Thursday, October 17, 2013

Living Seasonally-Living Richly In the Fall

I've always enjoyed living seasonally. This "seasonal difference" has increased since I moved from Dallas to Colorado.  Fall is here in all it's glory. In Denver, that means that the nights are as low as 27 degrees, but the days get anywhere between fifty to high sixties.  At a mile high, fifty is warmer than sea level. I have been wearing short sleeves in the afternoon.  Still, the leaves have begun to turn, the nights are getting darker and fall is in the air.




When talking about a frugal/single sized retirement, each season has it's positive and negatives-in terms of costs and spending. Fall is no different.  As I slowly adjust to the fall I am, like in all seasons, finding some areas where the costs have jumped and many more where costs remain or have become, smaller.

Certainly my groceries become less expensive overall.  Summer is mainly meat on the grill and fresh produce. For the most part, grilling meat involves steaks, shops, and boneless breasts. I do less cooking in the house and more cooking outside and using convenience items. As fall approaches, I bring out my slow cookers, all three (yes, you heard that right) soups, stews and the like. Soup especially is extremely forgiving-pasta instead of rice, whatever vegetables are on hand, wine here and there. And since I don't like to put on the oven in the summer,  I'm baking instead of buying breads, popovers, waffles, cookies and cakes (pumpkin in this case). I am however, still buying strawberries in October-old habits die hard when you are used to fresh produce.

Just like in other seasons, free entertainment, socialization and day tripping opportunities abound.  There seem to be multiple fall festivals every week (October fest, Wine fests, and Apple Fests multiply).  Add that to free botanical gardens fall days, pumpkin farm visits and more different leaf drives than I can name.  And lets not forget all the holiday events and family celebrations that arise at this time of year.  Bored? I doubt it. Whereas I was outside all summer, now that the darkness comes early, I have time to sit and catch up on my reading and watch a bit of TV-the nesting instinct has arrived!

On the other hand, I expect sticker shock when it comes to my utility bill. I need a temperature of at least 73 during the day, and 70. Although, considering my air conditining bill s down south, I may still be ahead of the game (as some of my fellow bloggers can attest). Other fall related costs? Well, there are those clothes to make myself Colorado worthy in terms of warmth and comfort-I still have only those two long sleeved tops, after all.





Meanwhile, tis the season to can and preserve goodies for friends and myself, knit, sew up a storm, bake lots of decorated cookies. It is after all the season for making and selling and I have a boatload of house centerpieces and quilted gifts to finish. On the errand business end, we'll become the Christmas elf for the holidays and my son is looking for leaves to rake and yards to clean. My sister moves into the house in the next to weeks and while much of the outside needs to wait, turning this brick fireplace into a 'fire pit" and fixing the upper level of the yard up are at the top of the list. I am used to using a patio all year long, so covering the patio and making it comfortable is at the top of my list!





Tonight I made broccoli cheese soup-its something we love but I have never tried before. All in all it was a satisfying meal, but I may need to ask for one of those immersion blenders instead of pouring into my regular blender. Before we have it next it needs some smoothing and perhaps some ham added. Add the soup to the pumpkin cake, decorated cookies, fruit salad and two hours in a heated pool today and I've been a busy bee-a busy fall bee.





Finally, I have a plea. If anyone wants to share canning on a smooth top stove I'm happy to hear it.  So help me (raising hand ala Vivien Leigh) by next summer I'll have a gas stove if it breaks me.  Meanwhile................

Oh, and the eggnog is there just because it's eggnog. And it's fall. And who said eggnog was only for Christmas anyway???

9 comments:

  1. To solve the canning problem, I bought a heavy-duty single hotplate (Broil-King) from Amazon Many of the commenters said they bought it to use with a canner, so I decided to try it, and I am pleased so far. It doesn't heat up underneath. There are many things about the glass-top stove that I like, so I was glad to find this item.

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  2. Elke, thanks so much for stopping by. That's certainly a possiblity (at this point most of the serious canning can wait until next year. I know so many people who love them, but I am used to cooking on gas and prefer the level of control. The glass top came with the house so it will probably be a year before replacement!

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  3. Barb, I just used the leaf cookie cutters yesterday for decorating the top of a cherry pie with pastry cut outs. Looks nice. I am big on the seasons and what each brings. I love Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 - To everything there is a season...There is one garden harvest project left to do - prepare the last zucchini and the last of the carrots for freezing for muffins. I pickled carrots yesterday. The cold room is filled with canned tomatoes, beans, pickles, relish, etc. with garden produce in the freezer as well. The garden keeps me active during the summer months and reduces food costs in the winter. I love going to the cold room and freezer and making a meal plan vs going to the grocery store. I call this shopping at home. I'm thinking of decorating Halloween cookies for the few neighbor kids who come trick or treating, another cost saving. In addition, I'll be less tempted to eat the cookies than the chocolate treats!

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  4. In a perfect world someone else would grow the produce (my sister or a farmers market and I would can. Right now I am doing more gift stuff like a cranberry walnut conserve. I have begun restocking the pantry after my move. I plan to make leaf subar cookies..

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  5. Halloween Egg nog... who knew!? lol!!

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  6. When we moved last year, one of the first things we did was convert to a gas stove. As you know, when you cook as much as you and I do, that gas stove is your best friend! Love your posts, they always inspire me to slow down and savor life a little more.

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    1. Madeline, I'll probably have to wait a year or at least until spring cause there are other house issues and I can cook on this one for now. But boy do I miss my gas cooktoo!! Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. Love those fall festivals, and the fall foods -- cheese soup, corn chowder, pumpkin breads and cakes, crisp apples. And the candy. Let's not forget the Halloween candy!

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    1. Yea, I try to avoid the candy or donate it for the most part. I am not a girl who can eat just a piece.

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