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Shopping at Jenny’s Market

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Only 17 more days until Jenny’s closes for the season. I will miss popping in there to get a few things.

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They have a facebook page, which will let you know what they are featuring. If you want some pumpkins, mums, cider, fall vegetables, or are like me, and pop in for weird things like lemons, oranges and bananas. I like that quick stop for the citrus I need in cooking without having to drive 15 miles or more round trip to a grocery store.

Today I wanted some apple cider, and bananas for breakfast, and scallions because, again, I ran out of them.

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Jenny’s sells Baughers cider from right up Rte 32 in Westminster. Half gallons and gallons.

I came home with what I needed, including a couple of oranges, to use my baby fennel from last week’s CSA basket. And, I got seduced by the huge sweet green grapes.

I will have to remember to stop in and pick up a few last things before they shut down for the season. And wish them a happy and healthy winter until they reopen in May.

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Jenny’s is right off Rte. 32 at the Burnt Woods interchange. Take the exit and head to the northeast corner on Ivory Rd. Look for the brightly colored pumpkins, gourds and mums telling us fall is truly here.

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Deer in the Headlights

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Or, at least off the patio.

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Fifteen feet away. And, they don’t run if they see you. Eating the acorns under the oak trees. There were six of them total this evening. Two here, and four in the driveway.

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Only a two point buck currently.

Believe me, I will not be happy if they start eating my rhododendron and my evergreens again, like they did last year. Last year the snow cover made it really difficult for them to survive. Obviously, those who did, had quite a few offspring.

For some reason, we had a banner year of young ones. They seem to go in cycles. Every two years, we get inundated.

About a week ago, we counted at least a dozen in the meadow.

It is sad, because there isn’t enough for them to eat in the developed land. As more and more of their habitat turns into McMansions they become more desperate to find food. Last winter they were eating our pine trees and the leaves off anything green in the yard, not their normal choice of food, but all that was available.

When does hunting season start? Because we need to get the numbers back under control. I don’t relish another winter with dead deer in our yard after cars hit them or people running off the road into the fields getting injured. It’s that time of year. Most of us try to avoid them, but the first time you have to deal with a decaying carcass and masses of turkey vultures in your yard, doing their thing, you learn to really love the hunters who keep our population somewhat under control.

Hmmm, maybe we need a few wolves or coyotes to even the odds around here. Right now the major predators seem to be Fords, Chevys, and their “brethren”.

Seriously, though, we have been inundated this fall. I have never in our ten years here seen this many, so close to the house. And, it’s only October.

Under the Weather

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Literally and figuratively. It is dreary and rainy, and since Tuesday I have been battling one heck of a head cold. Thankfully, even though nothing tastes very good, having that stocked freezer has made it bearable. And, kept my husband fed.

I didn’t blog about my CSA and Friends&Farms pickup very much. I really did minimal work to put it all away, and went back to my soups and my tea with honey. Local honey, even. See, you can be a locavore while sick.

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Today I feel somewhat back to normal, but the weather outside is so crummy, I just still want to hibernate and make something warm and comforting.

Best advice to those who want to minimize work while feeling awful. Freeze some soups. Those turkey drumsticks from the local farm, Maple Lawn, made the basis for one dinner and two lunches this week.

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I was originally going to pull out the cauliflower leek soup I made a while back, but, for the first time in four years, I had a Mason jar crack in the freezer. Luckily, it kept intact and was easy to dispose. I am really careful about not overfilling but this one just “popped”.

While in my clean up mode to check the baskets that hold my soups, I inadvertently left one out. A chunky tomato sauce. Found it a few hours later. It was happily defrosting, so it became chili last night.

It was that pint of sauce, a couple of peppers and onions, the last of a hanger steak made early in the week before I got this cold. I had planned to do fajitas again, but this was easy. Chopped the steak into cubes. Added it to the pot, with a can of Harris Teeters organic chili beans. Spices. I make ahead a chili fixing mix of dried spices. It simmered in a pot while I watched the news and we had another freezer-provided simple meal.

But back to the food we got Thursday that I now have to use. Having little appetite doesn’t help in the food department. Here’s how I am coping with it.

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Friends and Farms individual basket is definitely manageable. The onion went into the chili. The apples were baked (super simple, halve, core, season with butter, maple syrup and nutmeg, bake). The Asian pears are ripe enough for my husband to snack on. The rosemary, will become seasoning for some lamb tomorrow night. The green beans were steamed and eaten with dinner, the night we had some smoked kielbasa, steamed cabbage, beans, and the apples were dessert. The greens, of course, the lunch salads around here which make greens disappear quickly.

I didn’t photograph the chicken breasts or the pork chop or the half pound of smoked bacon and eggs. All put away too fast.

I now need to deal with the CSA surplus, because here is where I got more than we can use. Feeling rotten and eating just a cup of soup doesn’t put a dent in that haul.

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It may have been many baby veggies, but it was still quite a large quantity.

I am thinking of making hummus with some of those baby veggies as flavor. Eggplant and peppers. Besides that, cut, blanch and freeze the mixed sweet peppers. Roast those beets for salads. Shave fennel into salads.

I may have to cry “uncle” and give away a few items. I rarely get to that point, as we can make use of most of what we get. Being retired and having lunches and dinners home the majority of the week, that’s how we do it.

I do know that when the fall CSA ends just before Christmas, I will be very glad to have that stash in the freezer, to tide us over until the next season begins.

Baby Veggies

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It seems to be the week of the baby vegetable around here.

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They are cute, aren’t they? And often they cost a premium price. Interesting, though, now that I have a large garden, I figured it out. Baby veggies sometimes are those “rejects” which come about when you are thinning the plants. Like my arugula. The chard. The kale. All produced “baby” veggies when I was harvesting every other one, in order to give the others room to grow.

Now, baby eggplants? I’m wondering about those. Also, those lovely colorful peppers. When my garden didn’t get the sun it needed, I had lots of veggies that looked like them.

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How about baby fennel and baby red bok choy? Two other items this week in my CSA basket. Let’s move on to fruit.

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Kiwi berries. Look just like baby kiwis.

This week’s basket was fun to discover. I just need to think about what to do with all those peppers and eggplants. More tomorrow, after I ponder a strategy.

I do love that basket full of color and sunshine. Too bad they can’t be preserved to look that great forever. They would make a really nice centerpiece.

Behind the Scene

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This week I think I am spending almost as many days at the Howard County Conservancy as I did on my job before I retired. Sunday. Tuesday. Thursday. Saturday.

The Fall Festival was an immense success. As usual. Lots of my Facebook friends went. Loved the hayrides. Pony rides. And all the other things offered. I was there early to set up.

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Putting up the apple peeling, and apple cider tasting table. Thanks to MOM’s for their contribution, and to Harbin Farms for their collection (labeled) of all the varieties available here in the MidAtlantic.

Then, helping with the tent (which we took down because it turned the welcome area into a wind tunnel)

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then checking out the “bee people”.

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The honey is awesome, by the way.

After about an hour helping set up, I went off to tend to my garden. Today, I returned to spend time harvesting food bank vegetables.

Thursday I am there for the new kindergarten program, for Northfield Elementary School.

Saturday, I can’t wait to hear about bats. A free program presented at 10 am.

Such an asset to the area. The Conservancy really does have universal appeal.

A Tub Full of Basil

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Plus, lots of other goodness from my gardens.

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This is just the basil from my garden here at home. There is at least that much more out at the Conservancy in my community garden. That basil, I may be giving away to anyone who wants it. This basil, along with some of my arugula

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will become pest cubes for the winter. The arugula and leaf lettuces are coming along nicely. I thin them out every few days. It may be fall but the plants keep on producing.

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This is my “sunshine” tray. It sits by my French doors. I am still getting tomatoes and peppers to ripen. Today I also did a steam cook of peppers and onions, which went into the freezer to save for the dead of winter.

It is close to garlic planting time. And, for those of you lucky enough to have walnut trees

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this seems to be a bumper crop year.

They Lied …

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… in a good way.

Both food sources have delivered far more than advertised. Friends and Farms individual share is more than adequate for the two of us. Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative’s half share, advertised as 4-7 items, is almost always more than that. Examples from this week’s shares.

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An individual basket costs $44 a week. This week there was swordfish and brisket, for the proteins. And, are there enough carrots in the mix? Tomatoes. Cheese. Bread. Potatoes. A couple of ears of corn (outstanding by the way). A small head of cabbage. Bosc pears.

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An almost one pound brisket that will most definitely feed my husband and me. Enough swordfish to make some very nice tacos.

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And, those lovely Italian plums. A snack we can’t stop eating. Free stone. Soft. Flavorful.

As for our other basket. We have rarely gotten 7 or less items. This week, it was ten vegetable items.

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For $19 a week, this is the bargain of the year for us. Ignore the apples. They were in the fruit share. Other than that. Green leaf and red leaf lettuce. Radishes. Golden beets. Green cabbage. Broccoli. Cauliflower. TWO butternut squash. Potatoes. And, a fennel that I picked up from the swap box. I did ditch my purple mizuna. I have more than enough greens around here, and have a couple of oranges, so I can make my fennel/orange/red onion salad.

The fruit share this week.

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Five pounds of Golden Delicious apples. And, a half pint of those addictive kiwi berries.

My chicken this week was a four pound whole heritage bird. Perfect for roasting.

With my butcher shop visit yesterday, and this haul, we are set for a week of meals. Broccoli and cauliflower joined some of that lamb from Mt. Airy tonight. A couple of oven roasted potatoes.

Thanks to these suppliers we are getting the most bang for the buck when it comes to good food.

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