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Evening Chores

November 28th, 2014

Sometimes we need some beauty in our day to make things better. Evening chores are cold this time of year. I often wish the birds would coop up earlier than they do so I don’t have to be outside at dusk when the wind is cold.
sunset 1
sunset 2
But then there are nights like this past Tuesday when the sunset made me linger outdoors long after my chores were finished.

What things are you finding that make life a little more bearable during the not so lovely seasons?

Thankful

November 27th, 2014

Today is the day we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US, or at least the day many people celebrate it. It’s actually not uncommon to celebrate this holiday on the days leading up to or the days after. For us, we’re driving today — all the way back to Ohio.
snowy_roads
There was snow last night, so the roads are not dry. Thankfully we live in the age of highways, salt, and road crews.
bread_for_stuffing
making pie crust
We’re looking forward to lots of delicious food and lots of great time with family. Here’s hoping you have a wonderful weekend filled with delicious things and family/friends!

Leafless Trees

November 26th, 2014

This time of year I’m always on the lookout for bird nests. With the leaves off the trees they’re easy to spot. I walked by this spot a million times in the summer and had no idea there was a nest here. It’s only about 2.5 feet off the ground.
tiny Bird nest 2
I also loved seeing that the little bird used shredded paper from my compost pile along with birch bark. I have not idea what kind of bird built this beautiful nest, I’ll have to do some research to see if I can figure it out. Or perhaps one of you can give us the answer.
tiny Bird nest 1
Bird nests are truly amazing to me. I could never build something so intricate with 10 fingers and birds manage to build them with their beaks. You can be I’ll be keeping a keen eye out for more of these little beauties. This one might be cut from it’s perch to put on a shelf in my office.

What do you like most about the trees being leafless?

Cranberry Apple Relish

November 25th, 2014

Here at Chiot’s Run we LOVE cranberry relish when it comes to Thanksgiving Day meals. I make a big batch each year and we take some to all of our holiday gatherings. It’s a quick and easy side dish and it really adds a great flavor to your turkey meal. I made a big batch last night to take to Ohio for our Thanksgiving celebrations.
cranberries 2
My cranberries are purchased from a small farm, the apples are from our heritage apple CSA.
cranberries
CRANBERRY APPLE RELISH
1 (12-16 oz) bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
2 apples, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar or maple syrup
1 cup of cider (you can use water if you don’t have cider)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon grated cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan and cook covered for about 30 minutes (make sure you keep it covered as cranberries have a tendency to pop). Uncover, taste and adjust sugar and seasonings to your family’s liking. Cook until desired consistency; if you like it thick cook longer, if you like it thinner you can turn off now or add water if it’s already too thick. Chill and serve.
cranberries 1
I made a double batch because you really can’t have too much cranberry relish, at least that’s what I think. If I have leftovers it will grace the top of a meatloaf later in December.

Do you take a big scoop of cranberry relish at the table, or do you pass it on to the next person?

Planting Less

November 24th, 2014

Generally I grow way too much garlic, which isn’t a big deal as I give a lot of it away. This fall I decided to plant only about 1/3 or 1/4 of what I normally plant. I didn’t buy any seed garlic since I used stock that I grew myself.
planting garlic
All my garlic was planted a few weeks ago, six varieties were planted. Yesterday I gave them a nice layer of duck house litter to protect them during the cold winter and fertilize them next summer. Here’s hoping for a much smaller amount of garlic to weed and harvest next year.

Are you cutting back on amounts of anything you plant?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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