Little House in the Piedmont, fried Oreos and Bambi

My lumberjack with his beech tree

Kind of a Laura Ingalls Wilder weekend with some food adventures thrown in. Paul Bunyan kept working on the huge, old beech that fell near a friend’s deer stand. We cannot afford to heat by propane alone.

He also pulled buckets of peppers before Friday night’s scattered frost. While I picked basil to make one last batch of pesto, he took seeds and membranes out of half the peppers (such a tedious job) and buzzed them and the last of our onion crop through the food processor (ditto). All that was left for me to do was sterilize the jars and lids, put the pepper relish together and cook it for an hour and can it. 8 pints, which is a bunch, plus just enough leftover to put on field peas this week.

Pepper relish

Sunday morning put a small, sliced venison roast (from friends Jody’s and John’s Virginia farm) in the crockpot with an envelope of onion soup mix, a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, a sliced onion, Worcestershire and soy sauces and a generous sprinkling of Cajun seasoning. Never cooked venison before although I ate it plenty (and under protest) as a kid in Pennsylvania. It wasn’t tough or dry and had an appealingly robust taste over noodles.

Started the peaches fermenting for Christmas fruit cakes, made broccoli-raisin-peanut funeral salad and got the new fall-blooming fragrant clematis in the ground (thanks, Jane and Dan, although around here they say if you thank someone for a gift plant, it won’t grow).

Saturday afternoon we ate chili (me) and chicken stew (my lumberjack) at Taproot Artisans mini-fundraiser in Harmony. We did not try the deep-fried pumpkin pie but did get two deep-fried Oreos (they taste like little chocolate pies with a soft dough and 98 calories each). And since I never get tired of sweetpotatoes or butternut squash, I got the sweetpotato souffle for dessert. Light and buttery, it had just a hint of brandy extract maybe?

Just walked 3 miles so I could have some popcorn tonight during “DWTS.” (I agree with Bobby Flay: I exercise so I can eat!) Probably not the best attitude. But I’m so lucky that “all” I have to do is eat less, exercise more and shed poundage. I looked out of the choir loft yesterday at a friend who’s just out of rehab and thought, my gosh, it would be so much harder to have every neuron screaming for pharmaceuticals. Mine just crave sugar, and they seem to be giving up on that. Or at least asking more politely.

One and a half miles from our house
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