Winter’s “to do” list

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We put the gardens to bed for the winter last week.  While I was pulling up the rows of spent Zinnia flowers, I found two tiny watermelons, hidden beneath the foliage.  They were a pleasant surprise and tasted sweet when I broke one open.

Now is the time to bring out the birdfeeders and fill them with wild bird seed and suet cakes.  Watching them from my kitchen window as I prepare the morning coffee is such a pleasure.

Cleaning, dividing and sorting the dahlia tubers is next on my winter “to do” list.  This was the first year to plant them for us, and I want to be sure the tubers see it through the cold season in storage.   You are supposed to clean the dirt off the dahlia tubers and spray them with a bleach solution to prevent mold before you store them away for the winter. Who knew flowers would be so much work?  I wonder how they would do if I just left them outside in the garden?  The lazy gardener in me says “just do that instead.”  We will see.

November is the season for hearty soup and sandwich suppers, and we enjoy eating by the warm oak wood fire that burns on the hearth.  A favorite soup of ours is quick and easy to make and warms you from the inside on these cool autumn nights.  I’ll share the recipe with you below.

That’s the news from the homestead, see you next week!

Creamy Tortellini Soup

  • 1 lb Italian sausage browned and drained
  • 1 16 oz bag frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 5 oz bag fresh spinach
  • 2 14.5 oz cans Italian style diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese softened and cut into chunks
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Put all ingredients in the slow cooker on low heat.
  • Cook on low for 4-6 hours, occasionally stirring if possible.
  • Stir well and serve in individual bowls.
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