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Archive for October, 2010

Not long ago the term ‘staycation’ was coined.

It means to stay in your general location for short day trips or mini vacations.

Planes are never involved or are passports or large pieces of luggage.

It means staying close to home and spending less money and more time on the recreation activity and less time traveling afar.

For anyone on the West Coast it means a trip to the beach.  The Pacific Ocean is within 3 hours of almost everyone on the West side of Washington, Oregon, or California.  A perfect place for a ‘staycation’!

The  beach is great for surfing, walking, beach combing, rock climbing and a great starting point for day hikes up into the hills.

It takes us just over an hour to get to Long Beach Washington from where we live.  We spent the day on the Discovery Trail.  It is a ribbon of paving the runs along the shore of the Pacific from Illwaco to North Long Beach.  It has just recently been completed and makes for a wonderful day ride along a stunning patch of coast.

Rock climbing for older children is a must…it is also a must not watch for mothers.

Even husbands get in on the rock climbing business…but I drew the line when the 3 year old wanted to follow daddy!

We have decided as a family to take fewer long, elaborate, and expensive vacations and do more close to home.  We are going to make an effort to take advantage of the natural wonders that are in our own area…there are so many!

Somehow I think we’re all going to be OK with that!

So what about you?  Do you stick close to home when you go on vacation?  Or do you head out for a week or two…destination anywhere but here?

 

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Canning season is nearing an end here at Chiot’s Run and I’m quite happy about it. I’m not a huge fan of canning, but I do it to preserve summer’s bounty. I’m happy the season is almost over as I’ll be able to have a clean kitchen once again. My dining room table will have room to eat, no longer covered with tomatoes and all other varieties of vegetables. My stove top will be clear of canners and stock pots and my oven will no longer be filled with drying fruit. I will miss the view of jars filled with goodies on the counter, but I’m looking forward to the slower pace of winter for sure!




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Are you sad or happy that canning season is nearing it’s end?

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Pear Harvests

pears

A few weeks ago we were elbows deep in fresh pears. Over a period of a week I prepared pear sauce, pear preserves, and canned pears. The nicest ones were kept for eating fresh, but I saved a few to poach for a simple seasonal dessert.

peeled pear

  • 4 fresh pears, peeled with stem on.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin
  • 2 Tbsp Sake
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • fresh nutmeg and grains of paradise

honeyed poached pear

  1. Place peeled pears tightly in a small saucepan. Combine liquid ingredients and pour in bottom of pan. Bring to low boil to burn off alcohol, then cover with lid and lower heat to medium. Cook for twenty minutes or until pears are heated through.
  2. Remove pears from saucepan. Heat remaining liquid on medium high on low boil for several minutes until it thickens slightly. Return pears to saucepan for 2 more minutes continually pouring liquid over pears.
  3. Place pears on plate. Serve with the liquid as a glaze and sprinkle just a touch of fresh nutmeg and grains of paradise on top. We served ours with some local goat cheese (chevre) drizzled with honey.

poached pear with chevre and honey
honeyed chevre with poached pear

Enjoy the harvest!

Jennifer can also be found at Unearthing This Life where she discusses her antics of chasing seven crazy chickens, struggles with gardening in a drought, and plays at homeschooling for the first year.

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We have been so very busy here that my peppers have been ripening and I have not been able to keep up with them in daily cooking and eating.

So to use all the end of the year peppers I have roasted and frozen them for use this winter.

Roasted peppers1

I use the BBQ for this

Roasted peppers3

For those of you that have never roasted peppers. The object is to blacken the skins all around making them easier to peel and imparting a sweet smokey flavor to the peppers…truly a marvelous way to do peppers!

Roasted peppers2

Ohhhh the smell coming from that BBQ…I don’t think a steak in the world can match it!

Roasted peppers4

Roasted peppers5

As each batch is done I throw them in a large bowl…

Roasted peppers6

And covered them to let them sweat a little…like a sauna for peppers!

After cooling they are easily peeled them, take out the innards and seeds and cut them into strips.

Roasted peppers7

I would love to say that I ate none of these and left them all for the freezer and that night’s pizza…but I must be honest…I ate some…

Ok…I ate a LOT.

They were just too good and frankly I didn’t try very hard to resist!

In the deep dark months of winter when I am out of roasted peppers I will regret my lack of self control but for now I am enjoying these with no guilt…well very little!

Roasted peppers8

Getting them ready for the freezer is as easy as taking the amount I would use on a pizza and putting it onto some waxed paper.

Roasted peppers9

Folding the paper into little packets and…

Roasted peppers10

Putting them into freezer containers…one for red, one for yellow.  That way if I want a yellow pizza I don’t have to go searching through all the packets cause all the yellows are altogether already.  Color coding for the freezer.  Yes I am that girl…that highly organized color coded girl…ahem.

So there you have it a super easy way to use up your end of season peppers!

Do you have a quick easy way to use up your end of season produce?  Do tell!

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Sunday Photos…October

“Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

Humbert Wolfe, 1885-1940

October is such a beautiful month here in Ohio. The air is cool and crisp, the days are clear and bright, the leaves are spectacular in the shades of reds and yellows and there seems to be a sense of excitement in the air. The apples are delicious, the cider is tasty, it’s perfect campfire weather, and there are plenty of outdoor chores to finish up making sure you get outside to enjoy the last of the nice weather.




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October in Tennessee is a fickle one. It’s not unusual to have our first frosts followed by warmer, summer-like days. In the mornings, our rolling hills are smothered in misty clouds of fog and dew. About the middle of the month our leaves really start to change, and by November 1st we’re at the hight of our season. October is the month I like the most, for the feeling of making my nest at home, adoring the amazing colors, appreciating the cooler weather, and spending lots of time with my family outdoors.

 sunrise

good freaking morning

mushrooms

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IMG_3618

IMG_3629

 

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What’s October like in your neck of the woods?

 

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