Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pecans, a Pummelo, and More

Fall is here in all its glory. We’ve got camellias and sasanquas blooming like crazy, and our beech trees have turned gold. Bright satsumas and lemons hang like ornaments, like Christmas balls. The ageratum has turned ghostly. In the late afternoons the sun gets so dramatic, slanting through the meadow garden. It lights up all the downy seed heads and makes them shimmer and sparkle.

A Shi Shi Gashira sasanqua

The chilly weather is definitely a bad influence on our cats. They are so lazy. These days most all they do is lie on the heat vents and sleep (while getting blasted with hot air), or sleep in our laps, trapping us (“Well, I guess I’ll be sitting here for a while,” Rob will say, “because I can’t disturb Frankie.”).

Becky doing bunny paws in a sunbeam

This weekend was pretty cozy, full of fall-y activities. We raked leaves and stored them away in the garage so we can use them later in our compost bins. We popped popcorn and made cranberry sauce and picked baskets of satsumas and collards and hot peppers. We even picked our first pummeloit was melon-sized and so mild and sweet.

Some of the satsumas we picked

The great pummelo

Our Tabasco peppers are really going strong right now. Our two plants look like little candy trees because they’re covered in bright shiny petite peppers that make me think of Mike and Ikes and Hot Tamales. The peppers are green, yellow, orange, and red. This weekend as Rob and I were picking them, we were talking about how cute they are. “I think they should be called gumdrop peppers,” Rob said.

On Saturday night we sat around the kitchen table and cracked pecans from our own trees. It was really fun. We weren’t hurrying. We were taking our time. I was drinking hot lemonade (made with our own Meyer lemons) and wearing my new plaid pajamas (I love new pajamas). The cats were gathered around, of course, and we were having dumb little conversations about them.

“Has Carl told you about his part in the school Christmas pageant?” I asked at one point. I always pretend that Carl goes to school and piano lessons and such even though he’s a cat. In my games he’s a cat, but he's fully integrated into human society. He's a cat, but nobody seems to notice. “His class is singing 'Silent Night,' and he's playing the triangle.”

“You must be very proud,” Rob said.

“Oh, I am. I need to go to Dillard's and get myself a new dress to wear.”

Sweet Carl. I pretend he goes to private school. Nothing but the best for Carl.

Rob had never cracked pecans before, but I’m an old hand. When I was a kid, our family would often crack pecans on cold winter nights. My brother and sisters and I would sit at our kitchen table in our pajamas and pick at the nuts with dental tools. Often the heat didn’t work in our house, so we’d turn on the oven and open the door so the warmth would pour out. The oven was like a little fireplace. We'd tell lots of jokes and eat funny, delicious snacksmaybe Velveeta cheese melted on saltines, or Velveeta melted on popcorn. Whatever it was, Velveeta was generally involved.

One of my little displaysvintage chowder bowls and cordial glasses. I just thought I'd show you what I see when I'm cracking pecans.

A pleasant corner of the china cabinet


  1. What a delightful autumn post, filled with love, beauty and humor.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    FlowerLady Lorraine

  2. I completely agree with FlowerLady. . . .

    And a pecan tree? How wonderful is that? Might I add that I'm jealous!?

    Great pictures . . . great post ~ as always.


  3. So glad that the simple life is alive and well. I remember when I was a kid there was a BIG pecan tree in the center of a road that forked at the end of Umatilla and the beginning of the Ocala National Forest. It was always beautiful and stately to me.

    Glad you are enjoying the wonderful cool autumn weather. It has been steadily chilly down here in the center of the state as well. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

  4. Thank you all! You really are too kind. Hope everybody has a great Thanksgiving!

    Sharon, you've really got great taste. Carl is the cutest!

  5. What cute pictures of Becky and Carl! I can't wait for his recital.

  6. Oh, I'm so glad you're coming. And I can't wait to see the pictures of Puff and Sophie at the Winter Dance!

  7. Camellias are my favorite flowers but can't grow in Zone 6, yet. (global warming??? Not familiar with pummelo but its sheer size is impressive. Feeling like some hot lemonade with temps in mid-twenties today.