“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
~ Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
And here we are, in the middle of autumn... and with another monthly newsletter in which we chat about books read, things watched, homemaking projects and any other ponderings which really don't fit into its own post! It's pretty much some old-fashioned, womanly chit-chat. And I am happy to report that I took better notes this time! It's been quite a month hasn't it?
Would you believe that our southerly climate is still giving us small amounts of veggies in October while other states are getting snow?! It truly is an amazing earth!
We also had these sun-dried chilies on the vine that finally got some attention! I didn't even realize my husband planted them as they were situated in a little slot inside the curtains of juniper. He is a crafty little gardener who always hunts for nooks and crannies to put some seeds. You never know what will take! By the time I spotted them they were already dehydrating themselves -- poor things! 😉
But that was to my advantage... Some were placed into extra-virgin olive oil to make a chili infused oil. This will be drizzled over pizzas, pastas, as salad dressing, marinade and for embellishing the flavor of everything else!
The remaining chili peppers were tied unto a string and made into a garland to continue to dry. These will be plucked off one-by-one during the winter and added to soups and sauces to spice things up and keep us feeling warm and toasty!
And if you remember the guava tree we found on our property? Yes, once again, some are getting snow while we are getting tropical fruits in the autumn! I made them into some lovely jam which tastes like an exotic pear jam (for those of you who never tasted guava).
I'm not sure which is more fun... preparing the jam for the pantry or labeling them nice and pretty?
I was also excited to find some dried rose hips on our garden roses. Though they weren't of the wild variety, they are still rich in vitamin C for syrup making! The yield wasn't much (just a small bottle and mini-sized jar full) but any extra supplement of natural C is excellent to have for cold and flu season! You can find information on foraging for rose hips and making them into a shelf stable syrup here. You will find the rose hips ready between September and November. However, the best time to harvest is after the first frost (or late autumn if you don't get frost), when they are the sweetest. These fruits are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C available!
I've also been doing some fall home maintenance and organizing around the house as time permits. I have been able to build up our home apothecary while cleaning out our tea drawer! I noticed we had quite a few "sleepy-time" loose tea blends which contained lavender that remain untouched. While we love lavender in all areas of the home, the culinary use just doesn't seem to work for us. The flavor is too cologne-y I think. So I gathered all the loose teas of that nature and placed them in a jar (I labeled them relax herbs). I will prepare a sleepy time tincture (just substitute the calming herbs you have with the ones I share in my recipe to make it.. you can also empty out chamomile tea bags and any other sleepy-time herb combinations that have been sitting around and prepare a tincture with them) so nothing gets wasted! And in the end, you will have a nice, usable sleepy-time tonic! My variety contains dried chamomile, rose petals, passionflower, lavender, lemon balm, and spearmint (to name a few).
I've also re-organized the utensil drawer which I call "taming the wild beast". I've been on a basket hunt at thrift stores and found these lined ones which are perfect for the purpose! The smaller utensils were placed in the larger basket, the measuring cups and funnels where placed in the smaller basket while the awkward, large utensils claimed the remaining space. So far, so good! It feels wonderful getting these little projects done and definitely puts a spring in my step!
As far as books and movies go, I really didn't get a chance to finish reading anything last month. I have many books in beautiful stacks laying around the house. I read snippets here and there when the mood strikes but nothing is complete yet. Movies have been a disappointment once again. I just can't seem to find anything "new" to watch that has the "old" fashioned values that I crave... But I do have a few on my wishlist that may be lovely once the price goes down.
In other news, the giveaway from our Etsy Shop ended but I am having a hard time connecting with the winner. I sent out an email a few times to the first winner and waited with no response. So, I have generated a second winner from the Rafflecopter service and once again, I still haven't a response. I may be going into the Spam box. So... if your name is Sarah (for privacy sake I won't include the last name), please check your email! You may be the winner!
What about you dear reader? What wholesome and lovely things have you been reading, watching and/or working on? As always, recommendations are much appreciated and hearing about your homemaking projects always inspire me! (As for myself, I've been burning candles like crazy... the cozy feeling is therapy right now... I've also been embellishing my laundry area but I will share that in a separate post.) Until next time...
Verse of the Month:
"Let love be without hypocrisy.
Abhor what is evil.
Cling to what is good."
~ Romans 12:9