Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Winterizing

Last week, the temperature was in the high 50's. Warm enough to rake some leaves, go for walks, and otherwise forget that winter was coming.

In the last few days, it snowed briefly and the temperature dropped to the 30's. Time to face reality!

First of all, I did manage to forage a few wintergreen berries last week, and I have another spot I'll get to soonish. Not a good year for these, either. I had a bunch in the freezer from before and yesterday I used them, plus some of my homemade wintergreen extract, to make wintergreen-chocolate-chip ice cream. It's been a while since I made ice cream and the elderchild always likes this flavor. Soon I shall have to make the flavor the youngerchild requested: Earl Grey with Vienna finger cookies. Me, I like them both....

Yesterday in the windy cold I got the hive insulated. This involves taking off the window panel and hardware and putting the foam lined panels all around. I did not make fondant for them this year. They seem to have enough honey in there, based upon what I found left over from last winter. We shall see if that was a good plan or not, in April, when I open it back up. I am hoping that then I can reorganize their combs and let them rebuild.

We still need to finish raking and mulch all the leaves in the backyard and get them out to the curb. The last leaf pickup will be December 1 so I need to get moving! The garden is otherwise in need of a little attention; we need to put tarps over the tables and chairs out there, and trim a few things.

As for canning, I have a bunch of projects building up in the freezer. Everything is on hold until after Thanksgiving, as I have a lot of prep for that this week. The squash and creamed broccoli are made, the pies will be started tomorrow, and I just have to make the stuffing ahead of time and the mashed potatoes on the day of our feast, which is Friday, as I am working on Thursday. What is waiting in the freezer is four pounds of bacon which I hope to make into bacon jam. I also have some pork scraps which I intend to turn into sausages, and a lot of chicken and duck bones for soups and stocks. I will have plenty to keep me busy this winter!

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