By Mary Honrud
For the Courier 

Fall Clean-Up

 

October 14, 2020

Mary Honrud / For the Courier

These leaves were a gorgeous yellow for about three days.

This is the time of year I'm thoroughly tired of gardening. I'm ready for it to be finished. The wheat crop is all in the bins, the trees are turning color and dropping leaves like crazy, and I'm over it. Fall doesn't fill me with hope and enthusiasm like spring does.

The dahlias and gladiola bulbs have all been dug. They've been drying in the garage for a few days. Soon I'll cut the tops of them and layer them atop and between old burlap potato sacks in the Styrofoam cooler I've used for them before. (That cooler is no good for anything else by now.) They'll be stored in the shop for the winter.

The hoses are rolled up, ready to be stored. Most of the drip system is likewise rolled up. The chewed up section (darned raccoons!) will need replacing. The line that's under the red plastic mulch under the tomato row is still in place. I'll get to that once I remove those plants and pull up that mulch.

The carrots still need to be dug, washed, bagged, and stored. The broccoli is gone, but the brussel sprouts are still there, as is my celery and parsley, and the three red cabbages. There are a few mature squash to bring in.

I'd grown too many beets, so I offered them on the Opheim community FB page. So far, I've had two takers, only one of whom has actually shown up. She hauled a half a bucketful away. If the other taker doesn't come, she said she'd come back for the rest.


The fencing I use for my short rows of peas was untied from the posts. Those two pieces of fencing are (semi-) neatly rolled up. They'll spend the winter lying between the asparagus and rhubarb/honeyberry rows since I don't till there. In fact, I now have the old conveyor belts, from the two drive-over augers that quit conveying, rolled out between those two rows and the next one up. No weeds will grow through that heavy belting and I won't have to worry about muddy feet when walking there.

The posts the pea fencing had been attached to have been pulled. My garden is surrounded by fence posts to which I attach wiring for my electric fence. The five at the top also get pulled every fall so I can get in there in the spring to till with the garden tractor. I never feel like tilling in the fall.

I had to search a bit for the recipe I'd promised to share. That cake is long gone, and it will be a while before I make another since the Whole Life Fall Challenge just started. So no sugar or white flour for me the next six weeks. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy cake. I learned that if you don't have cake flour, you can do this: remove 2 Tbl regular flour from each cup, replace it with 2 Tbl cornstarch, and whisk it together.


Lemon Cake from Scratch

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 C sugar

4 large eggs

3 C cake flour

Zest from 2 lemons

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 C milk

1/4 C lemon juice

1/4 C vegetable oil

1 Tbl lemon extract

Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 8" cake pans (or use three if you want more filling between layers).

Whisk together the flour, zest, salt, baking powder, and soda. Set aside.

Whisk together the milk, juice, oil, and extract. Set aside.

Beat butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, mix on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the yellow disappears. Add the flour mix and the milk, mix alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until smooth and combined, but don't over mix.

Pour into prepared pans, smoothing tops. Bake two pans for 30-35 minutes, three pans for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then on racks until completely cool.

I made mine in a 9x13" pan, and baked an extra 5 minutes or so. I frosted with this raspberry and cream cheese recipe. I don't remember sharing this one before and I'm too lazy to go check my stack of saved Couriers. I think I only shared a raspberry frosting recipe without cream cheese. (That recipe would also work here, but I wanted to try the cream cheese one.)


Fresh Raspberry Frosting with Cream Cheese

1 C raspberries (fresh OR frozen)

2 Tbl sugar

1/2 C softened butter

4 oz cream cheese

2 C powdered sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

Combine the berries and 2 Tbl sugar in a small pan. Cook and stir over medium/low heat, stirring and mashing the berries. Strain and cool.

Cream the butter and cheese together. Add 1 C of the powdered sugar, then the pureed berries and the vanilla, beating until smooth. Add enough additional powdered sugar to make the frosting the consistency you want.

Store air tight.

This frosting is also good for graham cracker sandwich "cookies." (The other raspberry frosting was also delicious on graham crackers.)

 

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