When the weatherman warns of impending frost threatening our gardens, country minds turn to squirrelling away supplies for winter. It's time to gather in everything we can, and to figure out a way to keep it from spoiling.
Tomatoes get canned. Or frozen, if there's enough space in the freezer. (Not here. Not this year. The water bath canner is getting a workout this week.) PaPa can't keep up with all the pickles, even with help from our little pickle-eater. I think he tries to eat them as fast as I can make them, just so I have to do it all over again to have any to store away. With freezer space at a premium, the only veggie going in there now is broccoli. Just can't even THINK about canning it. Ugh.
Some years we get no grapes from our vines. Probably because of the way I do the pruning. (Badly.) This year, we have lots. I picked and made juice; canned it. That's always a treat in the middle of winter. I can't even guess how many gallons we must've gone thru when my kids were young. One time, a jillion years ago, my mother made a concord grape pie. It was delicious, so I asked for her recipe. You wouldn't believe the nonsense involved in that! You have to squeeze the grapes outta their skins (oh ... but don't toss them ... you'll need them later), remove the tenacious little seeds, boil stuff, add stuff ... whew! Eventually, you wind up with an incredible pie. But you will have earned it!
After MD died, I gave the cookbook from whence the grape pie recipe came to a young friend who collects cookbooks. And actually USES them. She made the pie this weekend. You can read her tale here: http://beckysbiscuits.blogspot.com/
I made sauerkraut for the first time in about 30 years, and only because I saw P. Allen Smith do it in a way that doesn't involve crocks of fermenting cabbage stinking up the whole house. I did that once. If you think making concord grape Pie is bad, try THAT one on for size!
Anyway ... while I was fussing about in the kitchen, DH came in and started rummaging around for something sweet. I told him that if he'd pick some apples, I'd make him a pie. He did. I did. And the last of that pie went into his lunchbox for work today. As he readied for work, he commented that when he gets back home, he's going to pick some more apples. Uh-oh. I think I've created a monster.
Our local quilt guild had to cancel the show we had planned because of the massive flooding around here, so I found myself with some extra time. I jumped into my car and made the long trip (made longer by detours around damaged roads) down to visit my son and his family. The next morning, he and I tooted over to the quilt show down near Philly. Just a hop, skip and a jump from his house! How cool is that?!? I grabbed the makings of a wallhanging I've had in mind for two years now while I was there. And a new ruler-gadget. And little else. What restraint! Oh ... and I saw Aunt Cass's patterns on display at a vendor's booth. Woo-hoo! Cathie and Linda are playing with the big boys now!
Linda K got her huge quilt finished. It looks great! I'll post a picture as soon as I figure out where I left the camera. Promise.