I have to admit, I was a little shocked to realize it's been nearly a month since a new post graced this little corner of cyberspace. The thing is, I'm almost always working on a blog post in my head and it's a bit surprising to realize that not a single one of those thoughts have actually made it out of my fingertips and into reality.
As I'm apt to do this time of year, I'm feeling a nudge for some change in my life. But when I really look at things, it seems that maybe things already are changing. In the last few years, I've devoted so much energy to being a "writer," yet somehow, in the last few months I've been watching what feels like all of that focus and resolve draining away. Last month, for the first time ever, I turned down a freelance job from a gig that I've been doing since November 2009. Despite my intentions to be the best freelancer/blogger ever this summer, even with a full-time job, somehow I've barely blogged or written a word. (Have you noticed?!) Other things that have given my life structure in the past have been missing this year too, from regular ice fishing trips in the winter to blueberry picking and canning peaches this summer.
It's all a bit discomfiting and as a result, I've been suffering through an endless case of the "mean reds." You know the mean reds, don't you? As Holly Golightly put in Breakfast at Tiffany's, "The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of."
What I didn't realize when I started chasing my crazy marathon dream this spring was how much energy it would require and how it would dominate my free time. Even only running somewhere between 9-12 miles each week sucks up a great deal of my free time in the mornings since I tend to run on work day mornings. The mornings I don't run are spent cleaning the bathroom and other exciting household chores. The running's been a good thing and my body is stronger (and slimmer) than it has been in years. I'm also happy to report that the childbearing hips I'd been developing over the last couple years are now a distant (and unpleasant) memory.
But if this all just sounds rather depressing, what I'm really trying to say it that there's only so much time in each day. Our priorities dictate how we use that limited time and apparently priorities have been changing around here.
The garden has been in hardcore harvest mode for the last month or so and has been demanding a fair amount of attention. I've been canning (dilly beans and pickled carrots and daikon radishes pictured below) and freezing (16 lbs of green beans and at least that much again of kohlrabi) and drying (mint and oregano), whirring (pesto) and shredding (zucchini). I'd say we're at least at the halfway point for harvest 2013 and we have been blessed with another bountiful year. That said, I never want to blanch another green bean ever again. Well, at least not until next year.
We had a strange hot spell at the end of August that really tested everyone's good humor. At times such as those, I'm especially happy to live only an hour away from a Great Lake. When it's 95 degrees at your home, it's lovely to go spend some time next to what essentially is a very foggy refrigerator.
We finally pulled up all of our giant kohlrabi (and blanched it and froze it, oy). The biggest kohlrabi (below) ended up weighing in at 6.5 lbs. Not quite the 8 lbs promised on the packaging, but still a pretty impressive cruciferous vegetable specimen. I'm usually not for giant vegetables (probably because the only vegetables I've ever encountered in giant form are zucchinis) but I found a fair amount of Wallace and Gromit-ish pleasure in our large kohlrabi.
Speaking of beautiful vegetables, check out these beautiful Yukon Gold potatoes we pulled out of a rotting pile of straw. We hadn't really planned on doing the Stout method of gardening again (basically, where you put seed potatoes on the ground and cover them with straw and forget about them) but I'm so glad we did.
Andy and I had to run into town last weekend to attend his cousin's wedding celebration, which was a lovely event with really, really good eats. We didn't stay too long, but did manage to capture the most truthful photo of the two of us at a social gathering ever taken. Ha. Hahahahaha.