It’s been a productive stretch of days around here. Thankfully, our weather has turned properly cool for autumn, which makes the work quite pleasant. I don’t see the pace slowing for several weeks, but then we’ll gratefully sink into hibernation. My intention is for this household to do so much more deeply than we did last winter. It’s common to take on indoor projects and renovations in the winter months, and I do like little things like painting a room, organizing the pantry, or building a shelf, but the upheaval of something as big as a full gut and rebuild of a kitchen is all too daunting when you can’t easily escape outdoors from the chaos. Maybe there’s really no convenient time for a kitchen renovation. Yes, that’s probably it.
Our potatoes are nearly dug (just one more row to go), and our meat birds are processed and in the freezer. We raised Color Yield again this year, which are fine and incredibly hearty (haven’t lost one in the two year’s we’ve raised them), but we don’t find their meat to be quite as good as Freedom Rangers, or even that of Cornish Cross, but raising Cornish again is not for us. We do like Rangers, I just wasn’t able to acquire any this year. Overall, we had the most bizarre yield! Our roosters were bigger than ever, and our hens were smaller than ever. Our friend who helps us said he’s seen a lot of that this year. I don’t really have an explanation, as nothing has changed in our raising program. Some years you get what you get. Well, maybe all years you get what you get. We are grateful to have a freezer full of protein raised right here. However, at this time, our plan is to take a break from raising chickens for meat next year and perhaps make way for raising animals of the ruminant variety. Something that feels a little less manufactured, a little more dependent on grass than grain.
The weekend included a visit with our new neighbors, hot apple cider, and freshly made cider donuts. I also made pizza but I’ll tell you what, my new oven is terrible at making pizza. I’m rather discouraged! Typically I make homemade pizza with a crust that rivals the best New York pizzeria, but it’s all changed with this new oven. We’ve tried everything imaginable. Directly on the rack (my go-to), pizza stone, sheet pan, par-bake the crust…. everything. Flavor is always excellent, crust is never perfect. I finally began searching around the internet and it tuns out it’s a common complaint with the oven we have. And this is exactly why I have so little faith in appliance these days. It’s always something. Who would have thought you needed to specifically seek out every type of food you plan to cook to see if it will accommodate before your purchase? I’m sharing because if you struggle with homemade pizza, it might not be your recipe, it might be your oven. If we can’t find a solution, we’re pretty sure this range will be headed to Craigslist. Life is too short for a range incapable of making pizza!
Today begins a new week, and with that comes all the Monday optimism that I love.
My top homemaking tasks for today are:
- After weekend tidy
- Laundry catch-up
- Cut sheet for beef
- Can broth (going as I type!)
Most of the leaves have fallen, and with that, stick season has commenced. There is so much to be felt deeply this time of year.