Today I began dismantling the garden. This is a pretty big task, there's big roots, lots of huge plants no longer producing much. Last night I cut the corn stalks to decorate in true Autumn fashion! My first ever decorating with my own stalks and pumpkins. The powdery mildew killed the pumpkins off a few weeks ago, and I picked the last of them today, some of them are partly green. Pumpkins don't ripen off the vine, so I am using the partially green ones to decorate with. Kind of gives it a neat look, actually. Rather like a clever water color that I mean to turn out that way.
I have left the peppers to attempt to get the green ones to get just a tad bigger and ripen up. The days are still in the high 70's and low 80's so it's not over just yet, and I'm hoping to get enough to pickle a few for Music Man. Friday I canned 4 more quarts of tomatoes and 4 pints of green beans. Our larder is looking good compared to where it's ever been before.
I had a conversation with my mother the other day. When she was a kid, my grandmother used to can all their food for the winter, and there were 6 people in that family. I have 4 and we wouldn't have enough to go more then 2 months with what I put by. I find this to be a tremendously time consuming venture, and I wonder how my grandmother did this for all of them every year. I have the choice, she really didn't, of whether I want to just go to the store and buy it or put it by myself. I'll admit, it's been an adventure for me, and mostly I've enjoyed it, but truth be told, I've been doing this almost daily for a month now and I'm ready to move on to other things in my life. I've got sewing piling up, knitting to get to and heck, some fun to have!
I wanted to take lots of pictures this autumn. That's a deep passion of mine, trying to capture nature's intricacies on camera. I'm very appreciative of the camera my mom passed down to me a few years ago, it takes great shots. But, I very much miss my lenses and being able to focus on just what I want to show. The camera I have is more of a point and shoot deal. I was hoping to get that new SLR camera, but it's just not in the budget for us right now. Oil to order, wood to buy, a stove to get installed, bills to pay. I do realize that I'm not going to be able to stay unemployed much longer, so I was really hoping to get some wonderful scenery done by my view in my files. I feel like taking photos is really very personal. It's a glimpse into what the photographer is seeing and feeling at that moment. A hundred people could take the same photo and have it come out different every time because it's not the location, but what the person manning the camera sees and wished to convey that is the outcome. Pretty cool indeed.
This mornings cooler temps brought about the urge to bake something pumpkin, so I made the troop some Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Muffins. They were quite yummy, and it was all I could do to stop myself at one. I'm back on reducing the carbs after a summer of not doing that so well. So, it was a banana for me while the gang all had 2 each. And they got rave reviews, so they must have been okay...or maybe they were just needing some sustenance after a long night of sleeping in tents in the back field! Served with hot cocoa, they were a hit. Perhaps you have some pumpkin you're wanting to turn into a delicious breakfast as well, if so, here's a keeper.
Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Makes 12 regular size muffins
3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour (if you don't have white whole wheat, you can use 1 1/2 cup all purpose instead)
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
6 Tbsp butter or canola oil
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/3 c firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 c mashed or canned pumpkin
1/2 c buttermilk or sour milk
1/2 c dried cranberries
1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour(s), baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
2. Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in egg and pumpkin.
4. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, blending well.
5. Fold in cranberries.
6. Fill paper lined or greased muffin pans 3/4 full.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes depending on your oven.
Enjoy! Also goes great with Chai spice tea as well! Bon Appetit!