Saturday, September 23, 2017

James Says "HI!"

It is a beautiful sunny day and at 7:45 this morning I took his picture when the sun was shining on him as it soon moves on and he is then a shady character. He summered well and had some preservative applied a couple of weeks ago. Too bad that stuff won't do me any good!
Please click on image to view larger

In case you are new here, you might like to know that "James" is James Marshall Folkner, Spiritual Guardian of Cabin Tranquillity. He arrived here in 2010 and plans to stay as long as he can. (James Marshall Folkner was my mother's maternal grandfather.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wild Things

Feral? Or not feral? are the questions. Today on my golf car ride I spotted this beautiful creature hiding in the bushes by the roadside. I spent several minutes trying to coax it out seeing that it looked to be in fine furry shape. It finally came out but then ran across the road and across the lawn to the waters' edge. The area was not at all near homes but I think someone must be feeding it. There was no way I could determine if it was male or female because it kept a distance and was a bit fearful acting but also showed a slight inclination of being somewhat friendly at the same time. This is the second one I've spotted recently.
Now the fernlike leafy growths in the old rock garden have blooms and I've finally determined what they are. In August I took a close shot of the leaves and no one could tell me. First image. Now that I have flowers I can be sure. I was confused because there are several varieties with different leaf structure. See the link below for more about Common Tansy.

please click on any image to view larger

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

To the Orchard We Went

It's that time of year and I'm excited to see the great apples on display. Of course there are also plums, grapes and other good things but it's the apples and the freshly made and bottled cider that I look forward to bringing home. The peaches and tart cherries are gone.  This is our first trip out and is about 24 miles each way. We used to not be able to go until returning from our beach place in SC each November, but times have changed. It is better to start early!
We bought 4 half gallons of cider, and a half bushel of Macouns today. There are currently seven varieties of apples available. Macouns are my favorite. (Back in the early 70's picking them from trees in another orchard was my first job when we first moved permanently in PA.) I freeze the cider after topping it down and we definitely plan to get more. It is soooooo delicious. I even have friends in NJ who want me to save them some, and I do. My yearly supply will last until next August! Yes, that is the truth. At the end I have to ration it so we don't run out before more containers fill the entire top shelf of the freezer again.
The orchard folk save "oddities" and this year, since we're early and the sorting continues in their back room, there will be more. We were told that the hail damaged many, leaving spots (dings) and holes, sometimes large. Another oddity I saw was one that is called a "bellybutton." Yes, and I know why. See?
The next trip out will be for more apples, cider and perhaps even pumpkins, squash and gourds. Piper and Murphy will greet us again. Lovely and friendly dogs! Jeannie and Roger and the entire staff are such friendly and nice people who bend over backwards to assist their visitors. We love Jayne's Orchard. I'll try to take more pictures the next time. 
Please click on image to view larger



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday Rideabout

It was a gorgeous day for a golf car ride and I was energized by the beautiful things around me. First there was the feral cat sleeping on an abandoned walkway over the creek at the lake's edge. No matter how I tried to get his attention to move he just looked at me in disdain and went back to sleep. See if YOU can spot him in the first picture! He's a beauty!
The Norway Spruce trees are producing more and more pine cones than ever! Does that mean it will be a hard winter? I hope not. This tree took my breath away with its beauty!
The neighbor's apple tree is full of apples. Someone better get busy so they don't go to waste. Well, they really won't because the deer and bears will enjoy them. A critter has already enjoyed the berries and left a mark in their driveway!
The backside (down side) of the dam has been mowed and mulched according to the dam laws. I preferred seeing the wildflowers and grasses but it must be done every year and will soon be inspected.
 And my day ended with a beautiful rainbow!!! 

please click on image to view larger

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Three Honey Crisp Apples

I first bought these apples to just eat raw. Then I forgot about them when finishing off all of my peaches. Today I baked them and the recipe was a new one I found "somewhere" on the internet. It looked simple and easy and it was. It was called snack cake but I would call it sweet apple pudding.

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 to 3 apples, peeled and diced
1/2 C butter, melted
2C graham cracker crumbs

Directions
Blend sugar, butter and eggs in bowl with a spoon
Stir in graham cracker crumbs and apples
Spread into a greased 8"x 8" pan
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until firm to the touch.
Sprinkle liberally with confectioner's sugar (I used cinnamon sugar)
Cool and cut into squares.

My comments: After baking, it seemed to be a bit too wet to hold together well as a solid square but definitely was super delicious. I'd recommend having a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. (Perhaps I could have baked it longer as the Honey Crisp apples were very juicy.)
please click on image to view larger

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Next in Line are Apples

I dried my last four peaches and this batch will be enough to make either a pie or a cobbler early next year. I'm "Peached OUT!"
I have made two batches of dried peaches, peach leather, one bagful of frozen pieces, one peach bread loaf, two peach pies and three peach cobblers. My brother makes the jams. 

Next will be APPLES! I love making and freezing applesauce and having apple pies, apple cakes and baked apples always available to eat during the season and saving some for the year to come. Then there is the cider haul from our nearby and wonderful orchard where we get the apples and pumpkins too. This is one of last year's purchases.
In the autumn I always think it is my favorite season - then in the spring I change my mind and believe it to be my favorite season. Do you think like me about the seasons?
To be inspired, please click on the image to view larger.

Monday, September 11, 2017

911

He still wears the same shirt on this day. We will always remember...

click on link below