Saturday, November 2, 2019

Squirrelling :-)

It's autumn.
Isn't it lovely?

One of my favorite things about autumn is the smell.
I know, that sounds a little weird,
but the crispness in the air brings about a scent that notes the season.
The other thing that begins to happen is the oven can be used again.
During summer months, we do more barbequing or simple meals 
that don't require a lot of cooking time. 
Now we can bring out the crockpot or
put a roast in the oven.
We tend to start nesting
or as I like to call it "Squirrelling."
I am hesitant to even use that word as folks go straight in their mind to women.
But men nest too, it just looks different.
Women tend to bring the throws out of storage and clean and arrange certain areas of the home for the upcoming season.
While men tend to sharpen blades, store certain things until next spring and
prepare for upcoming weather and tasks.
So you see it's the same really. . . . but different.
And there are scents that go along with those activities.
Woodsmoke, pot roast, a favorite candle~
And even better - spices.
I love spiced cookies.
I finally made a batch of speculaas which I hadn't made in about 7 years.
They are so good, I could eat the whole batch.
Woe is me!
I put most of them in the freezer to keep them out of easy reach.
Another favorite is spiced apple anything.
It's apple season.
Hubby likes when I slice them, sprinkle them with cinnamon and dehydrate them.
My mother-in-law tried them a while back.
I gave her a jar.
She later informed me she ate the whole jar before she got home.
I told her she should stay close to home for a day ;-)

There is a recipe I have that is actually scribed into the bottom of an apple shaped dish.
I usually do make it with apples, but have also made it with other fruits.
One more thing about autumn is we tend to begin gathering.
Critters do this as well this time of year.
I always find it interesting when people follow suit with nature unknowingly.
If you have a gathering to host or attend,
this recipe has served me well.
I hope you enjoy it also.

Oh yea, if you would like some spiced cider to go with it,
you can find my recipe for that here.

Apple Torte~

Before you get too far, let me share.  
I don't actually mix the apples in with the dough.
They don't really"mix" well.
The dough is a little dry-ish but never fear, 
the juice from the apples moistens it.
I just put down a layer of apples then some dough crumbles, 
then apples then dough, etc. 


One other warning~
I measure generously when I am making the dough,
because I'm pretty sure it is physically impossible not to snitch a bite of the dough :-)


That is some cinnamon apple goodness right there.
Serve with Homemade Vanilla Icecream and enjoy!

Happy Fall~

Monday, October 14, 2019

That Place Still Exists

"But that was a different time."
"That's all changed now."
"None of it's there anymore."
"There's nothing left there now."

Those are comments I'm sure we've all heard many a time.
They are spoken with a tone of remorse, sadness.
Usually what preceeds it is a wonderful memory of an instance
or event that is fondly recalled and with a grin or smile
which softens the face of the speaker.
The eyes sparkle with the reflection of the film that plays in the minds eye.
And the tone of voice is rejouvenated and is pitched 
in accordance with the event be it exciting or severe.
Once the tale is spun full length, it's snuffed out
by one of the phrases above.

Peculiar as it might seem, 
those recounted scenes are still alive and present.
Contrary to what is usually hurled at us as the current state,
there are still good folks out there,
funny folks out there,
hard-working folks out there,
and kind and generous folks out there.
Out where you might ask~

Well, there's this door. . . 
(Source)

There's something I've said so many times over the years I've lost count.
"Whatever you look for, that's what you'll find."
Rather than taking what is being hurled at you,
maybe look for your own truth.
There's a place where a door is held open.
There's a place where people are smiling and friendly.
There's a place where a hand is offered,
where "Thank you," is said,
where a load is bared,
where a compliment is paid,
where a "Good Morning," is heard.
There is a certain kind of gravity that pulls folks 
to one who is in tune with such occurrences.
There will always be someone who will fill in the role as sour grapes.
It's pretty seldom that anyone gravitates towards them.
Most folks still appreciate kindness, and 
there are still plenty of baby boomers and generations
sandwiching them on either side who know how it was before,
who've been there.
There is as much work to do now as ever there was.
And believe it or not, folks who are willing
though their experience might be lacking.
We take them by the hand and show them, not shame them.
Yes, the wheel of time continues to roll forth.
That is a given.
Isn't it a comfort to be able to count on such a thing?
We can look back and reminisce and on the very same reel 
is a projection of what's yet to come.
If we have any part to play,
why wouldn't we choose the better ending.
If we can share and create value,
shouldn't we?
We have the ability to make that change,
to bring it back, or
to keep it here where it belongs.
We don't need to turn back time after all,
because that place still exists.
I hear you asking again,
"Where?"

Well, that door above~
It's the door to my home.
Is it the door to yours too?





Monday, September 30, 2019

First Snow

This weekend we went over the mountain to see some friends.
It snowed!
September 28th - the first snow!
That's crazy.
(Had to get a pix in a spot where it wasn't snowing so you can actually see.)

I've heard from a few sources now that winter will be harsh this year.
It's interesting how Mother Nature makes provisions
to feed and care for her critters..
I mentioned earlier that the elderberry trees were loaded.
Between last weekend and this weekend being in the mountains
(or passing through,)
I've also noticed the mountain ash berries and rosehips
are both abundant this year as well.
Image result for mountain ash berries
We've not yet had snow down here in the valley,
but it's cold.  The high yesterday was 48*.
I've been getting the garden put to bed and trying to get things cleaned up and ready for "the snow goose to molt" while flying over.
Heehee.
We have to have that sort of goofy humor when we are talking snow in Sept.
I was hoping the spaghetti squash would ripen a little more
before I had to pick them, but I might just have to get them in.
There was a light frost this morning so I'll take that as a warning.
I am looking forward to not mowing the lawn at two houses though.

Still praying for the right folks to find our mountain house.
It's so beautiful with so many attributes.
Then next summer I will only have one yard to tend.




Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Learning the Old Ways

Have you ever thought about
just spending a week in history?
Or even a day for that matter?

Over the past several years, I have had a garden,
canned , made soap and lotion,
learned to spin - well...sorta,
tanned hides, and used a loom.
Some of these things were "once 'round",
but I tried them out and learned something.

Growing up on a ranch and living out of town,
we did plenty of make do or do without
which is a saying that seems to have come back into fashion.

I've put up hay,
had my arm up the south end of various critters,
fed, fattened, and butchered others,
made feeders with nothing more than scrap wood,
a few previously used nails and a skill saw. 
(no trip to the hardware store, YouTube, or lumber yard)
However,
there was/is something missing.
And so I digress~

Growing up,
we always looked forward to Grammy's 
home-canned green olives.
(Good Italian family!)
Grammy is my only grandparent left - 95yrs. young.
In talking with her a while back,
I asked her how she made her olives.
Her reply...
"Well, I just do it how Grandma did it."
Meaning her mother, my great-gma.
Of course she did.
My aunt still has the giant crocks she used for curing them.
That knowledge wasn't passed down,
because along came a generation or two
of those who found it easier to buy a can of olives and such things.
As Grammy told me the process, I took notes.

I don't think I am alone
in wanting to restore and preserve the knowledge
not only of the 'how-to'
but also the why and to what end.
Grammy said when she picked olives,
she was very careful with them and
set them in the bucket or they would bruise.
If you just drop them in you would
end up with brown spots on your olives.
That's what I'm talking about.
Those little details of life
that had meaning and reason
that were passed from one generation
to the next seamlessly without even realizing it.

I have a tendency to love talking with
let's say 'well-aged' folks.
My mom says even when I was little 
and other kids shyed away from the old,
I was right there.
Maybe this is part of the reason.
There's something I connect to,
a wisdom I crave,
and a knowledge I may never realize.

I am in a continual state of learning.
Bless my dear husband.
He is so patient as I try out a garden idea,
bring home an antique tool of some sort,
and share tid-bits of facts like
"If you pick green beans with the dew still on,
 they will get rust spots."
We found that out the first year we planted them - 
now we know why.
It would have been so much easier to
learn that from someone
before
we picked them in the early morning dew.
Multiple generations of a family used to live together or
at least within close proximity to one another (generally speaking.)
We are so distant now - in so many ways.


I'm not certain if there is a real point to all this,
or if it's just the sharing of a feeling,
but if it keeps you from picking green beans in the morning, or
encourages you to call and visit your grandma or grandpa
well then,
that is enough.
If you are a g-ma or g-pa, please share.
We need you.

PS Thanks Grams:)