colors of fall
- The Simple Life
By Sheryl Simons
~~~ Simplicity of life has far more to do with the person than the
"Blessed are they who have the gift of making friends, for it is one
of God's best gifts. It involves many things, but above all, the
power of going out of one's self, and appreciating whatever is noble
and loving in another." ~~ Helen Keller
* * *
Fall is here, already giving us glimpses of her color along the
roadways and in our yards. Notice trees that are colorful and find
out what they are. You may want to invest in them for next year.
Fall is the best time to transplant a tree, definitely not in the
middle of summer, when foolish marketers push them on us. We may be
in the "mood" to plant a tree in June, but this is the most
stressful time for the tree. If you can find healthy trees and
plants in the fall, this is the time to let them get a start. They
will go dormant as the weather cools, and be ready to grow with
vigor come spring!
Start planning next years garden now. What worked for you this
year? What didn't? Focusing on one good crop is better than trying
to grow everything and not doing any of them well. Maybe just having
a whiskey barrel of cheery tomatoes is all you can handle. Hey,
that's great! You can still feel like a gardener.
Remember, for canning, anything other than fruit and tomatoes needs
to be pressure canned, not just hot water boiled. If you find a jar
that didn't seal right, use right away, or discard immediately.
* * *
Juice Box warning: I talked to a very nice grandfather recently,
who told a horror story of his young 7 year old grandson, who had
lost nearly all his baby teeth. He was taken to 3 different
dentists to find the cause of the problem. All dentists claimed the
same problem juice boxes. The parents had mistakenly thought that
juice boxes, containing juice, instead of soda, were a healthy drink
for their child. It seems that since the juice is drank through a
straw, and the high acid of the juice, the juice stays around the
teeth longer, causing a deterioration of the teeth. While this was
happening, they discussed this matter with the pastor of their
church, to find that the same thing had happened to his
granddaughter! The dentists actually said that the soda would have
been less harmful to the childrens' teeth. It seems that whatever a
child drinks, a cup would be the best. Milk and water are the
healthiest choices, as well, as eating the fruit instead of drinking
juice, for instance eating an apple, instead of drinking apple juice.
"Count no day lost in which you waited your turn, took only your
share and sought advantage overno one" ~~Robert Brault
On busy days, don't go for drive through, go for Stir fry! if I
keep ingredients handy in the pantry and refrigerator for simple
meal prep, I can have dinner on the table in a flash.
Including the prep time of chopping up meats and veggies, you can
usually have a stir-fry meal on the table from start to finish in
about 15 - 20 minutes. It's just a
simple process where you rapidly cook meat and vegetables in a small
amount of oil. Stir-frying is similar to I do most of my stir-
frying in my large heavy skillet on the stovetop because I don't
have enough storage in my kitchen to keep a wok handy.
With a quick search online, you'll discover that the internet's
full of stir-fry recipes -- and all for free! Don't you just love
Simple stir fry tips:
1) You want the oil in your wok or frying pan hot enough that it's
slightly smoking, otherwise the stir-frying will be too slow and
your vegetables will be limp.
2) Cut your ingredients into thin, bite-sized pieces so they'll cook
evenly and quickly.
3) Cook the meat first, remove from the pan, and then cook the
vegetables. Add the meat back into the pan at the end of cooking.
This keeps the flavors distinct and separate, and also keeps the
meat from overcooking.
4) If you have ingredients that need to be added at different times
in the cooking process, chop them up ahead of time and put them onto
separate plates. Then
you can just pick up the plate and dump the contents directly into
the wok or frying pan as needed. Cut up everything first you can't
stop the cooking process to chop!
5) Once you start cooking, keep stirring and tossing constantly or
things will burn or cook unevenly.
6) Fresh vegetables are wonderful in stir-fry meals, so when your
summer garden really starts producing, you're in the middle of stir-
Keep lots of fresh veggies on hand, and watch for sales to keep
items at low cost.
Simple, fast and easy stir-frying, everyone!
* * *
Many of cannot resist planting some summer bulbs such as Glads,
Dahlias, or Cannas, that are beautiful but cannot survive the cold
of winter. What is the best way to deal with these come fall?
Let the frost kill back the above-ground foliage the while the
valuable bulb lies protected underground where latent heat keeps the
temperature quite cozy. Lift and store bulbs no later than the end
Most tender bulbs are similarly protected. Gladiolus, Calla
lilies, Caladiums and others can be dug and stored in a cool
basement after a touch of frost. When storing bulbs dry over winter
there are a few simple basic rules to follow to ensure success.
Discard any roots, corms, etc. that appear punky and cracked, or
slimy. Dry rot and bacterial rot can be easily controlled in your
borders by trashing infected members at the end of each growing
Before storing do not wash the bulbs to clean off excess soil.
Gently knock soil free without rubbing. Washing can scratch the skin
thereby providing an entry point for disease organisms.
Store the bulbs in a paper bag allowing for adequate air
circulation. Stored bulbs should not be jostled during their cool
rest period in your basement.
Amaryllis that have been treated to the great outdoors may be
brought indoors now and allowed to dry out. This induces a dry
dormancy to which this plant is normally accustomed in its native
tropical America. Allow 3 months of dormancy before watering again
(about mid February). Then with renewed vigor your Amaryllis will
begin a new flowering cycle.
There is still time left to repot houseplants for winter. Most
houseplants thrive in the great outdoors during summer weather. Be
sure to bring in before frost hits. Repotting will help eliminate
any bugs that have invaded your soil, and give the plant a boost.
Indoor plants are yet fairly active at this time, and they can still
tolerate the stress of repotting. As November arrives and daylight
decreases they will not be so forgiving. Make time soon.
Keeping it Simple,