Season of Plenty

“O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.”
–   Robert Frost, October

There is something special and wonderful about warm, sunny October days, and this gorgeous weekend was no exception.

Friday night I made a pot of clam chowder – here is my recipe

2 – 8oz. bottles of clam juice, 1 cup of water,  a little salt, and a bay leaf into a 2 qt. pot, add 2 cups red bliss potatoes diced into 1/2 inch cubes .  Bring to a boil and let the potatoes cook until tender, remove from heat and let cool.

In the meantime, drain 2 cans of chopped and 2 cans of minced clams (6 oz. cans) and reserve the liquid.

In a small stock pot or dutch oven – dice 3 strips of hickory smoked bacon and cook on medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the fat has been rendered.

Add to the bacon fat,  one large sweet onion diced, sauted until translucent with a clove of minced garlic.  Add the potatoes and broth they cooked in to large pot.  Add the clams and their reserved juice,  a tbsp of fresh thyme leaves, and 2 cups of half and half or one cup of milk and one cup of heavy cream. Heat but do not boil. Salt and pepper to taste.  It is very hearty, not too thin and not too thick, in my opinion, it’s just right.

Be sure to serve with oyster crackers, saltines or crusty bread and butter.  You can add a salad for a complete dinner.

We were a little late in the season but we managed to get only 26 lbs of canning tomatoes to make our salsa.  We got a total maybe 13 pints canned – half of our normal batch.  The good news is that the salsa is fabulous, the bad news is that it’s a very limited supply.

The following day, Mary and I went out with Laural and Steve for breakfast at my favorite place for eggs benedict on a beautiful sunny fall day.  Then we drove over to Laural’s.  This is her first fall at her house, so we were excited to see the heavy pruning of her grape vines that I did in the spring really paid off.  We had no idea what kind of grapes would come and we were delighted to see an abundant crop of perfectly sweet, ripe concord grapes.  Yum!  Mary and I picked about 7 + quarts of grapes and took them home and just enough to make a batch of Concord Grape Jelly.  I cannot wait to taste it.  So all and all it was a very productive weekend.

I also finished off the first of the beautiful and free Serpentine Mitts pattern that I am knitting for a friend out of my hand spun dark charcoal Shetland wool.  Remember this?

They fit me perfectly 🙂  I hope they also fit my friend.  I even got some spinning done.  I guess I am getting prepared for the long winter ahead.

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3 responses to “Season of Plenty

  1. Oh! You picked grapes; I don’t know why I thought your email said you pickled them.

    As for the serpentine mitts, you may have to keep them if they don’t fit the intended recipient.

  2. Sounds like a lovely weekend! I’m sorry we keep missing each other. Will you be at knitting this Wednesday or are you going to see the Yarn Harlot?
    I feel like it’s been months since we’ve chatted.

  3. Your chowder recipe sounds yummy – I’ll have to give it a try. (I think if my kids + SO heard “clam chowder” and “bacon” in the same sentence, they’d weep with joy.)

    I know what Jena means – seems like it’s been ages….Are you still planning to go to Rhinebeck this weekend? I will definitely be there Saturday and most of Sunday – call or text if you have a free moment and maybe we can meet up for coffee and ogle each other’s stash enhancements. (Note to non-knitting readers: that is not nearly as inappropriate as it sounds…lmao!)

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