With the arrival of really cold temperatures–25°F last night for a low and 20° forecast for tonight–DS and I are very glad we were able to glean the apples yesterday afternoon. We have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get our apples for both eating fresh and making applesauce as the jars we had left were marked 11/12/13. The apples are nice and big as well as good quality. We were able to pick 7 5-gallon bucketfuls and bring them home. Our bin is full and there is a box on top with the remaining 10 gallons that wouldn’t fit inside the wood storage bin. In a few days I will make applesauce and fill all my remaining jars.
This morning I began baking pumpkins to process. Each pumpkin is cut in half, the seeds removed, and then the pumpkin is cut into pieces that hopefully will bake in a decent amount of time. I set the oven to 450°F and filled my roaster with pumpkin pieces and water. Then it was all covered with foil to help it steam. The roaster I filled this morning took approximately 1 1/2 hours and is now cooling a bit. Next I will process through my Victorio and then put in containers to freeze. In addition to having pumpkin puree in the freezer for bread, cookies, cake, and soups, the baking in the oven also helps keep the house warm which is very nice on cold days. In the next few days we will be in the low 30s for highs so a warm house will feel good. And even better, the pumpkin seeds will be given to the chickens to eat. We have been told that these are a natural dewormer and while I don’t think we have this problem, I’m pleased to know that eating them certainly won’t hurt.
Last, but certainly not least, since it is cold sweater and sock knitting is becoming really important. DD’s sweater will be pulled out later today so that I can push through the finish of the sleeves. I will be SO VERY GLAD when this sweater is finished. She loves the color and the pattern, however I am very “done” with it. DS has found the Staghorn Waffle Sweater picture on the Knit Picks website and since I had some Coal and Grass Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn and the appropriate size 6 and 7 needle tips, I relented and purchased this pattern to knit a sweater for him. The Coal will be the main color and the Grass will be the inset. The pattern has been downloaded and printed off so I need to hurry and finish DD’s sweater to get to this one.
Socks are still being knit also as smaller projects that can be carried. I am almost to the heel on DS’s green socks that I have been carrying in my purse. Knitting size 12 socks takes so long when you are using fingering weight yarn, but the end result is well worth it. Considering that he can only find one pair of wool socks in his room–there is another pair hidden in there somewhere–and given that it is getting colder, I am ready to make these an FO.