The first real storm of fall today. It’s pouring rain and blowing a gale — not a day to walk along the seaside, but exciting, in a way.
It’s nature showing off a bit! Not the kind of day to spend in the garden but probably a day to check the gutters, take down the screen doors, bring in an armful of wood, get a book and sit in front of the fire for the remainder of the afternoon, relaxing after all that work.
Whoa! Not so fast!
What about sorting the apples before storing them to make sure you aren’t saving any with bruises that will decompose and spoil the lot?
While you are in the mood, why not braid the onion tops and hang the onions over the stove to enjoy their beauty while you are making soup.
Perhaps you could sit down to make a list of tasks that need to be done before winter comes screaming out of the north. This is fun, until the list begins to get longer and longer and you are getting tired just thinking about it!
Maybe you should check the dog door to make sure the hinges are working properly or it could hang open, allowing all that precious (and expensive) heat to escape when the wind blows it open.
Something else you might do, is to make pickles and make apple pies for the freezer, sort the squash and put any damaged ones aside for early use, or cook, mash and freeze the flesh in foil containers to be baked later on. Before freezing I used to scrape out the flesh, add salt, pepper and butter and mash it, so it was all ready, after freezing, to be put in the oven.
I like to do the same thing with the Hallowe’en pumpkin, but use its flesh to make a tasty pumpkin soup.
Add a teaspoon of curry powder if you like a little more pizzazz (and it doesn’t give you heart-burn).
Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.