The long anticipated first killing frost finally paid a visit to the holler followed last night by a killing freeze. In a way I am sad about the end of vegetable gardening for the year. But in a way it is also a welcome relief from the day to day work of weeding and caring for the garden, mowing and almost daily canning that comes along with those regular harvests. It gives my body a chance to rest and my mind a welcome retreat from the hard work. Though there is still plenty to do in the house with the preparations for the holidays and I always have my beloved quilting, crocheting and sewing to fill my days. And I have an entire list of books I want to read this winter.
Some people get out and cover their crops with coverings and plant in hoop houses to extend their harvests but once winter gets here I just let what remains freeze. From November to March I rest. I have enough canned in my pantry and in my freezer to last me far longer than that 5 months and am just too old to get out and fight that snow and ice to try to garden. I grow enough vegetables and I buy an occasional head of lettuce from the grocer for that 5 months and enjoy the citrus when it comes in season and always purchase that. Other than that I live out of my pantry and freezer for the winter.
But for a few weeks I will still have some fresh vegetables that were salvaged there at the end. Yesterday we ate fresh peas and new potatoes creamed. The last peas of the season. O Wise One has fed all the vines to the goats and rabbits.
And those green tomatoes I salvaged became oven fried green tomatoes.
I still have a drawer full of bell peppers int he bottom of my refrigerator and simply stuffed some peppers last night with a stuffing of ground meat, bread crumbs, egg, onions and diced peppers. (think meatloaf) I spooned a topping of ketchup and A1 Sauce over the top covered them with foil and baked them for about an hour in a medium oven.
I sprinkled some cheese over the top and served hot.
Baked an old fashioned gingerbread for dessert. Homemade with lots of butter, farm eggs, buttermilk, ground ginger and molasses. Dark, moist and sweet just like Baby O likes it.
And for breakfast this morning apple muffins.
See I won't miss gardening at all! I'll just cook all winter : )
(Recipes to follow)
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter