We were on vacation last week. It was a relaxing week of going to the beach, playing in the sand, taking the kids to Legoland and stuff like like that. It's always a bit of an adjustment for me to break away from my normal thought pattern which seems to be dominated by work, cooking dinner and getting to bed in time to read a few pages before I fall asleep.
"Why does this customer want earthquake insurance? They are in Oroville. I mean, buy earthquake insurance if you live in San Francisco, but Oroville?... Why does this person who never pays their insurance bills on time have four jet skis? People need to learn to live within their means... Speaking of living within our means, what am I going to make for dinner? I've got beans and I couple of frozen pork chops I could defrost. I need to use up that lettuce though. I wonder if we have carrots. I could use those potatoes I bought. Pork chops over baked beans with oven fried potatoes and carrots... A quote for homeowners insurance for a secondary home near Lake Almanor? Is it on the peninsula? How close is it to a fire hydrant? What year was it built? Square footage?..."
But I managed, and by the middle of the week I had learned to enjoy hanging out with the kids on the beach with lots of breaks for reading and eating, helping Grace with homework and, well, watching the Cartoon Network.
We came back to fall weather, so for me at least, autumn came abruptly this year. With an all-but-empty produce bin in my refrigerator--there's half a head of napa cabbage and three droopy carrots in there--I was anxious to get to the farmers market today. Here's a quick list of what I picked up as summer turned into fall:
Tomatoes- 12 or 13 pounds/ $5. They were 'seconds,' so the vendor was selling them for 50 cents a pound, and since it was toward the end of the day, and I wanted the whole box, he gave me a good deal. As overnight temperatures drop tomato production slows down and when the first frost comes, it will completely stop. I have neglected to find the time to can tomatoes this summer, but I do appreciate being able to open a jar of homemade tomato sauce in mid-winter. With the recent autumn weather standing over a boiling water bath canner doesn't sound nearly as oppressive as it did a few weeks ago. Not that I'm looking forward to the chore, but if I'm going to have homemade tomato sauce this winter, now is the time to make it.
Basil- 1 bunch/ $1. I don't actually like basil, but I do like pesto. Since basil, like tomatoes, will be unavailable before you know it, I thought I might as well buy some, make pesto and freeze an ice cube tray-full for winter. Or I might use some in my tomato sauce.
Okra- one bag, about 1 1/2 pounds. This is Grace's favorite summer vegetable, so I thought I should get some. There's more in the bag than I would use for a side dish, but I can make refrigerator pickles with any extra.
Onions- This is the first time I've purchased
onions since we harvested ours in July. I used the last two
last night, so I picked up eight or ten red onions to have on hand (and
maybe to go it that tomato sauce that I am trying to psyched up for).
Cherry Tomatoes- one basket (I spent $6.50 for the okra, onions and tomatoes). Jason and the girls like to snack on these. If I make a dinner salad later this week (with the first lettuce from our winter garden), I'll use a handful there.
Green Grapes, Black Grapes, White Nectarines and a couple of Persimmons -close to 10 pounds/ $16. We like fruit. I'm going to miss white nectarines so much, I decided to stock up. The girls love grapes, so I stocked up on those too. I enjoy the little flat persimmons that you can eat like an apple, so I got a couple of those for at-work snacks.
Butternut Squash- 1 small/ $1.50 - The rain we've had the last couple of days put me in the mood for Miso Soup with Butternut Squash and Greens. I'll make it tonight using chard from the garden and the napa cabbage in the fridge.
Cantaloupe- 1 small/ $1 - One more taste of summer. I meant to buy a watermelon too since I saw some nice looking ones, but after getting all this other stuff I forgot all about the watermelon.