Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hunting & Gathering

Since today was cold and windy, I went hunting and gathering with Skye rather than gardening. What did we find on our mission? Well, we found wine-making supplies at The Home Brewery for my first foray into wine-making, using frozen blueberries from last year's crop (more on that tomorrow).

Our next stop was Hobby Lobby, where we found two garden-related treasures on the 80% markdown Christmas shelves: tree lights and broken candy canes. Yes, both those items are gardening treasures! The strings of 7-watt tree lights (indoor-outdoor) will help keep my hoop-beds warms after first frost next year. If all goes well, we'll have tomatoes and peppers until the weather gets really cold. And the candy canes? This, I have to admit, was Skye's idea. We're going to make mint chocolate chip ice cream with the broken candy canes! And just how does that translate into a gardening treasure? Ever since I read Phelan's recipe for mint extract last summer over at A Homesteading Neophyte, I've wanted to make some. Combine next summer's mint crop with Skye's broken candy canes, and we'll have some fine ice cream! (Although we plan to use mini-chocolate chips this year, as we think that will improve the recipe.)

Third came Harp's, our local grocery store. There Skye and I had a long discussion about how we see the produce section so differently these days. We got Red Delicious apples for Love, and Skye asked if she could get some Granny Smiths. She admitted that she had sworn she would never eat another grocery store apple after tasting our Fujis last fall, but she misses apples. And the fujis we have left are past the eating stage. In fact, I've spent the afternoon processing the last of those into applesauce. No more homegrown fruit for us until the blueberries ripen in June. :(

Our last stop was Target, where I finally bought myself a salad spinner. It's plastic and cheap, but I thought I try out a cheap model before sinking money into a better one. With leaf lettuce and mustard the only things in our garden these days, I've been washing and drying a lot of green stuff. I'm hoping the new salad spinner will improve my processing of these precious fresh veggies!

A successful foraging trip, I must say!

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