Early Sunday morning. Found this leaf in the yard and asked, “Is it fall?”
Well no, technically not. Fall is arriving in approximately thirty-four days. It’s still summer, still August, and supposed to be still hot. But it’s not. We’ve had storms every night of the past three, and mornings have been cloudy and cool.
Once the sun burns through the clouds, though, it’s summer again, hot and steamy. So while fall garden clean-up has started, I work only early and retreat to air-conditioned comfort in the afternoon.
Those readers who follow my Monday gardening posts will be saddened to know that I do indeed have both bag worms and cottonwood borers. I’ll be posting the “fix” on Monday, weather permitting. And if the weather is bad, the blog will be delayed.
Meanwhile, I’m enjoying this foretaste of my favorite season and sitting on my hands to avoid pulling out the Halloween decorations. Hope it doesn’t turn unseasonably warm in September.
I keep thinking we’re headed for an early fall. After a cool spring and a mild summer, the signs are there. The daylilies are done except for the rebloomers, which are about to do what they do in fall. The chrysanthemums are budding. The sedum Brilliant and Autumn Joy have flowered. My cottonwoods are losing leaves–not unusual in a dry August. But leaves on my tulip trees (yellow poplars) are also changing, and that is unusual.
We have too many tomatoes. Fortunately, our neighbor didn’t plant this year. Whew.
Lots of gardening still to do, and I’m also needing to put more time into my work in progress. I have submissions out that need following-up and submissions still to–well–submit.
It’s a busy time.
Here’s hoping fall comes at the precise right time for you.
Maybe I should’ve called this blizzard Sunday. Snow is predicted for later today. Last night, the weather said a dusting, with 7 inches up north. This morning, the prediction was upped to 2-3 inches for us, with 14 inches farther north.
No rain or snow yet, but the wind is 20 MPH and my pin oaks are bending ominously.
Another pink sky last night–beauty before the storm.
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 shallot (optional)
1 Pink Lady apple
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.