Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pumpkin painting & Pastries




The colors of Autumn are my absolute favorite.
The Farmer's Market, just down the road from us, is just a tiny, whole-in-the-wall kind of place, but the produce that is piled high every fall makes it one of my happy places each year :)
Large bins of apples, pumpkins for days, baskets of plums & juicy red tomatoes.
Today, when I walked through the produce tent, the overwhelming, sweet smell of the Concord grapes, stopped me dead in my tracks. They smelled SO good!


Today the Market was offering Free Pumpkin painting for the children, free juicy drinks, donuts & cinnamon rolls & Ice cream cones for 25 cents each.
The children consumed more sugar in one morning, than I think they get normally in a months time...crazy!







We're suckers for freebies, especially if they involve Fall activities & good food ;)

Husband is headed to the hunting grounds, to set up tree stands & trail cams, with the 3 older children. I'm hoping they walk off all that sugar & get it out of they're system before they get home. 
The 2 little guys & I are taking lazy, Saturday afternoon naps while they're gone.(Netflix & the thunder-storm last night, had me up  much longer than I would've liked)

Happy Saturday!






Thursday, September 15, 2016

Boys will be Boys...

This one is ALL boy...
From the tips of his dust covered toes, to the top of his buzz cut head(hair)...cause it's less work to wash & care for, of course! (His words, not mine)

He's the creative one...minnow traps out of plastic bottles. Fishing lines from a tin can. Spears carved from sticks. If there is something he wants for his next adventure & doesn't have it, he'll make it from anything he can get his hands on.


Countless hours are spent wandering the woods behind our home, with a BB gun in hand & his four-legged sidekick close behind.
The creek provides endless opportunities for him to bring home freshly caught "pets" such as turtles, sun fish, creek chubs & crawdads...


He's an artist.
The images come alive with the scratch of pencil to paper. Animals & cartoons are his favorite things to sketch. 


Hes not a boy...not yet a man...
This age has it's challenges. Yet, we are embracing them. Remembering not so very long ago, our own years of awkwardness, where we didn't always know where we fit in. Where sometimes we needed to be reprimanded like a child & next thing we knew, we were being told,"you are old enough to be responsible for this, that, or the other" 
We remember, so we show grace.


Give him the right book & he'll read for hours...he's our deep thinker, coming up with questions that I may never have the answer to. Even as a toddler, he could sit for extended periods of time, pouring over stacks of picture books...

...no matter what stage of life you're in or what you're interests are, know that we love you. Forever & always.







Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Quiet Days


Coming out of a pretty crazy week, last week & a long weekend for the school kids...Throw in some canning etc., it was pretty crazy.

Today has been different. We've had a quiet day of home-school. Catching up on laundry & putting all the clutter back in it's place.



Between loads of laundry, little man climbed onto my lap, pulled his shirt up & said, Tickle my skin, Mama...Our children have done this for as long as I can remember. Even as babies, when I'd rock them to sleep, it was the one thing that would instantly relax them.


Home-school lunches are pretty simple around here. It's often some type of finger food thats quick & easy. Today, lunch was Pillsbury biscuits pressed flat with pizza toppings added & baked, & fresh apple cider...

...There is hazelnut coffee, chilling in the fridge, perfect for a tall glass of iced coffee while little man naps & the older children & I have our designated reading time. But for now, I'm headed out to breathe in this absolutely gorgeous, fall-like afternoon with my kids.





Monday, September 12, 2016

Spiced Apple juice



This morning I was playing around in the kitchen & the end results were pretty sweet ;) ...(See what I did there?)  :)
This year I bought some apples for juicing. I wanted to preserve some apple juice & apple cider for the winter months...The juice turned out great, so today I worked on the Apple cider(or if you want to get technical-Spiced Apple Juice).

I used Husband's juicer to juice all the apples. 


(All that pulp was saved for the compost pile)

Once the apples had all been juiced, I poured it all into a large stock pot & prepared a spice blend & wrapped it up in some cheese cloth & dropped it into the stock pot.
I let it simmer for an hour, removed the spice blend, then poured it into jars.


coldpack in a hot water bath for about 15 minutes.
As I type, I keep hearing the "ping" of my jar lids sealing-it's a happy sound :)

Spice Blend:
1 heaping TBS whole allspice
8 whole cinnamon sticks
a pinch of whole cloves

I used Ginger Gold apples. They are super sweet & don't require any additional sugar to sweeten the juice.





My cellar shelves are now stocked with homemade apple juice, grape juice & spiced apple juice.






Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fall Musings...





Although the temperatures have been saying otherwise...fall is just around the corner.
When my kitchen starts smelling of bean & bacon, taco & chili soup...big pots of pasta sauce simmering on the stove...I know we're getting close.


This young lady has been completely in her element, chopping peppers for soups & sauces, cutting up apples to cook for sauce & so much more. She is happiest, puttering around in the kitchen, helping with whatever I'm cooking or canning.


This week I picked up a bushel & a half of Ginger Gold apples.
I juiced up a bunch of apples, let the juice simmer for a few minutes, put it in jars & cold packed it for 15 min...It's delicious!
I found a recipe for Apple Cider & want to try that too!

Next on the to-do list is Apple Pie Filling. One of the handiest things to have in my pantry over the winter months. I can have apple pie, tarts, or crisp ready in no time.

Many of our winter,"Sunday Suppers" consist of popcorn & homemade apple or grape juice.
And Apple crisp with ice-cream.


My canning season is coming to an end, the yard & garden work has slowed down, & it's that time of year where I start lighting the coffee scented candles, snuggle in with a good book & enjoy the cooler evenings with a cup of hazelnut coffee :)
I look forward to this time of the year, all year long...