I’ve been hibernating. A thoroughly enjoyable eight-week leave from work ended a few weeks ago, but the hibernation began well before that. There is no excuse other than I didn’t feel like tackling the fall garden tasks even though I had ample time to do so. After I finished up the last of the canning and harvesting, I retreated indoors, leaving overgrown plants, weeds, and hundreds of thousands of fallen leaves completely unattended. No doubt about it, I have a mess on my hands that would have been easier to tackle before the weather fully turned wet and cold. I’ll just have to take advantage of any semi-dry days in the weeks ahead to go outside and begin the fall clean up just as winter descends.
Even as we near the end of November, the garden continues to produce. We have not yet had any freezing temperatures, so here and there little bits of edibles remain. A few raspberries remain edible; a pea plant still has both pods and flowers; and I finally harvested the last of the potatoes, just in time because they were on the verge of resprouting. In the greenhouse, the greens are thriving. A fall planting of Romaine lettuce is ready for “cut and come again” harvesting. The Swiss chard is thriving. Plantings of green onions and celery continue to grow strong, as do the herbs I have in pots, such as parsley. The big disappointment remains the broccoli and cabbage, only because I find the constant battle with bugs so annoying.
Coming back indoors, I finally got around to trying the no-knead bread recipe that has been making the rounds for some time now. I found and followed the original recipe for the bread, created by Jim Lahey for the New York Times. The bread is easy to make and tastes great. The cooking method leads to a nice crisp crust, which really makes this bread special. I figure I spent about $0.50 making this bread, which would have costs $4.00 – $5.00 in a store. I see more of this bread in our future.