Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting Stuff Done

I always have a lot of irons in the fire. Projects that get started, but then have to be put on hold for one reason or another. I'll work on different ones as time and conditions allow and the order in which they get finished is pretty random. I've been told that this trait is most common among women, while men prefer to start a project and do nothing else until that one is done. This is certainly true in my house. :-D

This weekend was really busy, even after a big thing had to be canceled. (My boys always come first, and when things have to give for them, that's just the way it has to be.) Lots going on and I had a couple of successes that I wanted to share. :-D

My potato harvest is huge! I dug up the last of the red potatoes this weekend. I haven't even tried to count them, if I do anything I'll weigh them, because there's too many to count. I had 2 10 foot long rows of potatoes. The first row had about 5' of Yukon Golds, and those got harvested a couple of months ago, with a good amount that sadly didn't store well. The reds took longer to finish, but really made good use of their time. With the last of the potatoes out, I'm that much closer to having my garden wrapped up for winter. Now, I just need to watch the weather because any day now we'll have a frost that will kill the tomato vines and the last of the basil. I'll need to snatch the green tomatoes and basil bits worth saving. (With a bit of luck I can ripen those green tomatoes on my counter and extend the fresh tomato season into November.) Only at that point will I rip out the vines (and their supports) and put that last bit of the gardens to bed.

Rowen and I went to O. City (the small town just north of us) and helped the community gardens there with their winter clean up. They clear the whole garden every year, filling the rather large compost bins to the top and then hauling away anything else. They pull out all the stakes and fences and put everything neatly in the shed for winter. Rowen and I helped out by rolling up endless lengths of chicken wire. Rowen was a big help. :-D We didn't stay long as Rowen got tired quickly, but I was able to chat with some folks and get a handle on how the garden started up and a bit about how they operate it. These are important things for me to know if I'm going to have any chance at all to start a garden in my new town. (Things work a bit differently out here than they did in Des Moines.) Plus, it was nice to just be outside for awhile, as the weather was wonderful. We did score some gleanings for our troubles. A whole bunch of lettuce, some thyme, a ton of carrots and some jalapenos.

The carrots went down to the basement to join the other food storage. I hadn't included carrots in my winter food storage experiment for a couple of reasons. 1) I'm not certain I have a high enough humidity place to store them properly, 2) my crop was a failure and 3) We don't eat a large amount of carrots. I'll keep loose tabs on these carrots and maybe I'll include them in my plans for next year, depending on how this winter goes.

The jalapenos went into the batch of salsa I made up on Sunday. Mmmm... salsa. Totally worth the effort of keeping the tomato vines alive this long. I thought I had finished canning a couple of weeks ago, but this weekend the pile of tomatoes was once again bordering on ridiculous. So, maybe this is my last batch of canning, we'll see. :-D

As I was elbow deep in salsa for dinner time Sunday, I got a little creative with our dinner.
Pumpkin Pancakes was what I whipped out of my magic hat.
(I had leftover pumpkin sitting in the fridge from the cookie making, and a wheat pancake recipe)

Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes:
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
2 cups milk
2 eggs well beaten
3 Tbsp pumpkin (cooked puree)

Mix dry ingredients, add wet and mix thoroughly. Cook on a greased griddle.
It's whole wheat, plus some pumpkin to count as veggies. That means it's a healthy dinner right? :-D


Last but not least, I got all the blocks finished for the dining room window quilt. The picture above is a sampling of 4 of the different blocks, I made close to a dozen different blocks to keep things interesting. I calculated that 128 blocks were needed to frame the two fabric panels and fill the whole window. I'm hoping that this weekend I can clear a space big enough (and out of toddler reach) to lay out everything and sew all the pieces together. My sewing time for the next few days is dedicated to finishing Rowen's Samhain costume. So, even though I'm itching to see what my quilt looks like together, it'll have to wait until Saturday.

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