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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The harvest is almost done!! Yippee!!

My daughters are now back in classes. Yesterday was the first day of autumn quarter. I spent the day stocking the fridge with quick and easy to grab foods for the whole family, and harvesting the last of the late apples.

My daughters did a herculean job with the harvest. The three of us did what 5 of us usually do. The girls gave up their 2-week vacation and helped with harvesting and preserving. And so, I have promised them some sort of vacation this coming winter. Don't know what that will be yet, but something fun.

There are still crabapples, late pears and cranberries to harvest, later in October. I am hoping that my son and husband will have time to help with those fruits. Harvesting is a large job. But the rewards will be evident this winter, when we'll have this home-grown fruit on our table.

I am still figuring out how our schedule will work this fall. My daughters have many evening activities (requiring my chauffeuring skills), an irregular morning schedule (some days one of the earliest buses, other days the latest bus), and new Sunday obligations (both morning and afternoon -- choir related).  I find that working this all out is best done on paper. I made out a schedule, and am seeing which days look more intense than the rest, so that I can figure my own around-the-house work schedule accordingly.

I have a bunch of stuff to tell you all, and will get to it over the next week. For now, here's what our family is eating for lunches this week:

  • cinnamon-pumpkin-applesauce (about 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin stirred into applesauce, with a hint of cinnamon -- quite good, and packs some extra Vit. A and fiber)
  • a casserole of baked beans, chipotle sausage, tomatoes and onions
  • pumpkin muffins (they bake faster than pumpkin bread, saving electricity) with cream cheese
  • carrot sticks and peanut butter (no kidding, my daughters like peanut butter as a spread/dip for carrot sticks)
  • pumpkin-peanut smoothies
  • apple cobbler
  • yogurt
  • apples
  • toasted cheese sandwiches
  • leftover refried beans and tortillas from Sunday
This sounds like a whole lotta food, but we don't eat all of this everyday!!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to having a bit more time to keep up with all of you. Hope you're having a great week!


  1. The pumpkin applesauce sounds good! I may have to give it a whirl.

    I don't have nearly the scheduling difficulties you have, but I can relate to the challenge of managing new and different schedules.

    1. HI Kris,
      I think the hardest part of the scheduling is at the beginning of the quarter, as it seems to change with each quarter. Then I adjust, and all goes well. And once I know what my obligations are, I just do it, and try to make it enjoyable for myself. Tonight one of my daughters has an evening audition, so I'm bringing a favorite cd for the drive down to pick her up.

      The pumpkin applesauce is surprisingly good, and not pumpkin-y. The only "giveaway" was the slightly darker color. I used about 1/2 cup pumpkin mixed into about 1 quart of applesauce, and about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

    2. Your lunches sound delicious, Lili. Especially the pumpkin muffins. I used to buy cream cheese muffins at this bakery on Signal Mountain, they were so good.

      Having all the fruit this winter will really help you with your food budget. It's so nice that your daughters took time out of their break to help with that.

      We are having a good week her, just trying to get through it for fall break next week. :)

    3. Hi Belinda,
      Fall break! I can't believe it's almost time for that! My daughter's school schedule is sooo off from traditional schools that I forget about things like fall break!

      I saw some pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling at the store the other day. It looks like they bake the cream cheese into the muffin top. I'm sure the ones that you bought were really yummy!

  2. With the youngest off to school, I don't really have to schedule around anyone but me and my folks doctors appointments when they need help. I have not forgotten having to get everyone wherever they were going, usually all at the same time to different locations. I learned to always have a book and water with me at all times, so whenever I played the waiting game I had something indulgent to do with my time.

    Congratulations on nearly finishing all your various preserving. What a task!

    1. Hi Anne,
      I should have brought a book with me last night -- great idea! I thought it would be too dark to read, but no, it was actually light enough for most of my wait that I could have cracked open one of the books I picked up at the library.

      One year, I had to be at opposite ends of town on Wednesdays for about 1 month, at the same time. We wound up alternating who got dropped off early, and who got dropped off late. Crazy times!

  3. I can totally relate with the desire to have the harvest done - and I'm sure my situation pales in comparison to yours! Even though I went "garden lite" this year, I'm still feeling overwhelmed with it all. I picked about a dozen small zucchini a few days ago, and I thought I'd pretty much "nipped it all in the bud" as the saying goes. Then yesterday I thought I spied a big one out there, so I made plans to stuff it and freeze it. But, when I went out to harvest it today I found not one but a dozen enormous zucchini & Mexican squash! Help! So... I guess it's back to the zucchini drawing board! But seriously, the freezer in the basement is nearing full so I may end up hauling some over to the local food bank! Maybe my neighbor with the apple tree likes zucchini! :-)

    1. Hi Cat,
      donating your extra zucchini to the food bank would be appreciated, I'm sure. But also, good idea to offer some to the apple tree neighbors!

  4. Lili, while you may not have a job outside of the house, you work harder than most who do and probably have a bigger salary than many when you count the money you save.

    Also, when I was growing up we were so busy with harvesting and preserving, many times things were on hold because the work had to be done. Sometimes, this included my birthday celebration because that was when the corn was getting ripe and it could not wait.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I actually thought about your childhood and things you've mentioned, last week when I was picking apple leaves out of my hair hours after I'd been harvesting. It cut my pity party off clean, when I remembered that many folks have done this before me and many of them were kids, like you were.


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