We scrambled before the first snow storm in October to get ready for winter…covering the wood pile with a tarp, moving the yard furniture into the basement, and putting the plow on the truck. Then the snow all melted. These last few days have been so balmy, it’s hard to believe that this is the middle of November…but there is still lots to do.
Our road has really taken a beating…my friend Judy says the potholes swallow up her PT cruiser. Nothing that a load of gravel and lots of shoveling can’t fix. Much easier for the plow man.
The leeks are getting greener and fatter, waiting for the temperature to drop .. Then they’ll go in a pail in the root cellar. The window of the cellar is wide open, waiting for cold air. I keep a thermometer down there, and when the temperature is constant, at least below 40 degrees, I’ll fill the crawl space with all our winter roots: apples, carrots, beets, turnip and rutabega in plastic tubs. Cabbage hanging by their long roots from the rafters….bushel baskets with potatoes….bags of onions….cranberries, brussel sprouts, garlic….enough to last into spring and beyond.
In the spare bedroom that we don’t often heat, are the squashes and sweet potatoes. I lay them out in a single layer on sheet pans, and slip them under the bed. These veggies like it dryer and warmer than the cellar…around 50 – 55 degrees. Delicata squash will store quite nicely until March or so…butternut even longer. Sweet potatoes often last into June.
I still have 2 “volunteer” tomato plants, a Goldman’s Italian American and a Principe Borghese, with fruit. These tomatoes are slowly ripening on the vine with the shorter days. Before the deep freeze, I’ll harvest them all…green, pink and red. We just savored a perfectly ripe Goldman’s in a breakfast quiche.. Last year I was able to ripen tomatoes to enjoy in our Christmas dinner salad.
Once the harvest is complete, the work of maintaining and replenishing the soil begins. At low tide, I’ll take the farm rig we call “Roger” down to shore, and fill the back with seaweed. Pull the plants and weeds, cover the beds with seaweed. The compost I’ve been making all summer from rabbit manure, chips, and lobster shells goes on next. Then I plant the winter rye. This cover crop stays on til spring. Bright green shoots thru white snow….maintaining the micro-organisms for a healthy soil.
Storm windows and doors, kindling, cutting and splitting more wood, cleaning the barnacles off the boat, bottling up the cider, fertilizing the trees…there’s always winter chores to do.
These short days, we take advantage of every day light moment. For the nights when I need a quick and easy supper, I’ll make up a pizza. Early in the morning, the ingredients for the dough go in the bread machine set with the timer…as the orange glow of the sun sets over the cove, the dough is ready. The oven heat makes the kitchen toasty warm…shape the dough, spread with our favorite Pasta & Pizza Sauce…Genovese Basil is my latest.. a light sprinkling of cheese.
We’ll relax by the heat of the fire, sip a glass of sparking cider, enjoy our pizza, bone-tired and grateful for all the land and sea give us.
Easy Supper Pizza
20 ounces pizza dough (purchased or use Bread Machine Pizza Dough)
1 1/3 cup Pasta & Pizza Sauce (Farmer’s Veggie, Genovese Basil, Puttanesca)
2 cups grated cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Sprinkle the pizza pans with cornmeal. Roll out the dough and fit onto the pans. Spread the sauce evenly. Sprinkle with cheese, and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Makes 2 – 12 inch pizzas or 3 – 9 inch pizzas.