Monday, October 20, 2014

October Thus Far

Where does the time go?!  I actually know right where it goes I just wish it I could control the speed of it all. You know- to fast forward through the laundry and dishes and vacuuming and press slow motion during the sweet times with kids, friends and family and those rare, rare moments I have to myself to recharge.

Here are a few glimpses into our last few weeks.

I'm sorry this photo is blurry.  I just wasn't willing to get any closer.  Sadie had run inside saying there was a huge raccoon by the red raspberries.  To make a long story short- it was acting really strange so I called animal control and a ranger came out and put it down.  It was a beautiful animal but the safety of our kids trumped its sick self.

We traveled to Jamey's parents' house for applesauce making and when we drove in the driveway, they were well on their way!  They had all the apples and jars washed, many apples were cut and a large vat of applesauce had already been turned through the strainer.  Three cheers for my amazing in-laws!!

After making applesauce and celebrating Jamey's birthday with his family, we traveled north into Sullivan County, PA, where my family is part owner of a hunting cabin (where I've been going since I was very young).  We like to travel up this particular weekend for the local Fall Festival.  If you ever have a chance to go, you must!  There are craft and food booths galore but what we enjoy the most are the lumberjack competitions- log rolling (above), chainsaw carving, ax throwing, spring boarding, hot saw competitions, etc.  Jamey would love to enter one of the competitions some year. Pharmacist lumberjacks are a rare breed, I would think:-).

The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying family (particularly my newest nephew who we met for the first time), taking walks and playing in the creek. Oh, and eating. We do a lot of that there as well.

Walking with my {almost 12-year-old} boy.

At home, the rest of the garden was brought inside- white potatoes, sweet potatoes, dry beans (Scarlet Lady Runners below), butternut squash, some surprise tomatoes and peppers, and...

...a huge bowl of shiitake mushrooms.

With the garden gleaned and the applesauce made, our harvest season is complete...except for our pig. But she's a story for another time.
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  1. Two comments: Your raccoon reminds me of the time we had a raccoon in our pantry. It had crawled in a hole in our foundation into our basement and then came up the stairs during the night. Our pantry is in the place where the basement stairs come up and is shut off by a door into the kitchen, and there is also a door to the outside there. It curled up in a dark corner under pantry shelves and stayed asleep for hours as I went in and out of the pantry totally unaware it was there. It's dark fur was the same color as the shadow. I could smell something musty but in an old farm house, that's not too odd. At some point he must have turned around because I was standing there looking at my pantry shelves and all of a sudden my eyes focused on a mask. It's like it materialized or something. I realized what it was, zipped out, shut the door, and then walked around in circles saying, "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness" over and over again with my year old daughter looking at me. I called my husband at work and when he came home we opened outside doors and blocked it from the kitchen with a board while Doug poked around at it while it snarled and screeched. That thing was nasty. It eventually went back down in the basement and we think it went back outside as we never saw it again. Good story, though!
    Second thing: We did applesauce this weekend and I get so frustrated with our strainer. It makes the biggest mess. It drips from the place where the spout pours out the applesauce and we have to keep a bowl tucked under it, but some still drips onto the table and floor. So annoying. And it's really hard to put together. What brand do you use? From the little I could see of the picture, it looks like ours. Do you have this problem as well?

    1. Oh my word- your raccoon story gave me the chills! As far as our strainer goes, it's a Norpro (one of the cheapest out there, I think) and ours leaks, too. We put an aluminum pie pan on the floor under it to catch the drips and sometimes have to use a thin piece of wood under or on top of the table where it attaches to help it attach better and not slip off or rock too much when it's turned. It's always a bit of a mess so my floor always needs a good mopping when we're down. Laying down newspaper would help, too, I guess:-).

    2. We just use a foley food mill, takes some time, but no mess at all.

  2. Great catch up post. That raccoon in daylight would scare the heck out of me! And I loved seeing the (appropriately non-identifiable) picture of your new littlest one. I'm just about to start the home study for my foster / adoption process. Hooray!

    1. Oh, blessings to you as you start your own journey with foster care! Sometimes it still amazes us that we're doing it- it is such a humbling and amazing thing to be entrusted with someone else's precious child for a time.

  3. Where do you get your Scarlet Lady Bean seed? They are beautiful! We just hauled the final harvest from our garden and it looks desolate out there! As to Family and applesauce how wonderful!

  4. If a racoon acts strange, usually it means they have issues like rabies or something worse. I'm happy to hear you called for help and the little critter was taken care of. I wouldn't want to hear about one of your children getting hurt.

    What beautiful pictures, you can see the leaves changing colors up there. It's cool enough for a light weight jacket, soon winter will be knocking at our doors.

    A beautiful harvest, and the making of applesauce.....wooohoooo!!!! I'm a little bit behind on the making of apple butter and sauce, time to get moving.

  5. You do the same set up in garage as we do for applesauce. Get it all done at once...other canning we don't do such a mass project. Looks like you have an Amish canner? I have the one that was my mother in laws. Handy for large projects. I like it to for canning 1/2 gallon jars of cider. We do a major family cider pressing each fall at an uncle's house.

  6. I knew it!!! I knew there was a trick to your vast jars of apple sauce! You guys had a nice setup there... and lots of help!

    One tip - for the past two years I borrowed a Back 2 Basics food mill ( from a buddy at work and it made a HUGE difference in how long it took to sauce the apples. I quarter the apples then cook them in the pressure caner for only a very short time (takes a lot longer in a non-pressurized pot) then run them through the food strainer. It's expensive, but I've seen them for $50 elsewhere... hopefully the price will come down a few weeks after Christmas!

  7. I actually just bought one off of:

    Total price was $32 rounding up with a great warranty! You can post this if you really want to, but I'm writing if for your benefit.

    PS - I've used the cheap food mills to make sauce... this is an amazing tool!


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