24 October 2016

Butterfly Weekend

I had never seen this butterfly before.  If it were mine to name it, I would call it the Orange Cream Butterfly.

It's a good thing these little flowers were prolific.  Everyone wanted some of their nectar for lunch.

If you're especially gentle, you can even touch a butterfly tail.

This is really a terrible video, but if you catch even a small fraction of a glimpse of all the butterflies that were out this weekend, the delight will be worth your few seconds.  We may have been having ridiculously hot weather, but we do get our rewards in butterflies.  

21 October 2016

Pumpkins and Applesauce

I've been pretending it's fall.  My imagination stretched itself like crazy to keep pretending this week while we had four days in a row of 100-degree weather, but nonetheless I pressed ahead pretending.  In a climate like this, combined with an unseasonably hot October, you just don't sit around waiting for baking weather or canning weather or everything nice weather, because it might not ever come.

What you should do instead is sign up for your grocery store's email list, browse their digital coupon collection, and maybe even download their app.  You'll find the best sales on apples ahead of time, which means you'll make and preserve your own applesauce for the first time in a couple of years. 

 It might be miserable, canning over a hot stove on a 99-degree day, but as it always happens with canning, you'll forget all the misery by the next morning and take a high level of joyous satisfaction in your beautiful jars all lined up in the pantry.

Then when you wake up one day and get the email that says you can have a free pumpkin, you can walk straight over to the store after breakfast with your husband to pick out your free pumpkin.  When you see that the bin is priced at flat-rate rather than per-pound pricing, you'll be glad you brought your husband to carry home the 20-pound pumpkin of choice.

You might discover that while 20-pound pumpkins fit in the sink to be washed, they do not fit in the oven to be baked.  No matter.  You'll manage to get it cut in half for partial roasting.

I'm hoping we've had our last 100-degree day of the year. But even if we have more hot days to survive, I'm grateful for the chance to tuck a few jars of applesauce into the pantry, and a few bags of pumpkin chunks into the freezer to use later in soups and stews.