By Rosalyn Queen
If you ask me what my favorite month is, I would probably say October. The main reason being it is my birth month and I love getting cards, presents and especially dinner outings with my friends and family. But beyond this there are many other reasons.
How about the leaves and the beauty fall brings to our state. A trip,to,the mountains is an awe inspiring experience . The only thing is you have to be able to go quickly as the weather will strip away the beauty. And you might even complain but how about the fun you have raking leaves and jumping into a pile of them. When evening comes you have the starting of a nice bon fire.
October also means the mushrooms are here. Thanks to my friends, John and Mary Barnett, I have been able to get enough ready for our holiday feasting. My first batch I canned in sauce with peppers. The peppers were those that I got at the Farmers Market. My brother and his wife were in from Florida and I was able to,share a pint with them. The next couple batches, I cleaned, par boiled and put them in the fridge. When I had enough I put them in the crock. A short reminder on putting these down. Chop up. Several thin skin peppers, sweet or hot, chop up a clove of garlic, have fresh mint handy and use canning salt. Layer the mushrooms, the pepper, garlic mixture, place the mint on top, cover with salt and continue the layers until finished. Place a plate on top with a weight and wait. They will be ready a week or so before our Christmas Eve dinner. If I get any more I will par boil them and can them In Pint jars to use this winter as fried hor deourves. I was able to get green tomatoes at the market and so I put them down in a crock using the same method as the mushrooms, except you substitute fennel seed for the mint. All of the dishes are delicious but what memories I have of mom and dad. The last thing I am working on is apple sauce. I am preparing by cooking it overnight in the crock pot, seasoning it with cinnamon and sugar and placing it in zip lock bags in the freezer. Can you believe that all of this would be a few of my favorite things?
Being the celebrity month that it is, I want to thank my children and sister, Cheryl Mahaulic, my brother Bill and Dani, my friend MaryJordan and all those who stopped by for helping me celebrate my birthday and treating me to a meal.
My Basil book that Wanda Ashcroft sent had a unique way to preserve basil..It is now near the end of the season for fresh basil outdoors. If you have a large plant with a lot of leaves. Cut the leaves at the stem, wash and dry them thoroughly. Get a pint jar, place and eighth inch oil in the bottom. Layer the leaves in two layers and cover with oil. Continue doing this until you reach the top of the jar. Be sure oil covers the leaves on top.Add a teaspoon of salt. Use a sealing lid and close the jar. Keep the basil in the fridge and use as needed . I have mine in the fridge but have not used it. I hope I will be able to compliment my winter tomato salad. Will keep you posted. Of course if you have a green thumb. You may. Be able to plant fresh basil from seed and have most of the winter.
Another reminder, it will soon be pita Piata time. The PWA will be selling the Monday after Thanksgiving. Be sure to place your advance order as we will be making a limited amount. The number is 304 624 6881.
I hope I run into you in the mountains and until next week “now you have heard it through the grapevine.”