It’s pickle day at the villa

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but things have been kind of busy around here. Yesterday we gardened for what seemed like days, but it was really only a few hours. This is the time of year when you need to do things like plant bulbs and divide the roots on things like peonies. Well we have over 300 bulbs to plant, and had three big clumps of peonies which hadn’t been doing all that well, so yesterday — one of those days when it rained on and off out of a sunny sky, and the wind knocked over all the plants on the porch, we dug up those peonies. (Actually, Jim did the bulk of the digging, bless him.) divided them and got enough rootstock to give away to six different gardeners! And that doesn’t mean just one root each, that was something like six or eight roots for each person. We only kept three because our full sun area is pretty limited. They’re planted around the walnut tree now. And where we dug the plants up, we planted alliums and amended the heavy clay soil with peat. We also got our berry bushes transplanted. Again. And raised the soil level in the raised bed in back by a good four or five inches.  We also harvested everything but the tomatoes because the herbs were getting really leggy and the pepper growth had slowed down a lot.  We’ll have our first frost before the end of the month, I’m sure.  We still have most of the bulbs to do, but we’ll take care of that next weekend once the bulb auger arrives.  We’re not crazy.

By the time we finished we were chilled and covered in mud, but we managed to deliver all but one bag of peony roots .  And then we went out shopping at Home goods where we got an autumn wreath, a Halloween wreath, and three more trees to add to my Xmas collection.  The pic above is our new autumn flag (sans the two girls on the right, and in much more vivid color.)  It’s getting a lot of attention by passers by, which doesn’t surprise me.  I first saw it while I was out walking near Six Corners a number of years ago, and I’d never forgotten it.  Years of googling finally paid off; I found it at The Victorian Trading Company.

Anyway, my point was that I’ve spent today making pickles, finally.  I did two batches of miso pickles, one white one red; a batch in lemon juice; one in apricot vinegar and two batches of strawberries, one in eiswein with cracked pepper and one in honey and lemon.  I know the white miso will be delicious, but I have no idea how the others will turn out.  Mostly I’ve had good luck with pickles in the past.  I did cukes, carrots, beauty heart radishes and broccoli.

I’m also going to make another batch of the green tomato chutney either today or tomorrow, but right now I’ve got a pot of Viennese gulyás cooking for supper.  I also have a whole load of herbs that need drying and storing and a bunch of peppers that I have to chop and freeze.  Harvest is tiring.

On the work front,  I’m working on the outline for my NaNoWriMo novel so that I can start on Nov. 1st with some clear idea of where I’m going.

I need to go clean up the kitchen.  It’s a disaster of epic proportions.  But I haz pickles!

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