Chili and Apples

How do you like them apples!

It’s a chili day in CNY. Yes, I know that should read chilly, but it’s a good day for chili and for apples. As a matter of fact it is Apple Fest in Ithaca today and local chili competitions aren’t far behind.

Just look at those jelly jars. Gorgeous fall colors and the contents are sure to warm your soul and any PBJ you might make with them. Also good with turkey sandwiches.

After enduring the hottest days of the summer just last week, record breaking for CNY in September, we are now having the rainy chill that reminds us what is ahead. The rain was sorely needed even with the long rainy spring we had this year, and the sun is already peaking through the clouds. Good for me because I am planning to attend another fall tradition in farm country- a pig roast! (Humanely raised by a local young man with a small farm)

Harvest, the great fall tradition. The warming days of spring brought the work of cleaning out the detritus and doldrums of winter. Flower beds were freed of their leafy blankets and revived with nutritious mulch and plants set out in anticipation. Fall brings the harvest of all that labor, ours and mostly the gifts of the god/dess. My freezer, which sat quiet most of the summer, now hums again, not as beautiful as those walls of jars my canning friends have, but still a reassurance of good food on cold days.

The dogs and I went walkies late this morning. I stumbled out of the bedroom to find them snuggled up together on the sofa, their noses buried in their blankets. I guess the house felt a bit too cool and damp for them too, so I took the opportunity to savor hot coffee before I put on my boots, and we walked up past the neighbors apple trees into the meadow. The new kittens like to follow along and I came home with damp pant legs, wet beagle buddies and kittens covered in dew.

Yesterday I started picking apples. I’m envisioning apple pie filling, apple sauce, apple salad, and some hot apple chutney or relish made with hot peppers I froze last year. I bet a spicy apple pie would be interesting too. Hot spicy pie with cold vanilla ice cream. Yum!

I also started to prepare the gardens for winter. The beds out front have been edged and weeded. The peonies have been cut back and a few plants divided to give to friends. The peonies bushes are very stark now, but come spring there will be a perfumed abundance of color the length of my driveway. The plants that will need to be dug and brought in against the frost have been marked. Soon my back room windows will be festooned with plants, and the closet will hold a box of bulbs snuggled in wood shavings.

Oh and there is more wood to haul. Last weekend my granddaughter and I loaded, hauled and stacked 3 face cords in humid 90 plus degree heat. (Thank you Mother Nature we were in the shade!) Tomorrow my grandson will have the advantage of much cooler weather, but we’ll have to haul it by the wheel barrow load from the back yard where it is now, to the driveway where we can park the truck. Sometimes great Craigslist finds involve a bit of extra work.