By the time this is printed, we will be at the beginning of turkey leftovers. I do not mind leftovers, in fact, I’m down right fond of them. The only problem is I’m not crazy about them for many days in a row. It has long been my habit to make too much food. I guess it is from years of cooking for hungry children and teenagers.
I put a couple of helpings into the freezer almost every time I cook. It’s so handy to be able to pull something out of the freezer in the morning when I know I will have a long, busy day. It will thaw by supper time and only need a quick reheat.
I’m having a small group for dinner on Thanksgiving Day but naturally will go crazy cooking.
My dad was one of 12 children. All of them and their families lived in the area. We had enormous gatherings for the holidays. My Grandma Kate made pies for days ahead and all the aunts helped in the kitchen.
Being the 1950s and 60s implied that the men watched football or shot guns in the yard. We children ran wild up the side of the mountain. Many times we had snow on the ground by mid-November being high in the Appalachians in northwestern Pennsylvania.
I tried to devote some time this week to thinking about all those things for which I am truly grateful. Certainly, there is the aforementioned availability of food. Every time I pick up the morning papers I am reminded of our extreme good fortune to live in America, not to mention the Vineyard. The freedom from fear and want cannot be understated.
Just a reminder to all that the Winter Farmers’ Market takes place at the Agricultural Hall every other Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We went last week. It’s so great. There is wonderful produce and meat, music and a chance to socialize with the community now that the craziness of summer has passed.
I’ve been chipping away at my bulb planting projects. Once again, what was I thinking? I should be forbidden to ever look at seed and/or bulb catalogs. A word to the wise concerning Bulbtone or any fertilizer containing bone meal (a necessary nutrient for bulbs of all sorts). The skunks adore it. Over the years I’ve found yesterday’s plantings completely unearthed. The little rascals are going for the bone meal. For the last decade or so I’ve sacrificed a bit of it and
top dressed the beds as well as in the holes. It gives the varmints something to lick up in the night and they don’t bother digging for more.
Now that we’ve experienced a couple of frosts, the priority in the flower beds has become the digging of the dahlias. In my perfect world I would have labeled them all last month according to size and color. You can imagine how well that worked out.
At any rate, there are just a few absolutes. They cannot totally dry out nor can they be too wet at the risk of mold or rot. A root cellar is ideal but an unheated room will do. I simply let my tubers dry out for a week or so, shake off some of the extra dirt, and place in paper grain bags. If I have it, I pour some peat moss into the bag. If the tubers are huge and obviously dividable, I usually wait until planting time in the spring to worry them apart gently.
I love how the beech trees have held their leaves even after two big wind storms. The golden color in the understory is quite pleasing. Some of the maples still look great, as well.
I spent some time putting away the summer bulbs. Last winter was so mild I had gladiolas live through it. I never got around to pulling them last fall. Two years in a row seems like I’m pushing my luck so I pulled the calla lilies, the glads, tuberose and tuberous begonias. I hope I recognize them in the spring as I tossed them altogether.
My new barn cat killed three voles right in front of me on Sunday. I was yanking up some weed mats and exposed them to her. Good job! Thanks to the animal shelter.
It’s a bit late for this political comment, but I can’t help myself. Mitt Romney’s excuse after losing the election was fodder for the late night comedy shows. He said President Obama won because of all the “gifts” he gave the voters, as in he bought the elections. Too bad both Romney and John McCain can’t accept the fact that times have changed and Obama won both times fair and square.