Yesterday we turned the heat on, which must mean that Winter is officially on its way. I love this time of year. The air is crisp, as are the apples. The blankets are cozy, and I want to turn on my oven and bake something. This summer I've put some effort into preserving local fruit and vegetables for the winter. My stash includes chopped and sauced tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, carrots, turnips, squash, chard, kale, and collard greens. I have strawberries, blueberries, and peaches frozen whole for winter treats. There are jars of pickles, relishes, and jams. The freezer holds meat from our CSA share, and there is a revolving supply of frozen beans.
When I think of this bounty, I find myself humming a Scottish song about the difficulties of a highland winter. The last verse goes like this:
A cozy house and a canty wife
Aye, keep a body cheery
A pantry stockt wi' meat and drink
They answer uncouth rarely
Do your worst, Old Man Winter, we're ready for you!