Weekends at the apple orchard are as good as life gets. Families and individuals arrive to walk among colorful deciduous trees, drink a cup of hot, mulled apple cider and bag some apples for traditional uses in apple butter, pies, sauce and crisps.
Like leaves on the trees, cold brings out the best in people. For an hour or two life seems normal as people dream about what to serve with a holiday dinner at extended family gatherings.
I relish my shifts among such society. There are three more of them this season.
Our annual county party political barbecue and fundraiser happened last night while I was working at the orchard. I donated an item for the silent auction — a four-pack of red pepper flakes and ground spice in an African basket — and attempted to provide desserts.
Instead of producing 24 servings of applesauce cake, I caught the oven on fire with an experiment using almond flour instead of wheat. Luckily the fire extinguisher was fully charged. It took a couple of hours to clean up the mess. I re-baked what I salvaged and can report that after baking soda rises once, there is no second rise. I froze cubes of the result for future home desserts. The plan is to microwave them until hot and serve with a scoop of ice cream or flavored Greek yogurt. Ice cream can cure a lot of things.
Speakers at the fundraiser included local candidates and four outsiders: Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA), and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Democrat from New York City. I’m not aware that any of the speeches are available on line, so the event will pass into the annuals of local scribes without further consideration. I’m curious about what was said, but not that curious. I would like to know if my donation to the silent auction garnered any bids.
2018 has been a punk year in so many ways. October was no different. For every good thing that happened there were two or three to mitigate any joy resulting from it. It feels like a long slog toward winter which unofficially arrives with the end of Daylight Savings Time on Nov. 4, two days before the midterm elections. A darkness is settling in. It is difficult to see where people stand.
I ran into a friend from the board of health at the grocery store after my shift at the orchard. Her husband is a fan of this blog and we talked about my post, Gardening in End Times. Answering the question, what would you do if society were heading for an imminent, irrevocable disaster as in end times, she answered, “I’d work in my garden.” What else is there to do if disaster is coming?
Former U.S. Senate candidate Roxanne Conlin said it better than I could on twitter last night, “I just hope we can check him at the midterms. I’m not sure we will be able to do anything at all in 2020.”
We accept reality as we know it, become better cooks and gardeners, and that’s a life.