozen chopped tomatoes which I will turn into fresh marinara sauces and restaurant salsas this winter, I used to can this stuff but simply freezing the fresh, vine ripened produce seems like such a better use of time these days
-also in the freezer I have stocked grated zucchini which is super to add to anything
I put up a fair amount of elderberry syrup this fall and it’s not too late for you to make this glorious stuff if you have access to fresh berries where you live. That said, I have heard of people making this syrup with store-bought, dried elderberries so if you can’t pick them yourself, you can always glean some from the interwebulars. This syrup is delicious on french toast or pancakes and I like to take a TBSP of it daily as a tonic for a delicious immune system boost. I have read it’s a great alternative to cough syrup/cold medicine for kiddos, too. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make. Here’s the recipe I roughly used.
NOTE: I used fresh berries instead of dried berries that I picked myself along the Salmon River and Payette River (berry to water ratio is more like 1:2 if you go with freshies). I used cinnamon sticks instead of powdered cinnamon. Thumbs up to fresh ginger.
Now that you’ve read about my domestic conquests this fall, let me tell you about a major flop. I brew my own kombucha because it’s delicious but also because it’s fun to have a quasi-revolting science project on the kitchen counter at all times. I sprout for the same reason (except sprouting isn’t gross, it’s beautiful and simple). Rob gave me a kombucha brewing kit for Christmas and I managed to keep it alive and well until the end of September which is when disaster struck. I came home from a trip and somehow, a fly or two had crawled past the clothed and banded cover into the brewing jar. Well. This led to that and my poor kombucha mother was literally crawling and wriggling with maggots. It was awful. It was a scene from a horror movie. I had to toss the whole thing and begin again.
Take note, young domestic goddesses: When brewing kombucha, ensure your muslin cloth is firmly secured to your brewing jar during the warm months or trauma will run rampant.
I’m just finishing up what has been a wonderful book about the rise and fall of the Comanche Nation. I highly recommend Empire of the Summer Moon.
In the evenings we’ve been watching snippets of Anne of Green Gables because we always watch it once the weather is turning cool and Robert thinks Anne is hilarious and spends most of his time comparing me to Anne and then I agree with his comparisons and I laugh too. It’s good to have an outside perspective when it comes to your personality and to be able to laugh at your quirks, shortcomings and idiosyncrasies. If you can’t laugh at yourself, from time to time, all is (maybe) lost.
A friend introduced me to Angel Olson this summer and Burn your Fire for no Witness quickly became one of my favorite albums of all time. I own it on vinyl now and take it for an afternoon spin most days. Hear and love it, as I love it.
The rains have come and I wish I could write down how the sagebrush, rabbitbrush, bitterroot and thirsty earth smell. The scent of the autumn world overwhelms me. As I run in the evenings, I can’t help but smile at the sound of our massive quail coveys on the wing and their distress calls as they try to regroup in the brambles. The aspens on the other side of the river are 14 karat. The rapids are as constant as ever, booming in the night, folding over themselves and then running free. The coyotes have been mingling with the stars in the witching hours. There’s the spur rattling gallop of the pheasant roosters as they flame brightly in the Russian olives. And how could I forget Tater Tot’s eyes when he locks up on a point…
It’s the best time of year.