It seems like every month in the Yukon has some special thing for us to experience, and September has brought cranberry and mossberry harvesting season.
Although the locations of wild blueberry patches around here are secretly guarded and passed down in families, I have discovered a simple way to find great spots for collecting wild cranberries and mossberries: walk out the back door, into the woods, and then look closely at the ground for the most beautiful, perfect little universe of moss and lichen. Voila! In this little neighbourhood will be berries as far as the eye can see. The wild cranberries are smaller and tangier than commercially available ones, and have an incredible taste. They're called lingonberries in other countries, including Ikea :) The mossberries are juicy and are faintly sweet. I've been out collecting most evenings this week, and have about 12 cups of berries in the freezer, and a fantastic calm from being alone in the forest.
We've only used the berries in one dish so far, a cranberry-mossberry upside-down cake (it did not look this good, but tasted great)
It was our Labour Day dessert, along with a chicken that Colin harvested, which we cooked in the crock pot, and were extremely pleased with ourselves at how well it turned out. What a great wedding present that huge Tabasco crock pot was! It will really come in handy for warm meals over the cold winter. Since I plan on continuing to collect berries until they disappear under the snow, we're going to have to come up with some other recipes. I heard at work that you can make cranberry moonshine, and Mom has passed along some good ones too.
Bike-joring with the dogs is going well, and although initially Smiley was the star runner of the two, since we started feeding Cookie the chicken heads and feet that Colin brought home after harvesting, she's been running at lightening speed, and almost pulling Smiley along when we link them together with the neck line. Smiley is still the most reliable and listens to commands the best (espcially 'on bye!')- Cookie will dash to the side of the road if the mood hits her. Since coming home after our NWT road trip, the dogs are even more affectionate, and every time they see us now, they will both jump up, turn around on their hind legs so that they are facing away from us, and then back themselves into us so that their backs are snuggled into our fronts. It's the nicest feeling :)
In the second week of September we have found ourselves in the middle of autumn here in Mt. Lorne. The pink of the fireweed flower has morphed into a beautiful orange and red on the tall leaves, and there are yellow poplars, and purple bushes to add to the rainbow.
Check out these photos from around Whitehorse in the awesome Yukon News It's pants and sweater weather in the evenings, and double-quilt weather at night. Thank goodness for the quilters in the family!
We're all set for extra blankets and for our upcoming guests- Jess Sellers arrives on Monday, and Justin and Lil will be here on the 19th. Among our recommended things for our pals to bring along are slippers for our cold floors, and four-season tents for camping. We have to be prepared with warm gear to have fun outdoors now!
And finally, the back windshield of the Rav4 is still covered with the plastic given to us in Fort MacPherson, and my attempts at having the it replaced were thwarted this afternoon. I called the Toyota service shop to confirm that the glass that Colin had ordered had arrived, and Brad said, "I'm really sorry, but it's going to be another week". How come? "The glass we ordered for you shattered in the truck on the way here". Oops!
Colin says hi, everyone!