Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It creeps up on us

Fall is one of those indeterminate seasons (unlike winter which announces itself with trumpets) that starts (at least around here) somewhere in mid-August, when you realize that the major birds--bluebirds, swallows, etc--have gone, and the sounds have changed to mostly crickets and cicadas.

The change from hot days and warm nights is now marked by hot days and chilly nights, and a heavy dew that is sometimes measureable. Swamp maples and sick trees turn early, reminders of what follows.

I've been canning on a regular basis, as the tomatoes come in, and am now counting 45 pints and 12 quarts. We missed the September frost, so there's a good chance I might get a few more quarts of sauce tucked away before October. Once you get the rhythm of it, it's not bad. Every year I refine the process, and this year finally realized that you dont need to skin 'em, just core and quarter and cook. Much of the nutrient is in or under the skin, so this way it goes in to the sauce and not the compost bin. I think it makes for a fuller taste.
It's no harder to screen out the skins along with the seeds than it is to do just seeds, so why add that extra hour's labor intensive work?

Cuffy remains lord of the downstairs, and it appears he will be remaining so. No one except Jiggs (who is 17 with a mouth like a sailor) is even remotely interested in challenging him through the new screen door that separates upstairs from downstairs. I know, I know...it's called compromise, and it seems to work, that's what counts.