Thursday, September 14, 2017

Summer's winding down, and the last squeezed-in fun!

If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you have seen pictures of the insane amount of salsa we made in the past week.  And let me tell you, that salsa is so good that I have to restrain my kids from eating all three gallons we cranked out.  I dole it out a quart jar at a time, and every jar is gone in 15 minutes.  Hmpf.  You gotta be fast around here if you want in on the salsa action.

I promise I will give you the recipe soon - it's very, very easy to make - and the best one I've ever had. 

In the meantime: Look at those gluttons.

The day we made salsa, we also smoked salmon.  It's from last year's catch, and we wanted to try out or brand new Traeger Barbeque/Smoker/Grill.  I love that thing!  We got it on sale a few weeks ago, and we have used it almost every day.  You can smoke, grill, bake and bbq food in it. 

I've never eaten barbequed chicken more tender or salmon smoked more flavorfully than in the Traeger.  It runs on wood pellets and imparts an absolutely exquisite flavor to everything - even veggies.

Talking of smoke, fortunately the smoke from the wildfires has lifted.  Fall is in the air, and nights get pretty cold.  

We're cleaning up the garden and harvesting a bunch of veggies, including carrots and garlic.  There's still lots of cauliflower left as well.  We'll leave the squashes in the ground just before frost.  The edamame beans are all gone by now, but green beans are still growing.

A couple of weeks ago we went to the other side of the mountains to harvest blue elderberries.  I made a bunch of elderberry syrup, since this is our cold and flu preventer, and I have the recipe and tutorial on how to make this wonderful stuff here.  

Go make it.  You can use dried elderberries that you can purchase online.  You will save a lot of money making your own elderberry syrup instead of buying it in small bottles at the store - for a lot of money!!!

On the trip to the other side of the mountains, we also threw the bikes and tents in the van, and lots of mountain biking happened.

If you're local and you've never hiked Cutthroat Lake, do it before the pass closes.  It's such a pretty, easy hike, and marvelous mountain biking.

That night, one of the wildfires blew up.  We slept in our tent with smoke in the air, and when we woke up, ash covered our car and tent...

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I cannot wait for the never-ending rain to start.  This summer was hot, bone-dry and a little scary.  The rivers are lower than the old-timers have seen them...

I'll leave you with images of summer: blackberry picking!!!  We picked 20 pounds of these precious morsels, which we will transform into blackberry wine.  I'll write a blog post and tutorial about it, so you can try it, too!

And my goats: They don't like the smoke either.

How about your neck in the woods?  Is summer winding down?


  1. Summer is GONE here. Yay, good bye and good riddance! Even though there weren't as many over 100 days there still were way too many in my book! We even had a short downpour on Monday night. We went out and stood in it praising the weather gods!

    The heat managed to kill my precious pepper tree. Well, it was a combination of me not being vigilant and the heat. Maybe it will come back. Maybe it won't. I pulled out the garden except for the herbs which I'm going to dry and infuse for oils. Now I'm getting ready to plant carrots and beets and a very new thing for me: turmeric and saffron.

    Your pictures make me think of Caulifornyah.

    1. Yippieeee for the downpour!!! You needed it. We need it, too. The rain is supposed to come this weekend, and we can't wait.
      Sorry about your pepper tree!!! I hope it will come back.

  2. We have been pretty dry here too.We have not had the wildfires to deal with. That is so scary and the smoke in your pictures is crazy scary.
    I worry when its dry here because my neighbors have a bad habit of burning trash when its dry and windy. They have burned 35 acres of our property 2 different times with no reprimands from anyone. My son and I worked 4 hours making a fire line to keep it from our barns.Thankfully it worked!

    I hope you all get some rain and all the wildfires will stay snuffed out for a long time.

    We are hoping for some rain too. I don't want 3 weeks of it but sure would like a day or too. Glad fall is finally knocking at the door. Its a good thing.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures. I love seeing the landscape of your beautiful country. Hope to visit that area some day.


    1. Scary! Neighbors burning trash!!!
      We did get rain, finally. The wildfire danger is over. We are breathing a huge sigh of relief!!!

  3. Linda, are you in CA because we have the same neighbors!

    1. No Tres I am not in Ca.....Lol. I totally understand though. I am in Southern Ohio.
      We did get about 1/4 inch yesterday so that was better than nothing.It knocked the dust down and the darn ragweed pollen. That stuff is killing me.

      I hope and pray you all get some rain. Be safe.


    2. We did finally get some. About a scant tenth of an inch in a 10 minute downpour. It always does this in September. I have no idea why. Then it goes back to dry for a couple more months. People start laying bets on when it will start up again and how much we will get. He who controls the water controls the West! - Renee

    3. Yippie, I'm glad you finally got some rain!!!

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