Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Redemption Soup

In this pot lies our rooster, Ridgely.

Ridgely was a bastard. He twice drew blood from Frasier, once savagely attacking the back of her neck as she walked away from him.

What I'm trying to do: convince you (and myself) that he had it coming.

We thought about taking the risk of living with a vicious rooster on the property with two young girls, but ultimately couldn't assure ourselves that it was the right thing to do. We tried to find a rescue home - but no one wanted a rooster.

So the Dogtor did the hard thing - today he rounded up our thuggish little beast and, well, Ridgely is no more. I came home to find a pot boiling on the stove - stock in progress. The kitchen smelled like onions and the fancy bouquet garni a friend gave us as a Christmas gift. The Dogtor asked if I'd be willing to finish the soup after he left for work. I am willing. It seems important to participate, to share the weight of the decision.

Though I'm a vegetarian myself, I purchase meat for my family and company. I have to say that looking at the meat in our stock pot was a compelling experience. I realized how removed we really are from the meat we buy. There is something moving - at least to me - about seeing the body of a bird I listened to every morning in a pot of stock. A sacrifice, discomforting.

The backyard is awfully quiet today.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cider Weekend

Things that happened this weekend:
  • I wrestled with my vegetarian status and made pulled pork for house guests, in the spirit of a southern meal. Lots of inner dialogue. Could not bring myself to try more than a bite, but it smelled successful.
  • I made my first apple pie! Flaky crust and all. Sweet cream icecream.
  • House guests brought treats (good wine and Brooklyn cookies) and amazing conversation.
  • We hit an old orchard to supplement the apple supply we pulled from our own trees.
  • ~50 friends (including their progeny) came to the house to press cider - the upper floor of the barn was a traffic jam of Little Tyke cars, bouncing basketballs, etc.
  • We made ~36 gallons of cider and sent many to good homes.
  • Sunday was quiet - the Dogtor took beautiful pictures of the girls in the leaves.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Family Piles, Swinging, Apples

Here's some stuff that has happened:

  • Zephyr started eating solid food (Exhibit A: cross-eyed lust over spoonful of carrots)
  • My mom and dad came up from Raleigh for a long weekend
  • Apples ripened and we harvested them - a little late. That's okay - they'll still make good applesauce and cider.
  • Fray's backyard routine: Collect leaves. Pluck and eat mint. Scare Mom by having weird green stuff in her mouth (mint). Eat apples. Swing. Swing more.
  • I made a serious vat of raspberry jam.
Expecting lovely guests in this weekend for cider pressing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cousins, Apples, Pumpkins

To quote Glenn Frey again, the heat is on. It's cold in VT today. And I'm frightened that 50 degrees feels cold.

We are recuperating from a fabulous weekend that included a visit from my sister, brother-in-law, and my sweet-as-honey nephew. There were no prolonged conversations before bedtime - it was snack to pumpkin patch to bookstore to lunch to nap to apple picking. Beautiful chaos, the kind that memories are made from.

I ache a little at their absence.

Pictures compliments of Auntie Em.

Miss those guys already!