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All of a sudden it was Fall (Autumn)

Another flood this week.  Only 12 feet but enough to close the road and to sink the Grill again. 
The basement remained dry and Daniel and I decided that this weekend we were staying at the house.
Just one night, no shower and only an outside Portaloo make staying any longer unpleasant for us and anyone we meet. 

Temporary sleeping accommodations!
We have all of the camping stuff there and the bedrooms, although not sheet-rocked yet have plenty of space of the air bed.  We wheeled in the de-humidifier and lit the fire in the living room to get the house warmed up.   OK, it's not glamorous but it is our house and I love staying there. 

The new fireplace works fantastically.  It lights easily, doesn't smoke and kicks out a lot of heat.  We had it going for over 12 hours and the house really heated up.  Outside the temperature was only in the 50's but it has definitely turned to Fall/Autumn and there was a distinct chill in the air.

Our new fire place works perfectly.
A little progress this week because we finally received the tubs.  Brian made a rare visit to help put the framing for the baths and then left...he promised the floor and the window this week but we don't believe anything until we see it.   The Tubs are Zuma and will have tile surrounds. 

Guest bath tub in foreground.  Master bath behind.
The big task of the weekend was to prepare for the AGA arriving.  (Yippee).  The chimney guy is coming on October 5th to put in the flues for the AGA and the cast iron stove in the Dining room.  The plaster guys are coming to plaster the kitchen wall some time after the 5th and the AGA arrives around the 10th.  We cleared off the original hearth in the Kitchen.  It's been a nearly a year since I last saw it and it is going to look fantastic.  Not finished, modern but old and falling apart...We are leaving it exactly as it is. 
The old hearth with bluestone flagstones
Hearth and old beehive oven
Deciding the position of the AGA was important as it has to sit to the right of the Beehive.  We were lucky that the width of the AGA was exactly the width of the middle flagstone and the depth of the AGA fitted perfectly between the wall and the far near edge of that flagstone.   With careful measuring Daniel left some very strict and specific instructions for everyone involved.

Working out where the AGA goes

Detail of the plan

 We couldn't work in the garden it was flooded and raining so we did a lot of planning.  We have been forward and back about how to make the garden more "architectural"  a barn, stone wall, fence or stucco.   After much discussion I think we are gravitating to a wall (made of concrete block with a stucco finish ) to create the divide between the service area (where the gas tank, generator and the compost heaps and a storage shed will live) and the kitchen garden. 

Very rough initial sketch of the concept
We need to put a fence around the garden to keep the Woodchucks, Deer and other critters out.   I think it's going to look great.  A little greenhouse structure will have a door/opening in the back to the shed/storage at the rear.  Left of this (between the garden and the road) will be a small orchard.  To the right (down the slope a little) the Paw Paw grove.   The Paw Paw are plentiful this year and absolutely delicious.  I made ice cream with last weeks batch and this week I harvested a huge number that had fallen on the ground.  These really are a forgotten delicacy.  Like healthy custard.

Paw Paw on the tree

All over the ground
With the cold weather closing in I also harvested a batch of green tomatoes to make green tomato chutney.  This has always been one of my favorites and this year I get to make it with my own, home grown end of season tomatoes. 

My recipe -  I don't believe in measures because the amount of liquid depends on the tomatoes.  This year a lot of water.  Also depends how many tomatoes you have.

I had about a 3lb of green tomatoes when cut and cleaned.
About 1 pint (2 cups) of Unfiltered Cider Apple Vinegar
Enough Brown sugar to make it sweet (A cup and a bit I think)
Molasses (make it feel old school)
1 large onion sliced thinly
Raisins (a handfull)
Sliced almonds (had them in the cupboard and they'll add texture)
Spices: cardamom, fennel seeds, whole cumin, caraway and coriander seeds, pink pepper corns, some Worchester Sauce, salt and black pepper)...oh and i added 3 ground, dried chili's just for kicks.

Basically, dissolve sugar/molasses in vinegar in a pan.  Chop up everything else in a bowl and let it sit a bit -  salt gets liquid out of the tomatoes.  If in a hurry remove the liquid if you have time put it all together and reduce until it's syrupy and like a loose chutney.  It will firm up as it cools.  Put in sterilized jars.

Green Tomato Chutney
Reducing still


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