Saturday, October 29, 2016

Life in Our World -- The Last Days of October

We butchered the hogs.  They were a funny batch and I'll miss their grunts and squeals when they were fed a bucket of slop.  It's always a bit humbling on butcher day when you remember that your well-being and energy comes from an animal's end.

Biscuits and sausage gravy will be the first thing on the menu.  

The water has been turned off in the canal, the first freeze killed the tomato vines, and we harvested the last of the garden.  Bitter sweet.

For family home evening we voted.  

When Washington State switched to a mail-in-only ballot, I was sad.  I liked the levers, the click and the voting booth curtain.  I liked the quick results announced in the evening.  

Where I grew up in Southern Idaho, voting was an important duty.  Folks voted at the grange hall or the school, depending.  It took a long time to vote, too, because neighbors gathered in small circles, or talked over their pick-up hoods about the weather, the crops, the harvest, the other neighbors, and recipes.  Voting day was as important to building our sense of community as the county fair and the annual grade school Christmas Play. 

When I became an adult, I served as an election judge.  The other judges and I swapped recipes, stitched handwork, and visited with the voters.  I still have one of Carolyn's recipes:

Carolyn’s Cheese Cake

1 small box Ritz crackers
1 cube butter

Crush crackers and mix with melted butter.  Press into a 9” x 13” pan. 


2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

Pour over cracker crumbs.  Top with cherry, raspberry, or blueberry pie filling.  Cover and chill 2 hours before serving.

Voting is no longer a community building event where we live now; however, a big perk to mail-in-ballots is that you can use the voter's pamphlet and information on the internet as you fill in the circles.  On lengthy ballots, like ours was this year, that is very helpful.  

Today we went on an 18 mile bike ride . . . in the mountains . . . in the pouring rain . . . with four other people (kind of sounds like it's my accusations from a game of "Clue" doesn't it?)

Calvin swears we went 36 miles and it was all uphill.

Our bones are jelly-fied tonight, but we had a fun day with great people and lively conversations in a beautiful part of the world that smelled earthy and rich.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Jane, I so agree with you about voting. I remember taking my kids with me to show them the process and feeling so proud to wear my "I voted" sticker around the rest of the day, encouraging others to do so as well. I loved the ladies that volunteered there. They were, just as you said, working on their stitching projects. What a fun memory you brought to life. And the biking; I hope you and Calvin aren't training for a triathalon.