Wednesday, March 1, 2017

winter theme

If I ever look back on this Winter,
I think I will remember a season of apples and soup.

 I've gotten fairly good at making soup this winter.
There's never a plan; it's just whatever comes to hand.
It's like Stone Soup, without the villagers.

Organic broth. Lots of vegetables; fresh and from the freezer.
Organic chicken, while my frozen stash lasted.
Perhaps cheese. A splash of cream if I have it.
New this week: organic kamut or farro.



The 2016 drought meant a tough year for apples in my neck of the woods. I wasn't sure the local orchard owner was going to part with any of her Rhode Island Greenings - apparently she and I have similar taste in apples.
I felt lucky to buy a half-peck.

  They were a bit smaller than usual, again due to the drought.
They reminded me of wild fruit. Precious wild fruit.

Della is not a big cat. This is not a big apple.

The apples were stored in the coolest spot on the porch, and I kept my fingers crossed they would "keep" well there. But in November I discovered that the skin on some of the remaining apples was just beginning to get that leathery-loose feeling that says,

"I'm fine, but use me NOW."

I had been enjoying the apples sparingly,
but as soon as there was a risk of wasting even one apple...
the brakes were off.

Plush porcupine eying the state of the apple skin.

There was to be no apple mosaic cake, since the hens weren't laying.
Just apple crisp, which is about the easiest thing in the world.
The first apple crisp was delicious.
The second, ditto.
Until, one day...

there was One Apple Left.

First, I admired it.

Then I painted it's portrait.

Then I went to the grocery store and bought a few organic Granny Smiths to add to the last Rhode Island Greening for a final apple crisp.

It was...okay.
So that was it. "Farewell to apples!" for a while.


It turns out that making an apple crisp every week for a month
is an excellent way to build an addiction.

A week later, I returned to the grocery store for more apples.

Granny Smith.
Not Rhode Island Greening.

And the week after that.
And, well, yes.

Clearly, I need to put some thought into proper storage for apples before next Autumn. Not too cold, not too warm. Safe from varmints. Accessible even in deep snow.
It's tricky, of course.
If it was easy, I'd already be doing it.
But darn it, I'll have to figure something out.

The goal: to have Rhode Island Greenings right into Spring.

And with that in mind, I'll keep filling the soup kettle.
Maybe it will help me think.