Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thursday, 12/6/07

Bits and Pieces from the last few days:

Jo and I got the van fully unloaded. This is the first time all the boxes of pots, fixtures and canopy components have been removed since Labor Day Weekend.

I cut some more firewood. Jo and the dogs helped load the Nissan pickup. We'd really be in sad shape if we lived farther north where continuing to cut firewood throughout the winter would be extremely difficult to impossible. I've never cut all our firewood ahead of the wood stove season. Bad winter weather may keep me out of the woods for a couple of weeks at a time, but we're far enough south that conditions will improve enough for me to get back to cutting firewood.

Right now I'm working on a couple of large trees that died and fell. There's probably enough wood in those two trees to get us through more than half the winter -- and it's in the perfect condition for burning. Very seldom do I cut a living tree. (Since I don't work a season ahead, the wood would be too green for burning well anyway.) Instead, I just clean up dead and fallen trees. Some of the wood I bring home is past it's prime -- some might call it "half rotten" -- but it burns and we keep warm. That's what's important.

My neighbor Jerry Joe recently did a lot of firewood cutting in the area where I'm currently working, but he left "my" trees alone. That was a very kind gesture on his part, especially considering that I'm cutting on his land (with his permission, of course) and all the timber actually belongs to him. (In truth, he probably didn't want to mess with all the extra effort working in a tangled mess of fallen tree limbs involves. He'd rather just fell a nice, straight tree.)

Last evening Jo experimented with a new dish for supper. It was a kind of sausage, potato and sauerkraut soup. I was suspicious of a recipe calling for a "20-ounce package of refrigerated red potato wedges", but it tasted great. Our potatoes from the root cellar worked just fine and Jo had no problem doing the potato slicing herself. I just cannot imagine buying pre-wedged potatoes from the grocery store.

Our skies are overcast. Just north of us the forecast is calling for a winter mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain. Yuck! Fortunately, our temperature just edged above freezing.


Ron said...

Hi, Marvin. I went outside earlier this afternoon to get some exercise splitting more wood, and had to come inside when the sleet started coming down hard. Got all dried and comfortable, and it quit coming down. :)

We're to the north of ya, so hope we don't get too much wintry mix!


mon@rch said...

Sounds like you are very busy and of course the snow isn't going to help any! Thanks and I appreciate your kind words!

Marvin said...

Ron: The Springfield forecast sounds as if you may get more sleet (and worse) this weekend. I hope not, but y'all stay warm regardless.

Mon@rch: So far, no wintry precipitation has built up enough momentum to make it across the Missouri border, but it will happen.

Ron said...

Oh, I meant to say before too that the meal sounds terrific. We've had to rely somewhat on store-bought veggies and fruit this summer... bleck. I'm awfully envious of you, grabbing some potatoes from the root cellar when you need em.

Root cellar is a top priority next year!

I think your harvesting of dead trees in spite of the extra work is very noble. We'll likely never chop down another live one unless it is in decline or dead either.


Marvin said...

In the interest of TRUTH IN BLOGGING I must make one tiny correction to this post: We don't actually have a root cellar.

What we were supposed to have is a full basement. However, due to a rock ledge, we ended up with a basement under only half our house. We have access to the unfinished side via the basement. It is enclosed with cinder blocks. From the beginning we've referred to the unfinished side as our “root cellar” and used it for that purpose, although it doesn't offer the full benefits of a true root cellar. That's were our potatoes are stored.

The recipe for the German-Style Turkey Sausage Skillet is here:

Be forewarned that Jo considers recipes to be general guidelines and not absolute instructions, so I really don't know exactly how she prepared the meal, but it was good.

Good luck with your real root cellar.

Ron said...

Thanks for the recipe, Marvin. Mel never actually follows recipes exactly either. The combination of sauerkraut, sausage, potato, and onion - wow - sounds real good.

Your basement area sounds awfully close to a root cellar to me. Even better - you can grab a few things without going outside! I'm still envious of the garden-grown produce. :)

Take care,