No! vember

“No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds –
November!”
–   Thomas Hood, No!

At the end of October we had a Nor’easter blow some snow in and I thought, “well, this is it – I won’t be warm again until May.” Mother Nature has been particularly odd this year, we experienced a warm Indian Summer, an early snow that knocked out power to neighbors and friends, and I swear it was close to 70 degrees here yesterday!

Growing

I’ve drained and put away the rain barrel, and wheeled the last couple of pots into the shed to hibernate until Spring. Indoors my poblano pepper plants are still blossoming in the back room, I pollinate them with a cotton swab every couple of days or so. Craving some fresh herbs I put a batch of them in the AeroGarden here in the kitchen – mint, oregano, dill, thyme, lemon mint and basil – they should start sprouting in the next couple of days.

Dark Days of Winter Challenge

I spotted this challenge this morning:

Urban Hennery's Local Food Winter Challenge

It sounds right up my alley! The challenge runs from November 27th, 2011 to March 31st, 2012 – a challenging time of year to find local foods in many parts of the country (especially New England!). Here’s the challenge:

Cook one meal each week featuring SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) ingredients, write about it on your blog and email your happy recapper a link to your post. It’s really that simple, but at the same time, it can really be that hard.

With a stockpile of canned, local, produce in the form of salsas, jams, marmalades, lacto-fermented vegetables, chutneys, and so forth around the house I think I’ll be OK in weeks when I cannot find anything grown within a 150 miles of me. I also plan to break out the second AeroGarden and try growing some of my own seeds this year – can’t wait to see how that goes!

Prepping for the Holidays

I am absolutely tickled that we’re having a Thanksgiving/Harvest potluck with friends this year. Holidays that have a large focus on loved ones and food are my favorite and I’m pretty sure we’ll have heaps of both come Thanksgiving weekend. 🙂

We’ve discovered my failed kumquat marmalade (it didn’t set up right) makes a wonderful base for kumquat knickerbocker drinks so that’s going on my list of holiday cocktails to serve this season. And the kumquat blackberry liqueur I started back in May has mellowed nicely – it reminds me of an after dinner port wine, though the base is vodka. I’ll be making up a couple more liqueurs to give out as gifts come December since this one turned out so well! Can’t wait to see how my Bachelor’s Jam comes out too (more on that later).

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