All good things must come to an end. And such is the case with this year’s growing season at Sisters Hill Farm. Being part of community supported agriculture has been a wonderful experience — and a learning experience, to be sure! Some weeks it was a challenge not only to figure out how to prepare the vegetables, but how to preserve them as well. Some summer shares yielded far more than we could easily consume (all those tomatoes and eggplant come to mind!).
But I’m ready for a bit of a break, I admit. I skipped a few items yesterday. I passed over beets (I have two bags of puree in the freezer, and how many beet cakes will I realistically make?), celeriac, and greens (we are just not fans of chard, kale, et cetera — once in a while, yes, but I knew we would not be using them within a week). Here’s what I did take: 2 butternut squash, potatoes, onions (I took slightly less than our alloted amout), broccoli, a rutabaga, turnips, lots of green peppers, a head of garlic, 2 red chile peppers and 2 green chile peppers, carrots, parsnips (again, I took slightly less because I still have a bunch from last week), and 2 heads of lettuce.
I still have to send in our enrollment form for next year, but I think the bi-weekly shares will be such a great option for us. (Though I still plan on getting my canning equipment!)
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for the warm birthday wishes on the various social media sites that I am hopelessly addicted to 🙂 It was so nice to be remembered! I had a lovely birthday weekend. We mostly celebrated on Saturday. First we went to the Fall Festival at Jake’s school. We let the kids play a bunch of carnival-type games and pick some prizes. They had food there too so we had lunch (the chili was actually pretty good for cafeteria style!) and watched some of the kids perform Irish step dancing. They were really cute! I picked up our wrapping paper fundraiser orders and I could not resist hitting the bake sale table on the way out. For Drew and myself I picked up these unbelievably decadent brownies: a layer of brownie with chocolate chunks, topped with a delicious peanut butter cream, and then sprinkled with peanuts, M&Ms, and marshmallows. Wow… they were awesome!
After that we relaxed at home a bit (well, not Drew — he did some yard work). Then we drove down to Westchester. We had a gift card for Terra Rustica in Briarcliff Manor, so we decided to eat there while my mother-in-law watched the boys. It was delicious. We hadn’t eaten there in quite some time, and I think the ownership changed, but both of our meals were delicious. (Yeah, clearly neither of us is thinking about taking diet pills — we’d rather indulge in yummy Italian food). After that we took the boys to The Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t exactly cooperate. It was drizzly and extremely windy. We enjoyed ourselves, but it would have been more fun if the weather was nicer and we didn’t feel the need to rush through. Still, the pumpkin carvings were very cool and it’s a fun event. The drive home was horrible with the downpours and the wind. And then once we got home we realized that our power was out! Ugh. Luckily it came back on shorly before 10, but the boys were freaking without their nightlight. (Thank goodness for my Glade Wisp!!! It worked in a pinch.)
Sunday, my actual birthday, we didn’t do much. The boys took me to Friendly’s for lunch and then I tried unsuccessfuly to find a new pair of jeans. That was about it! I just relaxed at home for the rest of the day. Yesterday I was busy grocery shopping, doing laundry, and finishing up an article. And today is another cold, rainy, and windy day. I expect to get a bit of snow tonight — probably just a dusting for us, but Albany might get an inch and the Berkshires will likely get 2-4 inches! Crazy!
It’s here, it’s here! As I wrote yesterday, we had Drew’s mom’s piano moved from her house to ours. The movers were great, and luckily had no problems at all. I think it looks great in our living room. The piano needs a good tuning and I have to hit JoAnne’s to find fabric to re-cover the bench, but otherwise it’s in great shape. It’s the same piano on which my husband learned to play! I don’t have much confidence that I will learn, as I am not the musically-inclined one in the house. But there is hope for Jake & Noah 🙂
I feel like our basement is constantly a work-in-progress, with a purpose that is constantly changing, LOL. Earlier this year we bought three 50-bottle(ish) wine coolers. One is in our dining room, and two are in the basement. We have a larger wine stash than most people we know, LOL, but some of my wine-blogging friends have even more so that keeps me from feeling too weird about it 😉 Anyway, while I would love to join a wine of the month club, it does not seem to make sense because we just have so much.
Anyway… now Drew is going back to one of his original ideas and is hoping to to open up the area under the basement stairs for a mini-cellar. It was open when we put the offer on this house, but for some reason the builder decided to throw sheetrock up and close it up. It wasn’t really necessary. So I think D. is just going to remove that bit of drywall and arranged the two basement coolers under the stairs. This way they will be out of the way and give us a bit more room for storage, opening up the area where they currently are.
Lotsa projects around here. Always lotsa projects, LOL…
Today I picked up our second-to-last share. It was pretty rainy and cold, so I just breezed through quick. I skipped the PYO flowers (there’s not much left honestly) and parsley (the only thing left of the herbs — I never use parsley anyway). I also passed over the tat soi, mustard greens, and choice of kale or swiss chard.
Even still, I think it’s quite the share. We got potatoes, onions, delicata squash, carrots, parsnips, a bell pepper, a head of garlic, radishes, broccoli, celeriac, a head of lettuce, and arugula. I still have a couple squash in the fridge so I think I’ll bring a couple down to my mother-in-law this weekend, as well as some potatoes and onions because we’re just overloaded with them. Though, tomorrow I do plan on cooking up a bunch of home fries and making a batch of breakfast burritos. I’ve made this recipe several times and they are so good! They freeze well and you just need to take them out to thaw before bed if you want them for breakfast. Once they’re warmed, I like to press them on my “panini press” (a.k.a. Foreman Grill) so they get crispy. Delicious!
Ah, it feels good to be almost healthy again! As I wrote on Saturday, I’ve been sick since last week. I had a cold that settled in my chest and I just could not get rid of it. So I spent most of my time just resting, reading, watching movies, doing some online trading… OK, maybe I wasn’t buying and selling stocks. But I did get halfway through Knitting Rules! and watched a bunch of both old and new movies. So things could have been worse. I’m still doing a bit of coughing, but I can at least hold a conversation now 🙂
I’m afraid I’ll have to put my Yarn Harlot book away for the next few days because yesterday I got a call from the library that they had Twilight on the hold shelf for me! I’ve been waiting for about a month. I’m not letting myself dive in, though, until I’ve gotten my house back on track. I still have laundry to put away, but if I can pry myself away from the computer for about half an hour, I bet I can finish that. But then I have to make dinner too, and pick up our CSA share tonight… Argh! Well, I know I can get some solid reading time in on Thursday when I take the car to be serviced. How funny is it that I’m looking forward to treating myself to a latte and sitting in the dealership’s lounge while reading my vampire book? Simple pleasures, I tell ya. 🙂
Tomorrow we are getting our “new” piano! We’re having Drew’s mom’s piano moved from her house to ours. She doesn’t play and it is taking up room in her smallish den, so that means we get to enjoy it. I know Drew is really looking forward to having it. And who knows? Maybe I can learn to play something besides “Twinkle, Twinkle.”
It totally stinks when you make plans for something, look forward to it for months, and then end up not being able to follow through. I had planned on spending today at the Sheep & Wool festival for a little “me time” and shopping for gorgeous yarns. As it turned out, I have been feeling crappy and last night made the command decision that it would be best, sadly, to stay home. Luckily the down-time seems to be helping and I think I am on the upswing, but still 🙁
Drew, being super awesome, still made sure I got my “me time” and took the boys out to run errands and get lunch. He also offered to swing by our local Subway franchise and pick up sandwiches for dinner to make things easy. I thought that was very sweet.
In other news, we are really enjoying our wood stove, especially on a chilly day like today. I am convinced it was a worthwhile investment. We still haven’t had to turn our (oil) heat on! I guess that’s about it. Things have not been too exciting since I’ve not been doing much of anything around here. I just hope I am better for next weekend (my birthday!). I always seem to get sick on my birthday. I would love to avoid that this year!
Since Jake had a very long long-weekend, we decided to head up to Massachusetts and visit my family last Friday. On top of seeing everyone, Drew and I were able to use a gift certificate to Rovezzi’s restaurant in Sturbridge. Now, for years I have heard how great this place is and finally I was able to see/taste for myself.
Oh. My. God. I want to go back, like, tonight! Everything sounded delicious. It was so hard deciding what to pick, but I ended up ordering the pumpkin and walnut ravioli in a sage cream sauce. It was absolutely divine! Drew had grilled salmon on a bed of lentils, bacon, and brussel sprouts, with some kind of sauce. I don’t enjoy salmon much but even I have to say how good it was. For dessert I got creme brulee (my favorite), which I throughly enjoyed. Drew got some crazy ice cream concoction that looked awesome. We probably should have gone shopping for treadmills after such an indulgent dinner! Their homemade foccacia bread was amazing as well. I am so glad we had the chance to go, and we will no doubt return. I think I have a new favorite restaurant in WMass!
Over the last week, the frost has killed any remaining tomatoes, zucchini, or cucumbers, so we are truly at the end of the harvest season. This week’s share included red potatoes, butternut squash, beets, radishes, peppers, parsnips, garlic, sweet potatoes, celeriac, broccoli, broccoli rabe, lettuce, and PYO cilantro, dill, and flowers. I’m tempted to call celeriac the “new eggplant” because I keep getting it and don’t know what to do with it. A couple weeks ago, I was going to make a puree with it, but I never quite got around to it. So now I have three enormous celeriacs in my fridge. I hate wasting food, but I think I’m going to have to throw one out into the woods. I’ve just been really tired lately and lacking a whole lot of motivation to search for new recipes for esoteric vegetables, and I don’t know if I want to go through the hassle of freezing the celery root. I still have to finish processing apples and pumpkins (and I’m sure I’ll freeze some of that broccoli — wow!). I am losing steam (as well as freezer space) when it comes to food preservation.
I am feeling a little crummy this week (so far, hopefully it will improve!) so my cooking motivation is next to nill. But I’m going to do my best. The game plan:
Sunday: Take-out (we ended up getting gyros and they were SOOO good!)
- Monday: Rotisserie chicken, Pasta Roni, CSA veggies
- Wednesday: Roast beef, oven-roasted potatoes, cole slaw, green beans
- Thursday: Chicken, CSA veggies, pasta salad
- Friday: Homemade pizza, salad
- Saturday: Burgers, potato salad
For more menu ideas, check out Organizing Junkie!