November on the Hilltop Homestead [2021 edition]

November has arrived at the hilltop, and with it, frosty mornings. Our days barely get to 50 degrees, but we have sunshine so it seems warm enough.

These November mornings, though, coat our hillsides with a layer of frost. The colors have changed dramatically, especially since the fields around us have been harvested. What little green remains seems to shrink to smaller patches each day.

The blue of the sky has started to shift to a less vibrant hue, segueing to the pale blue that accompanies the winter season.

A few of the hens have patchy feather cover, as I’m sure they’ve begun their molt. Most of the hens still look picture-perfect, and the roosters appear quite regal. We brought in 12 eggs from 13 laying hens today, so egg production hasn’t slowed much with the onset of the cooler November temperatures.

Soup has become a staple in our meal menus. This week alone, we had beef stew, broccoli cheese soup, chicken noodle soup, and our all-time favorite cheesy potato soup. The colder mornings make us eager for a bowl of hot soup for lunch (provided there are plenty of crackers to accompany the spoonfuls of flavor).

I was battling a cold this week. Thankfully, it seems to have seen itself out, but it made for a lousy several days. I somehow managed to get every meal made and canned some grape jelly.

Tonight, I threw together a french toast bake for breakfast tomorrow. Everything is pieced together and waiting in the fridge. In the morning, I’ll pop it in the toaster oven for a thorough bake and the kids will have yet another enjoyable hot breakfast.

We didn’t deviate from our menu at all this week, and for whatever reason, that’s a really good feeling. Every day, I look ahead to see what needs to be taken out of the freezer, made in advance, or set out from the pantry. This has saved my sanity and our appetites by having weeks of our meals planned ahead of time.

That preparation is also why I remembered tonight I needed to get tomorrow’s breakfast started ahead of time.

I’m sure there’s a recipe for french toast bake somewhere, because I know I used to make it often several (several) years ago, but I was winging it tonight and I’m sure it will be delicious tomorrow.

There isn’t anything new to report on these days. We’re enjoying our rhythm of our November fall (that, I’m sure, will be completely obliterated for awhile once the time change happens. I hate the time changes).

Hot tea, hot soups. and hot showers are the three things I’m most thankful for these days.

Here’s to November. To fall. Here’s to life at the hilltop homestead.

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