. . . or maybe I'm just nuts! Whatever the truth, there's something about cooler weather that kicks me into "storing up for winter" mode. So that's what I've been up to this weekend. We've been traveling for the past two weeks, so I've been collecting supplies.
First stop was a roadside cheese store in Missouri that featured a 12-foot mouse outside. The pleasant irony there was that when I got inside, I found that many if not most of their items were supplied by Troyer Cheese Company -- a company owned by the husband of one of my Ohio cousins. All the more reason to add a few jars of Amish goodness, some summer sausage, some corn nuts, and some jam.
Later in the week I brought home a peck of Macintosh apples from Michigan -- the small, tart kind that I just can't find in my southern supermarket. And then I added 10 pounds of new sweet potatoes and seven pounds of luscious-looking tomatoes -- the last of the season.
Today the kitchen has taken on the appearance of a soup kitchen, except that the end products are all destined for the freezer. In the oven, the sweet potatoes were baking into carmelized creaminess-- destined to be mashed up with butter, orange juice, and crushed pineapple for accompaniments to a host of pork chops. The crockpot was full of apples for Lazy Applesauce. (That's the world's easiest recipe. You just fill the pot with quartered and cored apples, peel and all, sprinkle with cinnamon or what-have-you, pour a little lemon juice and a half cup of water over them and cook for four hours. Then you take an immersion blender to them and the end result is healthy, sugar-free, and the silkiest applesauce you've ever eaten!) And on top of the stove bubbled an eight-quart stockpot of tomato sauce -- with green peppers, onions, garlic, and the last of the basil from my front porch.
Now the containers are lined up all over the counter, cooling just a bit before heading for the garage to be added to my pile of winter "nuts."
Is there any good reason for the stockpile? Well, I keep telling myself that -- starting tomorrow -- it's time to get back to writing, which will leave relatively little time for cooking.