Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And now we know...

Last night I posted about our tsunami...

...but the news had not yet come in
about how the earthquake has affected the Samoan Islands.
Today we see the devastation and loss of life.
My heart goes out to them all~

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Earthquake weather...

Crispy, scintillating, erie, wonderful ... Fall
Its my favorite time of year

Have I said before that I loved spring the most?
Well, I lied. Fall is my favorite. I'm sure of it

There's a sort of ... shall we say a "wive's tale" in the state of California...
I don't quite know why, but its said that fall weather is earthquake weather.

I was raised in California and have experienced my share of quakes
but still, I don't know where that notion comes from.
Not all earthquakes happen in the fall.

Well, today must have been earthquake weather,
because it so happens that out in the pacific ocean
an 8.3 magnitude earthquake took place.
So maybe the old tale holds some truth...
The weather channel told us that a tsunami would hit our coast...
all the way from Santa Barbara, California - north to Astoria, Oregon.

Andrew (my youngest) and I raced down to the beach to watch...
I'd post a photo... if it would show up, but we could only really hear it.
It wasn't very big... maybe a foot or so higher than normal surf ...
which would be about what we get during winter storms.
We are in a large "C"shaped bay,
so the waves that made it inside were mostly muted.
Still... it caused some excitement, and we weren't alone.
A few neighbors joined us... to watch and listen.
Thankfully, it was harmless.

On different subject...
Every fall I order some specialities...
and every fall I wait in anticipation for its arrival
A box!
With some things that help create the ambiance of Fall in our house
I love it when this package arrives each fall.
Its filled with scintillating spices from all over the world.

Star Anise
I consider myself very fortunate to have access
to the spices that in times gone by were so valuable
that wars were fought over them.
We live in privileged times, and I don't take it for granted.

Whole Nutmeg
Ahhh... there's nothing like fresh shaved nutmeg
to give that little-something-special to spaghetti sauce.
(A secret Italian ingredient...
so I've been told by an excellent Italian chef, and he's right!)

If you've never had "real" cinnamon...
... then you're missing out.
Did you know that the grocery store cinnamon isn't the real thing?
That's called Cassia...
Real cinnamon is light brown, thin and soft...
the aroma is delicate and the taste is sweet.
Its grown in Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
( I love that word. Sri Lanka... )
Sri Lanka... where real cinnamon is grown,
and then shipped to my door. Wow... amazing, isn't it?

Whole cloves, mulling spices, sassafrass...
I mix them all together...

...and place them in a small witch's cauldron
(well not really... its my mini electric crockpot)

... and let it simmer away...
Alllllll day, every day through Christmas

I love it when the family walks into the house...
and all in unison they say...
Mom, it smells so good in here!
Ahhh.... it does my heart good.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Autumn Dawn

Autumn Dawn
Born September 22 at 4:47pm
7lbs. 11 oz.

And the two proud brothers, Aiden & Ashton

And then there were 5!

Mommy and Daddy love her!

And my beautiful sister,
She's their grandma,
they call her Mee-ma

Meanwhile, back at the ranch
(so to speak)

Its Walnut pick'n time!
You know how I know when its walnut time?

These guys show up first!

They pick the nuts off the trees...
and carry them out over the road!
Where they drop them,
and then dive down as fast as they can
to get the cracked nuts before the lazy ones do!

The lazy black birds sit out by the side of the road
and wait for the working ones to drop the nuts
then race out to get them before the working ones
get back down there...

redistributing the wealth?

The nuts begin to crack open as the sun warms them up.
I've seen them actually pop off the tree!
I race to get them before the birds get there!
Its a jungle out there!

The trees are so laden with nuts that the boughs
hang to the ground!
I don (is that spelled right?) my trusty plastic gloves...
Because if I don't...

My hands would look like this!
I can totally understand why walnuts are used as a dye.

A couple other crops harvested today...
Miniature pumpkins

Apples... apples... and more apples.

for applesauce, apple pies and apple crisp!

Do you remember Bo?
I took some photos of him in the spring when he was a little puppy
Now he's a BIG puppy!

Boxers never grow up.
They are puppies all their life!
and are so ugly, they're cute!
Bo is now a teenager
And always comes down for a visit
when I'm out in the garden.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thyme in a bottle

"If I could put Thyme in a bottle..."

"The first thing that I'd like to do..."
"Is to save every day..."
"Till eternity passes away..."

"Just to spend them with you..."

Lyrics by Jim Croce

My dehydrated thyme in a bottle
along with stray rose petals in a lovely swirly jar,
and Sassafras.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Day's Harvest

Today's harvest is...

Serrano Peppers
Basil & Thyme

The 1st thing is to spend several hours
out in the garden during the early morning hours.
That's the best time to harvest herbs.

The air is cool and the scent of herbs fill your senses...
there's really nothing so good as the scent of
fresh cut Basil and Thyme!

I cut, wash and put them into a bucket with a little water
in the bottom to perk them up,
and to allow the leaves to dry off a little.

While the herbs sit and dry,
I picked the tomatoes and peppers

Later in the morning
I load the food dehydrator with the booty!

For a couple of days my house will smell like...

Spaghetti Sauce!

Are you harvesting anything?
What do you do with the harvest?