Today was mostly cloudy, filled with soft light and late in the afternoon a bit of rain. A good day for working at my desk, which is how I spent the majority of the time. A carbon copy of yesterday—desk work, cloudy skies, light rain. Neither day very cool.
Not very autumn-like yet, the weather. Not very autumn-looking hereabouts, either. The river's water is olive green, about at normal level, and most of the leaves on trees along the banks are still dressed in their various shades of chlorophyll green, with just a hint of yellow. Only the woodbine twining up the sycamores has started to add daubs of crimson to it five-leaf clusters. Fall has yet to start working much magic here at the streamside.
But it was probably that merest hint of autumn, along with the cloudy day and the patter of rain on the roof, that made me think of doing fried cabbage for supper. Or maybe it was the huge, bright-green homegrown cabbage head I bought yesterday at the orchard market up the road where I stopped to sample their latest batch of cider (too sweet, I decided, needing more tart in the mix) and picked up a peck of my favorite first-of-the-season honeycrisp apples.
First I fried up some good hickory-smoked sausage, cut into small chunks, along with about a teaspoon of fresh garlic and a tablespoon of onion, both finely diced, adding maybe a teaspoon of olive oil. I removed the sausage and aromatics from the oil and set them aside in a small dish. Then I sautéd the cabbage. I used half the head, chopped into inch-square bits—adding kosher salt, paprika, and a few red pepper flakes—tossing regularly until tender but not overcooked. At that point the sausage mix went back in, another toss or two, a teaspoon of brown sugar and a good dollop of apple cider vinegar, toss again, and it was finished…and delicious!
In case you're wondering—the carpentry part of my front door project got finished Sunday…well, most of it, the hard, critical work. I still have to add some new trim along the edges of the jambs. And I'm waiting for a warm, sunny day to paint the exterior side; the inside will get new stain and varnish.
The job proved a real bear, I can tell you. Nothing was plumb or square, and given the way it was originally installed, I couldn't change that without getting into a major renovation. All I could do was make adjustments. Not the way it should be done, but the only way it could be done, given my options and the current state of my finances. However, there were times when I thought the only solution was to chuck the whole thing, rip out the wall, charge the cost of brand new everything to whatever piece of plastic worked, and call in the experts with the proper tools to fix my mess.
I quickly got over that notion. Irish stubbornness and frugality won. They were aided by Myladylove's misplaced faith that I was smart enough and sufficiently competent to overcome any situation…a belief I, shamefully, did nothing to discourage. But it was certainly the motivating factor, and likely the reason I fretted and worried and puzzled over the imbroglio long enough that I finally came up with a scheme that worked. Now, to all but the most critically-discerning eye the door's fit appears perfect—certainly more than good enough to pass inspection by any eyes of those likely to do such examining.
My previously right-hand door now opens from the left—swinging against the wall, out of the way, while keeping with common sense design. Unfortunately, Moon-the-Dog, bless her heart, still goes to the old—now the hinge—side when she's ready to be let out. But she's a smart pooch, and will soon learn to not repeat her error—which is doubtless better than I ought to expect of myself.