Last week I said that so far this winter we had “been spared any significant snow or ice.” I also knew that winter was not nearly over, and today is proof of that as we are in the middle of a winter storm system that is dumping a lot of snow on the upper south and lower midwest of the U.S. The snow is still coming down as I write this, with totals of 6″-12″ predicted for our area, depending on how the storm tracks. Thankfully we will be spared any freezing rain or ice.
One nice thing about being retired – when it snows, I don’t have to deal with going to work, which means I usually just stay inside! We keep enough food stockpiled to last through most any weather emergency, so a little (or a lot) of snow doesn’t usually cause a panic here. One thing I like to keep on hand is dried beans, and I cooked up a pot of them for Red Beans & Rice last night. The bean variety I used will be featured in an upcoming spotlight. I didn’t grow the beans myself, but I used some of our garlic, smoked paprika and an Aji Angelo pepper from my potted pepper plant.
Yesterday I also I cooked up the one and only Seminole winter squash I harvested last year. I planted all the vining type squash plants too close together, and the yields suffered as a result. This heirloom C. moschata variety was grown in Florida by the Seminole and the Miccosukee people, where it was usually planted at the base of a tree. The plant then grew up the trunk and the pear-shaped pumpkins would mature up in the tree.
It’s supposed to be a good keeper, and even though ours had been in storage almost six months it was still in great shape. The thick orange flesh was sweet and moist, and my wife and I both agreed it was quite tasty. I’ll be growing this one again for sure, this year in a better location without so much competition.
Since gardening is not occupying much of my time these days, I’ve been working on some other projects, and catching up on my reading. I made some coffee-infused coconut oil last week, then used it to make a batch of lip balm. I’ll share that recipe here when I’m through tweaking it.
I’m also in the planning stages of a joint art project my wife and I going to try this year. We’re hoping to combine some of my intarsia with her dyeing, and that should be a lot of fun! The below photo shows one of my intarsia pieces I made a few years back, which is part of a robe rack I made for our bathroom. It will be nice to get back into woodworking again, at least on a small scale.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a look at what’s happening here at Happy Acres. To see what others are harvesting, planting and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays.