primsong: (pumpkin)
I don't know why it took me this many years to realize I don't have to hack apart a hard sugar-pumpkin, I can just poke some holes in it for venting and stick the whole thing in the oven. It's WAY easier to pop in half and scoop, puree, etc. after an hour or two in the oven.

My former Thanksgiving decorations are now on their way to being pumpkin pie, or soup or pancakes or something without the "argh!" factor.
primsong: (starry sky)
Can't believe October is already coming to a close, I'm scrambling to get my costume and decor ready for this year's Trunk or Treat where we decorate our cars and hand out candy from the trunks in the church parking lot.  Last year we got a downpour that drove everyone inside, I'm hoping it will be drier this time around.  We usually get about 180 kids.

I'm using my silver dance wings and doing up an angel costume, complete with white wig and fluffy halo on a headband.  Sparkly blanket in the back of the car with twinkle lights and such should work, figure that way if it rains on us again its something relatively easy to transfer to a table inside and still have a theme. I did this once before a while back, the preschoolers eyes about pop out of their head when I slowly open the wings.  :-D
primsong: (pumpkin)
We had a storm blow through recently that apparently flattened a lot of corn mazes - I am quite sorry for all those little family farms that rely on the income from maze-goers each autumn to help make ends meet.  Going to one of the local ones today (what a glorious fall day it is!) to buy some sugar pumpkins and little gourds to help out in my small way.   I've gotten to where I only buy sugar pumpkins as then I can keep them around after October is past to and then have the option of eating them - those carving pumpkins could barely be considered food but a good sugar pumpkin is a lovely thing.

On the jobs front, my hubby didn't get the job in San Diego, so that's off the menu - but now there's people in Vermont considering him!  This could be an interesting year.
primsong: (zucchini)
It's baaack - my own zucchini / marrow plants died, which is typical for this yard, the only place I've ever lived that they don't just spring out of the ground if you accidentally drop a seed (which did indeed happen at my previous home), but never fear!  The world is awash in helpful people who are VERY happy to give you a zucchini. ("Would you like more? I have more!")  My friend had a total stranger timidly ask if she might like some zucchini and produced a modest bag full when the answer was "Sure!"  My neighbor just gave me a baseball-bat of a one and I turned it into 7 loaves of chocolate chip zucchini bread for the freezer, but it was only on the agreement that she would come take some of my apples which she did.  Good ol' barter the old fashioned way.

The old joke about not leaving your car unlocked in summer because someone will fill it with zucchini is believable at this time of year - spotted a box of them along our street yesterday with several generous oblongs and a big FREE sign.  Would that all good things should come in such abundance!
primsong: (mouse gape)
Asked a friend if she'd like some apples.  She said "Yes! I'd like 10 please.  If you have enough."
Look up at my Apples, current Apple Level 200 trees.
"Right. Ten apples."

apple plumes

primsong: (pears)
My trees are utterly loaded down with apples this year, the bees did a good job! 

Branches are hanging low with so much fruit.  I gathered up four buckets full and am in the process of making them into applesauce, the kitchen smells fabulous and all my big pots are full of steaming sauce.  I'll freeze it once it cools down and then work on spicing and cooking it down for apple butter another day so it isn't too much of a job all at once.  Only one jar of apple butter left from last time, didn't realize it's been six years but sure enough that's the date on that last jar.  Glad it keeps.

Wish you guys were closer, I'd totally be asking my flist if they'd like to come pick apples otherwise!
primsong: (rain tree)
The October rains have officially arrived here, right on time - I'm bringing in my outdoor cushions to dry and store, hung up the wooden windchimes back in the laundry room where they winter among hanging basketry and am going out with scissors to whack my cherry tomato plants.  Anything that isn't actively ripening an actual tomato at this point goes over the edge of the balcony, no more time for messing around with mere greenery here! 

We're planning for our annual Trunk-or-Treat again, doing a bathtub theme with white balloons in the back of the car for bubbles and a shower curtain, rubber duckies, etc. I'll be in a fluffy bathrobe with a towel on my head to warm my bald pate, doling candies out from a little baby's bathing bin.  At least that's the plan!  It'll be raining, I expect.
primsong: (tarzan)
My mom called me to let me know their house, which they've had on and off the market for over a year with no nibbles, and which they were about to take off the market for winter, has sold!  They close on the last day of November.  So much for Thanksgiving relaxation... I can understand the buyers being anxious about getting in, they've already sold their old house and are living in an apt with stuff in storage, but my mom is a bit freaked at how fast it's all suddenly moving along. 

Thankfully they have a friend with an empty airplane hanger that they can store things in til spring, and an RV.  Into the camper they go, weiner-dog, cat and all yo-ho! They'll spend the winter as rolling stones gathering no moss while they check into other people's moss growing at various towns and decide where they want to plant themselves again.  I expect we'll see a fair bit of them as my house will now be the 'stability point' for Mom, Dad doesn't need one, he's happy with wheels on his feet.

The cat, Bentley, wasn't too happy with having to learn to wear a harness, but they've gotten him to where he and the dog both get harnesses put on each day ("getting the kids dressed for the morning") and he's finally ignoring it instead of spending the day trying to back out of it, heh.  Adventures never cease.
primsong: (lunch)
When I went out to a local farm seeking an "autumn fix" I soaked up the happy harvesty atmosphere and also came home with a jack-o-lantern type pumpkin (which we dutifully carved) and 2 sugar pie pumpkins.  One sugar pumpkin is for pie, but the other was for a favorite autumn-time easy dinner we do, to wit:

Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 4-5 lb. pumpkin
1 lb. ground beef
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 c. uncooked instant rice
3 T. butter or margarine
1/2 t. salt (optional)
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. thyme
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 c. beef broth
1/2 c. grated cheddar (optional)

Wash the pumpkin and cut a nice wide lid on the top (you want to be able to scoop yummy things out later).  Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.  Brush the inside of the pumpkin with the butter and sprinkle it with a little salt if you like.
In a skillet, saute the beef and onion until browned. Drain fat. Add the rice and remaining ingredients except the cheese. Put your pumpkin in a shallow dish (I use a casserole dish) and fill it with the meat mixture. Put the lid on the pumpkin and stick the whole thing in a 350 degree oven.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the pumpkin is tender.  You can add more broth if needed.  Take off lid and sprinkle with cheese while hot. 
Serve right from the pumpkin, scooping out pulp with the beef mixture. 

For lower sodium people like me, just use no-salt tomatoes and unsalted beef broth and reduce or even eliminate the table salt too. Still very tasty and homelike.  This is the only time of year I buy instant rice, just for this, and sometimes use dried minced onion instead of fresh, though fresh is always better if you have one handy.

Enjoy!
primsong: (freshly dead)
Hmm.  My water aerobics class has announced they want to "dress up" for Halloween as we have a class that morning - of course, I must presume this essentially means "dress up their heads" as the rest of the body has to be submerged in chlorinated water for the duration...

I can't think of anything sufficiently waterproof at the moment - maybe a gaudy necklace and earrings with something made of bits of craft foam for my hair?  Uh... ??  Er...? 

Ever run into anything like this? Ideas? Help!
primsong: (monkeys)
Life is feeling quite repetitious and mundane today - repairing a stack of identical textbooks, slicing dishes of apples, printing copies of a newsletter, folding yet more laundry.  One of the things I am looking forward to in heaven is less need to constantly constantly constantly do stuff that is solely for the upkeep of bodies.

Round it goes!

Oh well - at least we have food and clothes and decent weather at this point.  Variety break!  Think I'll go get some unusual tea and try out those German chocolate cake flavored marshmallows I found in the store yesterday, they're chocolate ones rolled in toasted coconut.
primsong: (lunch)
Oy vey. Another huge pan of apple crisp is in the oven, another friend has been filled with tea and biscuits and sent off with a bag of apples and another batch of windfalls are in the apple bucket.  Have I mentioned I have APPLES? 

apples apples apples

Soooo many apples. They came in early this year too, the bees obviously did a good job this past spring. 
More fruity pictures under here. )So - what are your summertime-only jobs?  What does your yard have too much of?
primsong: Mr. Morton (morton)
Just an updatey post thing...

Back from a few days at the beach for our annual Girls Trip (me, my mom and my two daughters) - weather fabulous, if windy, quaint bookstore was quaint, artsy shoppppes were artsy.  Replaced my defunct rainbow wind-spinner thingy which I have missed having on my clothesline when hanging up laundry, so all is well.  Rotten to wake up today all bleaurrrgh, but at least it didn't happen while on vacation and I'm almost back to human now.  Germs are most annoying at times.

Teen son did a good job of keeping all the pets alive whilst we were gone, though I should have remembered to define tomato plants as 'pets' I guess... still, a few pitchers of water and they rallied.  He's getting his turn now, off camping with his grandpa.

Starting to regret offering to host a church baby shower a couple weeks from now, looking at the mess my house is in it seems rather discouraging to think I need to get it into "company" shape by then.  Pooh.  Very glad for the baby, however, a real answer to prayer for a couple expecting her!  I expect this little girl will be the church mascot for a while.

Picking blueberries time again - brought in another big bowl, pears are starting to swell nicely, Gravenstein apples are already getting their red and yellow streaks, greengage plums are fat and ripening... can't believe another harvest is already approaching!  I still have stuff in the freezer from last time, I've been so disorganized this year.  Ack.  Didn't expect the library to snarf most of my hours, though...

Has your summer vanished into the mist the way mine has? 
primsong: (explain)
I recently had an interesting afternoon in which a lady at our church who is essentially blind asked if I would watch Ladyhawke with her - she had never seen it and wanted to know what it was about. It's a perennial favorite, but I hadn't seen it for a while; it was fun to revisit and intriguing to try to act as someone else's eyes, narrating and describing anyplace there wasn't dialogue. She wants to 'see' it again now, so I guess I did okay. ^_^

Our church "Trunk or Treat" went very well, we had a great turnout and even with all the extra candy we bought we still nearly ran out - lots of little kids in adorable outfits, my Starbells made a great mermaid and our car looked very under-the-sea-ish. My son just carried a stuffed rabbit and a towel around and told people he was a "Hare Dryer". Rain started to sprinkle just as we were taking everything down, so the timing was perfect even for the weather. Hope it went well for everyone else too!
primsong: (running fluff)
Extra projects I'm having to help with this month and next are interesting but sure put a dent in my ability to enjoy the pleasurable company of my lovely people here online - so if I seem to go missing, I'm just in "quick lurk in between stuff" mode for a bit.

Our church is doing a "Trunk or Treat" again this year, where everyone dresses up their cars with a theme and we all hand out candy from the trunks of our cars - lets kids do an entire neighborhood's worth of people in one parking lot instead of going to houses and is good fun, we had a TON of kids last time, almost ran out of candy and did run out of hot-dogs. Anyway - this time my big station wagon, being a 'land yacht' is going with a nautical theme. I'm using netting, rubber urchins, mylar fish and a giant stuffed marlin pillow we have for ambiance and Starbells and I are dressing as mermaids - found great glittery stuff at Goodwill we can layer for outfits, and Swedish Fish candies to hand out. :-D Now to just figure out how to get some blue christmas lights in there.

Have a nice weekend!
primsong: (flower)
This is an experimental first post from my new Dreamwidth "primsong" account, to see how (or if) that crossposting thing works - please excuse any bumbling while I figure it out.

Conquered my reams of apples, froze the last of the blueberries and just put nearly the last of the pears into a big pan of ginger-pear crumble. The plums are next! They're ripening nicely - but the darn squirrels keep eating them before they're quite ripe enough for us human beings. They better leave some for me, grumble.

We've nearly finished repairing the rotten roof on our shed and re-shingling, but yikes the nails just flew everywhere when the old stuff was shoveled and scraped off. I need to go find one of those magnet-on-a-stick things and play treasure hunter with nails in the grass for a while, I like padding around barefoot in the summer too much.

Hope everyone is getting at least a few of their summer projects tidied up before the weather changes again, I only got maybe half of them done but at least it was something. What did you paint, re-do, plant, tear down, fix, upgrade or otherwise accomplish this summer past?

Apple Tyme

Aug. 10th, 2010 11:47 am
primsong: (flower)
Heeeere comes harvest....!

I admit to getting a bit weary of picking blueberries, but they're winding down... bringing in some squash and beans, that's easy - pattypan squash are cute. But APPLES. Oy.

After putting off Applesauce Time for two weeks by making pans of apple crisp with the windfalls, I think it can't be put off any more. *rolls up sleeves* Time to get them done before the plums and grapes arrive. At the rate I'm going I may entirely miss the blackberry season too, as it arrived a couple weeks early this year - too...much...froooot!
one an apple, two an apple, apple apple apple argh )

Still, free food is free food, and this year I even get to give my college kid and her friends a bit of basic canning lessons, for sauce and apple butter.

What does your area sometimes produce just a bit too much of?

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