Someone, sweet blogger, asked where I was. Such a sweet gesture which also makes me feel guilty for not writing in a while. I haven't really had anything interesting or thoughtful to write. My mind was blank like our gray skies these days.
This morning I got up before the sunrise as I most often do on these shorter days. The air was thick with fog but a nice temperature. I put on warmer clothes and took my camera walking.
The weather here has been teasing. Mornings can be cold or wet or even foggy or even warm and dry, mid-days with or without sun have still been comfortable, but the minute the sun hits the low horizon of gray clouds in the late afternoon, the temperature falls dramatically. This crazy weather juggles my list of getting it done...whatever "it" is for that week, day, moment.
We harvested the last of the persimmons. They sit like golden eggs hard as rocks in my iron basket in the kitchen. Two nights were below freezing, so we have brought them inside and maybe in a week they will ripen to their custardy sweetness...or give us an alum mouth and we will throw them out.
The fig tree gave us hundreds of tiny figs this year...so few ripened that we ate them in hand while studying the carpet of green figs that had fallen to the ground. A judicious pruning is in order for next year if we want fig sauce and fig bread.
The oysters have been cleaned of summer algae with enough harvested that hubby made a Korean oyster stew (that is what he called it) which tasted more like a Thai seafood soup with an abundance of rice noodles. I continue to use my Hungarian smoked paprika which accompanies many dishes these days. The weather was cold enough for us to safely eat a raw half dozen before the soup.
The kaffir lime tree which now sits inside in the kitchen corner gave us many limes this year. I would lie in bed at night and hear the thunk of a lime as it fell to the floor and then spent the better part of the next morning trying to find where it had rolled. I made a delicious lime cheesecake which was full of butter-fat and sugar and that unique flavor of kaffir lime. Only 400 calories for a small piece! The fresh flavor of citrus is such a rare treat when you do not live in the tropic or temperate climates. Their gnarly skin shown in the photo below belies their floral fragrance.
I took up the huge bouquet of dried garlic from the basement and began to peal and process for the freezer by tossing the cleaned buds in olive oil and putting a large handful into small freezer bags. I know that they lose texture and flavor when frozen, but I have found the garlic buds are quite delicious when gently roasted before adding to any cooked meal. I also put a few up in olive oil in the refrigerator in a jar for winter meals and saved three fresh cloves. The white garlic parchment skins have flaked everywhere throughout the kitchen and it looks like snow. I spend forever sweeping each morning finding a new white skin. Of course, I have to spend an hour or less getting a photo before I begin my work!
During one cold afternoon I also broke down and made chocolate chip cookies. We limit ourselves to two a day!
Today, with the temperature kissing 70F for a few hours, we cleaned out the garage, cleaned and oiled our garden tools, and threw out dated chemicals. I took the amaryllus bulbs that have been going dormant in their pots in the garage for over a month, cut off their roots and knocked all the soil away from those fat bulbs and put them in a black garbage bag for the basement resting. I will wake them up in 8 weeks for winter color. I then washed all my clay pots and stacked them on a shelf in the garage.
I sorted various seeds from pods and heads that I had collected and placed on the garden shelf. Now I am going to fix a drink and read my book, The Luminairies by Eleanor Catton...thus far a good read, even if I am not sure where this going. I slogged through the "Bosnian Chronicles," until half way and then found it did not capture me in spite of a being awarded National Book Award. It was well written, the characters well drawn..it just moved way too slowly and focused mostly on how depressed the characters were living away from their homeland. Thus, all the reasons that I have not been blogging.