Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Doin's


Things I did this weekend:

1 - Went to the vegetable stand place on the other side of town and got a bunch of apples (Jonagold and Honeycrisps), plus peppers for chili, delicata squash, avocados, crimson pears, and four big pie pumpkins, because I'm determined to make this the year I'm no longer intimidated by cooking pumpkins from scratch. I make other winter squash all the time (roasted, generally), so why should pumpkin be any different? And these were way cheap. May have to go back for more.

As a bonus, they look decorative while waiting for consumption.

2 - Roasted one of said pumpkins and used half of it (with the peppers) to make pumpkin chili. No, really. The pumpkin flavor isn't super pronounced, but it adds to the texture, and I really liked the slightly quirky spice blend in this recipe. Good thing I like it, 'cause it made a LOT. I froze portions of it, plus will be having it for lunches this week. The avocado cream is tasty, too!

3 - Avoided NaNoWriMo prep. Effectively. Sad, but on the bright side, in the act of procrastinating, I did a bunch of tidying and also came across notes for other stories it'd be nice to work on.

Which makes me wonder if I should write my original idea or something else.

Which allows me to procrastinate further.

4 - Visited friends who have a bunch of apple trees and acquired MORE apples: two big buckets full, which (in theory) will become apple butter. It was POURING rain yesterday, but fortunately stopped long enough to pick during my visit. I did spread the wet apples out on a blanket in the front room to dry when I got home, much to the puzzlement of the cats, who had to be shooed away. Now I just have to find the perfect recipe amongst the thirty bazillion and two available on the interwebs.

My friends also gave me a bunch of cucumbers, chives and green onions, a few potatoes, and a zucchini the size of a small child. No idea what to do with the zucchini the size of a small child.

5 - Visited *other* friends and got to hang out and play mandolin for several hours straight, including LOTS of waltzes. I love waltzes. So that was wonderful. Plus, we had a really good dinner: smoked pork roast (they have a smoker and make it themselves) with potatoes and carrots, a big salad, and apple crisp with ice cream for dessert. It was a very apple centric weekend, now I think of it. Apples and pumpkins.

I do love fall!


shordzi said...

Simply wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

notagain said...

I followed a lot of this on fb, it looked good. Was that jam session open to spectators? We should plan a write-in.

Rob Bowker said...

That time of year to reap nature's (and nurture's) bounty! Apple butter is a new one to me. Now I'm going to have to go and look it up :-)

Little Flower Petals said...

Apple butter is basically just sweetened condensed apples. ;) First you make applesauce, then you add whatever spices you like (nutmeg, cloves, and LOTS of cinnamon for me!) and a little sweetener and cook it all down until it's thick and spreadable. Very simple preserves, and delicious! I like it on toast or omelets or stirred into yogurt...or just eaten straight from a spoon.

Notagain--I know weeknights are a bit tough with your schedule, but some day you should come down to listen in at the Wednesday night Irish session at Tugboat Annie's! It can be a bit rough around the edges some weeks, but it's good fun.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like it was a wonderful weekend. Wish I could attend one of the jam sessions but that 3,000 mile commute is a little tough.

Our garden is done for the year. We have enough pickles (the cucumber crop was HUGE) for 2 years and the winter squash, which I love, will last me for months. I have never tried cooking fresh pumpkin but you inspire me. Time to get a small one to experiment.

We will pick up a big batch of apples in a few weeks from roadside stands when we go into the mountains for the autumn foliage. (Wish I could get the macintosh I grew up with in Rhode Island. They are my favorites.) What we can't eat fresh gets made into a chunky apple topping that is great on oatmeal, toast, ice cream, etc. Susan uses Splenda so my mild diabetes isn't a problem. And it freezes well. Might have to try an apple omelet.

This is our favorite time of the year.

Jeff The Bear

Bill M said...

All those yummy things. I miss living in the North. At least I can buy commercial apple butter here (I'm too lazy to make my own).

Little Flower Petals said...

I love homemade pickles--cucumber and otherwise! Grandma used to make both dill and bread and butter pickles, plus (if I remember right) watermelon rind pickles and such. And I like pickled green beans and asparagus and... Yeah. Yum! One of these years I'd like to learn to do that! Maybe someday when I have a house with space for a real garden.

I tend to like crisper apples than Macintosh, but I still have an awful lot of nostalgia associated with them--they are (or in any case *were*) by far the most common local apple back home in Vermont. When I think about apple picking, bobbing for apples, fall festivals of all sorts--and even apples given out to trick-or-treaters--it was pretty much always Macintoshes. And it seems like there was always a paper bag full of them around any time we wanted a snack this time of year. Don't see them as much out west.