Rainy Sunday

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Four inches of rain overnight, and rain predicted for every day next week. Maybe we’ll catch up and leave this drought behind.

Fall color starting to show on this Ruby Slipper hydrangea. In a couple of weeks, the leaves will turn from green to dark red.

Sunny Sunday

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First Sunday of fall. The sun is shining and the weather is cool. A perfect late September day.

Time to put the ‘working tools’ garden to bed for winter. Daylilies divided. Hose and gutter drains in place, mulch down.

This is part of the frog garden, thus the dancing frogs.

The hack?  A thick–more than four inches–layer of mulch under the hose cart to prevent weeds.

 

 

Other People’s Recipes: Should’ve Been Chuck Roast

 

The weather turned a bit cooler–almost fall-like–and we decided it was time to haul out the pressure cooker. I found a toothsome-sounding recipe online that called for rutabagas instead of the forbidden white potatoes. Here are the ingredients:

  • Beef (more on this later)
  • 1 large (all I could find) or 2 medium rutabagas
  • 1 onion
  • 1 shallot (optional)
  • 1 Pink Lady apple
  • 2-3 carrots
  •  2 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning (we used oregano, marjoram, parsley)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar

The first mistake we made was using brisket instead of chuck roast. We winged it rather than reading the recipe before shopping for ingredients.

The second mistake was to leave decisions about what constituted ‘Italian seasoning’ to the last minute. I know marjoram was wrong, but it’s what I had on hand.

We cut the brisket into four pieces, rubbed it with the mixed seasonings, and cooked it in the pressure cooker for about 80 minutes: our brisket was slightly more than 3.5 pounds. Once we vented the pressure cooker, we rested the meat, then sliced it.

Added the veggies to the pressure cooker, then the meat, and cooked another ten minutes. The meat was chewy, but delicious. The rutabagas added an earthy, potato-like texture, so we didn’t miss the white potatoes we’ve always before added to stews.

The stew was better the next day, with the fat scraped off the broth and the veggies mashed.

What would I do differently? Skip the Pink Lady apple. They turned to mush. Or maybe use Granny Smith. And I’d look for a chuck roast.