In The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pa told Laura how they could expect a long cold winter when they came across the biggest muskrat house he had ever seen. He said the animals always knew what was coming. Right now our squirrels are working frantically all day to bury acorns all over our lawn and garden. My Dad has noticed it at his house as well. Fintan even made a squirrel feeder. He cut out a rectangle in an empty cream container and filled it with acorns and set it up on a log for the squirrels. It's really amusing to watch. I'll look out the kitchen window to see one eying the house before and while burying his loot. They seem genuinely concerned about us catching them or knowing where they are storing all their acorns.
I am fairly confident we won't have to scour the yard this winter for their acorns though. I have been working this past few months to put aside our own food for the winter. We have canned food and dried food from the garden and stocked up from the store and Farmer's Market. It's really helped with David's job loss to have a full pantry to help with grocery expenses.
Last night David made some curry. I asked him about one of the ingredients because it looked like apple slices in it but it was my dried eggplant. We were both really impressed with it! I had been thinking that I was not going to bother planting eggplant next year because I just can't think of a lot of ways to eat it fresh. But I started slicing and drying them this summer because I hated to see them go to waste. I am so glad I did. They really added something special to the curry with their taste and their texture. We had chicken in our curry but we could definitely make a vegetarian curry and not miss the meat all that much if at all.
We didn't appreciate the tomatillos that I planted all that much either till the end of the summer when we realized what a great salsa verde we could make with them. They are definitely being planted next year as well. I was pretty disappointed that the purple tomatillos weren't really purple. Only a handful ever turned purple and I know I was very careful about keeping track of them seperately from the green tomatillos.
So how are your squirrels acting?