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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lately . . .

The end of last week turned extremely busy, and I'm just now catching up. A friend passed away a little while ago, and I serve on the Hospitality Team at our church. We put together a nice luncheon to accompany the memorial service on Saturday.

In addition, my daughters and I have been harvesting the apple trees and the one super huge plum tree. The apples just get picked and stored, but the plums have to be processed in some way (making jam, chutney, splitting/pitting for prunes and freezing). My fingernails are badly stained, but oh well, that's just part of the job.

Also, a big front is pushing in today, and have been picking and storing tomatoes, as I can. The first major storm front also usually brings late blight to the tomatoes, so if we want to use them, I've got to get them harvested.

I had hoped to get in a couple of side excursions this week, but we may be very busy with harvesting before the weather turns very cool and very wet, and getting last things done for fall quarter.

Still, lunches need planning. As our fridge and freezers are packed to over-flowing, meals are based first on fridge contents, and second on bits and pieces from the freezer. (You know, all those half-full containers of this and that can really take up freezer space!)

This week's lunch menu includes:
  • ham and egg fried rice (using squash, garlic and greens from the garden)
  • Harvard beets
  • beet green quiche
  • vegetarian chili
  • plum pie
  • apple pie
Two pies this week, as we couldn't decide which we wanted more! One daughter made a large batch of pie pastry for me on Sunday, so the pie-making is easy for the week.

I hope that you're having a great week! And enjoying the change of seasons!



  1. Lili,
    So sorry to hear of your friend passing.
    That is alot of work that you all have been doing! I started work outside the home, we are starting to realize that it almost costs us more money for me to work. ;) I hope that you have a peaceful rest of the week! Lona

    1. Thank you, Lona. I appreciate your thoughts.

      About working outside the home -- this is the conclusion we've come to time and again. Right now, I'm needed within the family so many hours per day, that something would have to go, if I worked more than 1 day per week. I do think there will be a time when I can manage a job and do most of the rest of the homemakey type stuff that I do. Just not now. Good luck on your new job!!

  2. I heard that your part of the country will be colder than normal while mine will be milder than usual. It makes for a lot of work for you all at once, doesn't it?

    That was nice that you could help your friend's family by having a luncheon. Seems to be a difficult time for so many. A friend's mother passed away Monday and our wonderful elderly neighbor is in hospice and is expected to pass away in a couple of weeks.

    I've never had plum pie--sounds delicious.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I'm so sorry to hear about the loss and soon loss surrounding you right now.
      Helping with the luncheon was beneficial for all of us. Sometimes it just feels like there's nothing you can do or say, so having an opportunity to work and help with something like the luncheon after the memorial gave us all a way to express our deepest condolences.

      Oh, plum pie is one of the easiest to make, if you ever get your hands on about 30 or so Italian prune plums. Plain pie pastry, unbaked in a pie pan. Halve and pit plums, lay them cut side up in pie shell. Sprinkle with a mixture of about 1 tablespoon flour and 1/4 cup sugar, plus pinch salt. If you have any, a sprinkling of orange zest is good, or a few drops of almond extract. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350, until the crust is done and juices are bubbly and thick (about 30 minutes). Soooo good.

    2. Thanks for the recipe! Plums around here are like gold--we only get a few for fresh eating.

      Our neighbor passed away last night, so it's sad, but expected.

    3. I am so, so sorry about your neighbor's passing. Even when it's expected, it's a time of grief and loss. My condolences.

  3. Stained fingernails, sounds like time for some polish.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      when we're all done with preserving everything, I think some polish would be the answer!

  4. First off I want to say how sorry I am to hear about the death of your friend. I'm sure it's not easy for you.

    Second I wanted to comment on all the work ahead for you. I wouldn't mind having some it come my way. At least I'd like some of those apples! I have a friend of a friend who has an apple orchard on her property and in years past she's invited us to come and get what we'd like but this year she didn't respond to my inquiries. Perhaps she didn't get the crop she usually gets or else she's using all of them. I do have a source for free crab apples that make delicious jelly though which I hope to get.

    We have raspberries but our crop this year has been disappointing and right now there are so many bumblebees on them you can hardly get to them without fear of being stung. I was hoping to have enough to make some jam but it doesn't look too promising.

    The tomatoes didn't do well either with the summer being so cool and wet.

    The work of harvesting and preserving can be a lot to do but the results are oh so satisfying.

    1. Hi Linda,
      oh that's too bad about the apples. I wish I could send some your way. I happen to know of another place for free apples near to my house. If I get really energetic next week, I'll pick a bag. Apples and plums did great, pears not so much.

      We have years like that with the tomatoes, too. Always such a disappointment. Hope the crabapple source works out for you! Crabapple jelly is a favorite of mine, too!

  5. Lili,

    I'm sorry about your friend passing. That was kind of you to be on the hospitality team and offer comfort to the family via the luncheon.

    Sounds like you will be busy with those plums. It's great to have those and the apples for your food storage.

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Thank you for your kind words. The luncheon was tearful, but wonderful.

      We are drawing near the end of plum harvest. My daughters have been quite ingenious with getting to the upper branches. I've been calling them "my farm girls". After a week of all this harvesting, I think they will relish the thought of classes beginning again next week!

    2. That sounds like my daughter, lol. :)



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