• Pamela Hatheway

Seasonal Blessings

"And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be

are full of trees and changing leaves..."

Virginia Woolf

When I come into my sweet little cottage after a long work day, it is like stepping back in time. Things are simple here. I leave the sounds of the radio in the car, and the business of the day at the door. I am greeted by my cat Charlotte, and my pug, Molly.

My workday evenings are simple. I used to work into the night, bringing home lots of marking and planning. I have learned to let work stay at work, and my home be a space delegated to personal rejuvenation and family time.

Although the weather is unseasonably warm, I know that the cold and snow will be here soon enough. I need to spend time in my yard, putting away lawn furniture and flower baskets. This weekend, I will build some cages to go around my planted fruit trees to keep the deer from devouring them over the winter months. This weekend, I will clean out the rain gutters plugged with fallen leaves, pull winter shovels and the snowblower to an accessible part of the barn, and, perhaps, plant a few flower bulbs, as a gift to myself to mark the early days of spring.

The last few weekends I have been putting up food. The harvest is in, and the farm stands are bursting at the seams. I still have a tendency to buy for a whole family when in reality it is only me and occasional guests. Sometimes the deals are too much to pass up. Honey Crisp apples were on sale at the market for 6.99 for a 10 lb bag. I bought two bags, I saved a few to eat fresh but I peeled and sliced the majority for the dehydrator. Dried apples are a healthy snack on their own. I will use them as an addition to muffins, waffles and cooked cereal or homemade granola.

With very little work, I was able to dry three litres of apples. I followed the apples with Vidalia onions and local peppers and a couple heads of cabbage.

The thing with drying or canning food, is that there are always lots of options in the larder and I can take advantage of grocery store sales and markdowns. With fewer trips to the grocery store, I can make a soup or stew that is chock full of nutrition and colour and flavour. I have a huge variety at my fingertips with very little waste.

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