Cooking from our Harvest

On September 15, I made an old favorite, Ratatouille Cheese pie.  I didn’t make the crust for it.  I was able to use our eggs, zucchini and tomatoes for it.  I have a long standing affection for this dish as we ate it in my vegetarian teenage-hood.  I remember eating it at the noon break from standardized testing at Bellevue Community College.  I can’t remember if it was for my SATs or MCAT, but either way I attribute my good score to the lunch pie.

ratatouille cheese pie


Last Thursday I participated in my usual Taste of Old Colony History.  It was apple cider doughnuts this month. Here is our fearless leader, frying the doughnuts.


She presented a brief history of apple cider and of doughnuts which were fascinating.  Here are my doughnuts.  They were a little doughy in the middle, probably because they were thicker than they should have been.  I baked them in the oven briefly which helped.  They were tasty, and I used some of our home pressed cider.  Next month is mini pumpkin pies in which I hope to use up some of our pumpkin.


For dinner Thursday I made Twice Baked Baked Delicata Squash with Swiss Chard.  I was able to use our delicata squash, garlic, chard, sage and sausage.  It was good except our delicatas this year are quite dry even with all this moisture baked in them.  Not sure why.  I think this would be really good in small pumpkins as well.


My fermented bread and butter pickles did not work out.  It seemed like slimy worms.  Even the chickens were not thrilled.  But it made me want bread and butter pickles, and Tom had bought Ball® Bread & Butter Pickle Mix for me.  So I decided to try this recipe and made the refrigerator version.  I used Swerve instead of sugar in half the amounts.  I haven’t tried them yet as I want it to mature, but at least it doesn’t look slimy.  I obviously used our rather large cucumbers for this recipe.  Searching on my Pinterest recipes for pickles, I remembered pickled eggs.  I will need to make them again as well.


For dinner Sunday, I was “post-call” so Tom made dinner.  He had purchased some organic chicken breasts so I suggested a recipe I had just seen for Jack-O’-Lantern Quesadillas.  We were able to use our pumpkins and hot peppers for this recipe.  Tom did make the jack-o-lantern faces in the tortillas.  I got smiley faces with a tooth.


Here they are after baking.  Tom put frowns on his. They were darn good.  There were a little spicy with Tom’s improvisations with spicing up the chicken.  But so good, and fun too.


Yesterday I made some cucumber simple syrup.  I used Swerve instead of sugar.  I plan on making drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) with it.  And used another giant cucumber in making it.


So in sad (for me) news, I twisted my left ankle going down the back porch steps this morning.  I ended up falling on my back too, couldn’t get up and had to wait for Tom to find me.  Once again I should have had my phone on me.  I literally crawled into the house, iced and elevated my ankle. I got an appointment with my doctor, and here is what it looked like there.


I had x-rays done, and it is not broken, just a bad sprain.  My co-workers really stepped up and offered me a walking boot and a knee scooter.  With work scheduled for me tomorrow, I will use a boot and scooter to get around.  Wish me luck with this.

Tom had to drive me around for these appointments this evening so didn’t want to cook.  So he ordered Korean BBQ for us, and that was really good as well.  I had Spicy pork Bul-Gogi (very spicy!), and Tom had Beef Short Ribs.

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I believe that I am finally done with canning for the year, particularly since I am out of jars and space.  

August 23 peaches

22 quarts of peaches

September 15 pears and tomatoes

canned pears and tomatoes

September 15 green beans

canned green beans

Monday pears


Friday pears


And here are the top drawers of our kitchen cabinets where I store our home canned produce.  And they are completely full.  


I do not believe I have never completely filled them before.  These drawers are deep so this is an impressive amount of work.  I am glad to be done, and we will enjoy these added-sugar-free foods all year.  

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Stormy Babysitting Weekend

So we picked up the grandkids on Friday so their parents could have a nice weekend together.  We hung out with their dog Belle, Ryeleigh and Piper waiting for William to get off the school bus.  Piper took a nap (and I did too as I had a long night at work).


When we got home, we immediately went outside to check things out. Piper likes pink.


The wind was really picking up.

It turns out Ryeleigh likes to chase William on his dirt bike.

Piper and I sat on the lawn chairs while Tom and William rode around.


She also liked to sit on the back porch steps, getting her butt wet.


Then the power went out around 6PM.  I pulled out the oil lamps, the first time William had seen one.


With the fading light, we hung out on the back porch.


We pulled out the camp stove and with the BBQ made dinner.


We ended up telling stories on the back porch until bedtime, which was enjoyable.

In the morning we had Halloween Crunch for breakfast which Tom found at the store.  I am a fan of Christmas Crunch when we can find it so this was new.


Then we were ready to do the farm chores.


storm cloudstom, piper, william and marty

After chores there was more riding with Ryeleigh involved.

We had 2 inches of rain overnight. The power had returned around 9:00.

2 inches of rain

Piper helped me pick tomatoes.


But after lunch, she became really tired, falling asleep on the floor.


Ryeleigh was really tired too.


We moved Piper to the bed in the living room and watched the Huskies game.


This is the mess of toys at this point.


Tom and William had a quiet moment on his bed with the Mariners playing.


After dinner we had a game of Monopoly and then two rousing games of Uno.


Piper was being quiet during this time, and Ryeleigh was enjoying all of the beds options in the living room.


We all slept really well.  We had a nice breakfast this morning with football on.


The kids wanted to see the farm one more time.  Here is Piper and Sonja checking each other out.  The cows were surprisingly nervous about her.

piper and sonja

She seemed to especially like the pigs.

piper, peppa and george

They were nervous about our big goat Billy.  So he was locked in the barn when they were around.

william and billy

Then we watched the Seahawks game until their parents came to pick them up.  I believe all 6 of us had a great weekend. For me it was nice to focus on something besides the work that needs to be done here as well as, of course, spending time with the grandkids. Go Hawks!

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