I ate my last tomato today.
Then I pulled up the rest of the plants in my potager and put the first layer of grass clippings on top – a winter blanket for the garden.
The only thing that recovered from the 2 weeks of cold, wet weather we had during the first half of September is the grass. We’re having to mow it every 5 days, like in the spring.
Everything else just withered and died.
It’s kind of bittersweet, putting the garden to bed….
In the spring, when I’m planting, I’m looking forward to the wonderful food we’ll enjoy all summer, as well as all the hoeing and mowing and weeding and watering and tending that has to be done.
In the fall, when I’m doing the final clean-up, I’m looking forward to not having to hoe and mow and weed and water for 6 months.
But I’m already missing the tomatoes and beans and lettuce and being out working in the warm sunshine.
Our cooking reflects the changing seasons…. Grilling the chicken one night, pan frying the next.
Chicken with Mushroom and Onion Pan Sauce
Total time: 30 minutes
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4oz (120gr) mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) chicken stock
- 1/3 cup (3oz, 90gr) Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet.
- Add chicken breasts and brown on both sides, about 7 minutes total. Remove.
- Add onions, mushrooms, cumin to skillet and sauté 5 minutes.
- Return chicken to pan, add mustard, thyme, chicken stock, cover, turn heat to low and simmer 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove chicken and keep warm.
- Increase heat and simmer until pan sauce is reduced.
- Add yogurt to skillet, stirring well to combine.
- Spoon mushroom sauce over chicken and serve.
Another benefit of fall is that I get to sleep later, and the dogs and I still get to enjoy the sunrise every morning.
Actually, I have to sleep later. It’s not light enough to walk the dogs until 8:00. As soon as I get up they start bouncing off the walls with excitement. I’m forced to stay in bed until it starts getting light out.
Going for our walk at sunrise also means it’s more exciting since all the bunnies are out having breakfast.
Lastly, I’ve been gathering nuts for winter. Nuts, in the shell, make a great snack…. Having to crack them and pick the meat out makes it difficult to eat too many.
We have English walnuts and hazelnuts here, both are the kind of nuts one can crack with the cute little nutcrackers that I always thought were purely decorative when I lived in the US.
I remember gathering nuts when I was a child in Wisconsin…. hickory nuts, butternuts and black walnuts.
My mother had a small section of railroad rail and a hammer that she used to crack the nuts – yes, it was necessary. They’re hard!
She liked baking with hickory nuts, and we used to have the job of ‘picking out nuts’ for the Christmas baking whenever we watched TV.
Hickory nuts and butternuts I loved.
Black walnuts, I think, are an acquired taste.
I never acquired it.
One black walnut in a entire batch of cookies would ruin it for me.
They were great ammunition for ‘kid fights’ though….
If you want nutrition information for the recipe, try this site: Calorie Count