Monday, November 2, 2009

Autumn in Lake Hughes

This year I moved to Lake Hughes just in time for the fall weather to kick in. It took me a week to get around to asking how to turn the gas furnace on, during which time I kept warm with diligent use of the wood stove. A storm came in and I had to dry wet firewood by the side of the stove before using it. The cabin gradually filled with the pleasant scent of apple woodsmoke. When the storm was over, shaggy mane mushrooms appeared in abundance; I cooked them with butter before they could turn purple, and ate them in asian dishes, with burgers, and with my boss's free-range eggs.

On saturdays through the end of october, I drove down to the farm and picked apples by the barrel. They've now gotten ripe enough to use in all sorts of dishes: baked apples, cobblers, cider... I want to make apple and pumpkin soup, and apple butter.

The pear tree by the side of the house dropped all its pears early due to (apparently) underwatering. I gathered the pears and ripened them with bananas. Now I have huge piles of pears cluttering the house; they're delicious straight, but I'm feeling a need to make something with them just to get them out of the way. I shouldn't have let them ripen all at once; I should have put some in the fridge to save for later in the year. Live and learn, I suppose.

Apples, pears, and peaches. Someday I'll have a kitchen table again; for now, I have fruit with every meal. Peach meatballs; duck and apples; peach and pear cobbler; pear scones; cinnamon peach soft cookies.

When all this fruit's gone, what will take its place? Probably thick winter stews, until spring brings new produce. I hope I'm still in the lakes and valleys for cherry season!

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