Hunkering down for Autumn | Homesteading Diary [3]

Autumn is here and we are preparing to wind down the gardens and step up work in the kitchens to get some serious learning under our belts!

I've found myself getting very into Autumn this year. Autumnal colours are starting to teeter into my wardrobe, the scent of cinnamon and pine is slowly tiptoeing over the threshold of my house in the form of candles and reed diffusers, and I am all together LOVING the idea that Christmas is on the horizon (that's the last time I'll mention it in this blog post so stay with me Christmas haters). Autumn also means a time to gear up, to hunker down, to prepare the house for winter and fill the pantry with homemade goodness that warms from the tummy to the soul. It's time to fall in love with our home again. 

This Autumn I'll be developing recipes. I have this grand plan...well end goal if you will...that one day, when I'm old and grey, I'll have honed my skills in the garden and the kitchen so well that almost everything in my home is made by my life-worn hands. I want to learn how to make EVERYTHING and even if I decide that the effort to make it is too great to continue doing for a lifetime, just getting to say that I HAVE will be the dream. 

We ran out of mayonnaise this week so I am going to make my own. Ketchup? Once I've worked out how to get more tomatoes into a product than the product can hold (seriously, read the back of your ketchup bottles - 104% tomatoes??) then I'll give it a go. Bread....heck FLOUR. One day I'll sit down in my garden with a sandwich that I have made entirely by myself. Ham that has been sliced from the pork that I reared. Salad leaves lovingly grown in the potting shed. Tomatoes plucked from the greenhouse vines and mayonnaise whipped in the kitchen from the eggs laid by the chickens that morning. If that doesn't sound like utter bliss then I don't know what does. 

Whilst summer is normally taken over by planting and pruning and harvesting, Autumn is a time to delve deep into the recipe books and learn how to make so many of the staples that we enjoy regularly. Chutney is going to be my big thing this year. I want a chutney recipe that can be passed down to my Grandchildren and this year I'm going to start working on it. 

We have big plans for the house in this next season too. We have been consumed with garden work in recent weeks and I want to invest some of our energy into creating a home that we love to be in again. As things develop in our little urban homestead it'll become harder and harder to leave, and I want a home that I love to sit in and just be. A place that feels safe. A place where we can host and relax and just fully enjoy. Decluttering is high on the agenda (ha! I know, I know, I've been saying this for years), and I want to create pockets of space where I can lounge and relax - an armchair with a book here, a houseplant haven there - I would LOVE to totally redecorate and do some interior remodelling but we'll save that for future years. For now, a lot of preparation for next years harvest is also underway. A pantry shelving unit is being built and indoor growing systems are being planned - this time next year we'll have a place filled to the brim with little jars of homegrown goodness.

There'll be a lot to document this season as I learn and fail and learn some more. Baking, growing, composting, over-wintering, sewing, crafting, decorating, preserving....I am going back to my roots and becoming Hollie the Housewife again. 

Until next time...


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