Yowzers. I’m spent.
This time of year is always when things seem to get a littttttttle bit out of control. The change in weather always seems to bring scratchy throats and running noses. The end of the growing season means harvesting happens every day. The abundance of produce means that errands and other demands have to be fit in between whatever is needing to be done in the kitchen…and, of course, the usual tasks still have to be done.
The good thing is that this year, the fall seems to be making up for the crappy summer. What an absolutely gorgeous day! Despite the morning fog and biting cold, the weather seemed to be trying its best to ease us into the dreariness of the Northwestern winter. The colors and smells of fall bring anticipation of the holidays that are just around the corner!
We harvested the quince, and it’s filling the kitchen with an absolutely glorious scent. It’s so darn fragrant and unique. If you have never tried quince jelly or quince vodka or quince paste – you MUST put that on your bucket list. I still can’t believe that the first year we were here, I let an entire season of quince slip through my fingers. I had no idea what the fruit was, and had no idea what I was missing out on. I had had quince paste on more than one occasion, and always loved it, but I had never known what “quince” was. In Spanish it’s “Membrillo” – not that you need to know that, but who knows, maybe one day you’ll need that little bit of useless knowledge! I started the process for making quince jelly – and have another three batches to go.
I also started steeping three big jars of quince vodka…it’s one of my favorites, but last year I only made a very small jar and it was devoured by Amy, Renee and I in one night! This year, I’m making sure to infuse plenty! Speaking of vodkas, I also filtered my wild cherry vodka – which has a slightly different taste this year…definitely has some nutty undertones – and pairs really well with amaretto or Frangelico! I also started some pear vodka with the few pears I had this year. I did break down and buy some organic local apples so that I could satisfy my love of apple vodka around Christmas time – I got that started as well. After straining the blueberry vodka, I have a feeling it may taste a bit too much like cough syrup. I haven’t tried it yet, and want to let it sit for a few more months before I do. Sometimes it takes a while for the infusions to mature – I’m hoping that’s the case with the blueberries since there are still several bottles down in the basement!
I’m totally wiped out now. I’m fighting some kinda bug….probably the same one that my mother, Ellie, and Jake are all fighting and my body is aching. Poor EG has been miserable; her eyes are swollen; her nose constantly running; her voice is scratchy; and she just can’t seem to get comfortable. I’m about the same….so here’s to hoping tomorrow brings health and sunshine!
RANDOM PHOTOS OF THE DAY