“Snow was falling and winter had come; the season of fire. Candles and hearth fire, that lovely, leaping paradox, that destruction contained but never tamed, held at a safe distance to warm and enchant, but always still, with that small sense of danger.”
Diana Gabaldon in A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander)
As I read this passage I was sitting in front of the wood burner surrounded by cats. It was very early in the morning, the house was cold when I first woke up. After starting a fire and doing a few other things, I sat myself down with my back to the stove and started reading.
We just got a new wood stove. The old one wasn’t quite big enough to heat the entire house when it’s in the single digits outside. We have a wood fired furnace we use when it’s super cold, but we prefer using the wood stove instead. The stove was also old and starting to fall apart. More about this particular stove later, until then, I’ll be warming my toes in front of it.
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“The season changed, from one hour to the next. She had gone to sleep in the cool balm of an Indian summer evening, and wakened in the middle of the night to the sharp bite of autumn, her feet freezing under the single quilt.
Diana Gabaldon in The Fiery Cross
Last week I was working in the garden in flip flops and a tank top, yesterday morning we woke up to a hard freeze and temperatures in the low 20’s. On my way home Saturday it was sleeting, yesterday it snowed.
I had read this quote in the book the night before, quite fitting indeed. We debated putting an extra blanket on the bed, but didn’t. Luckily, we didn’t wake up cold, but you can be we put the blanket on last night! Now we get to work with winter preparations. Chains and plows need to go on vehicles, stock tank and chicken waterer heaters need to be checked and cleaned, coops need cleaned and piled with lots of fresh bedding, and the garden needs a protective layer of mulch.
How’s the weather in your garden? What chores are on your list to get ready for the upcoming season?Filed under Quote | Comment (1)
“At this season, change was in the air itself, the scents of ripeness and death borne on the breeze, and the breath of winter in its chill. Still, they rhythms of the turning each brought change that was expected, ordained; body and mind met it with knowledge and–on the whole–with peace.”
Diana Gabaldon in The Fiery Cross (Outlander)
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I hope you are enjoying the season, whether you live in a place with fall or not. I really enjoy the beauty that comes in this season before winter. The days are colder, the leaves are falling, the garden plants have pretty much stopped growing. It’s time for rest, for gardens and gardeners alike.
“Winter was nearly here; the foraging was over, the garden harvested, the preserving done. The pantry shelves bulged with sacks of nuts, heaps of squash, rows of potatoes, jars of dried tomatoes, peaches, and apricot, bowls of dried mushrooms, wheels of cheese, and baskets of apples. Braids of onions and garlic and strings of dried fish hung from the ceiling; bags of flour and beans, barrels of salt cured beef and salt fish, ands tone jars of sauerkraut stood on the floor. I counted over my hoard like a squirrel reckoning nuts, and felt soothed by our abundance. No matter what else happened, we would neither starve nor go hungry.”
Diana Gabaldon in Drums of Autumn (Outlander)
I’ve been reading the ‘Outlander’ series. This weekend I happened to be reading while canning applesauce and I read this passage. I had to smile to myself, because it’s so true!
My root cellar is filled with onions and potatoes, there’s garlic in the basement, the freezer is filled with fruit, vegetables and meat, the pantry is filled with onion braids, dried apples, maple syrup, and all manner of food tucked into jars. It’s a wonderful feeling being soothed by abundance because of the hard work you put in over the summer.
Do you manage to grow enough to preserve or just enough to eat fresh in season?Filed under Around the House, Quote | Comments (4)
“I have lived temperately, eating little animal food, and that . . . as a condiment for the vegetables, which constitute my principal diet.”
-Thomas Jefferson (The Gardens of Monticello)
Is there anything more perfect than a BLT in summer? A small amount of meat and a lot of vegetables from the garden. I love to add slices of onion to my BLT, and thick slices of heirloom beefsteak tomatoes. In my mind, it’s the perfect meal for a late summer day, especially for breakfast!