"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Apple Harvest Party, Wk 2 & Apple Pie Cake

Welcome to Week 2 of the 'Apple Harvest Party'! Yahoooo!
Share with us, by linking up below, something you do with apples (or pears, or quince!). It doesn't have to be a cooking recipe, it just has to include apples (or pears, or quince!).

Here is Mr. Linky -- Read below for my recipe this week.

Apple Pie Cakes...ala mode!
Delightfully Borrowed and Slightly Adapted
from Jessica at How Sweets Eats

So, I got a tad behind when I got home from work today. I had grand plans to make an apple dish I discovered in an Apple Cook Book I received from a friend. Well, the new [Amish] farrier showed up in his buggy to trim hooves, the babe needed a bath, and something needed to be cooked for dinner - so, the intended reciped didn't get made! But, I recalled seeing today, at How Sweet Eats, an apple recipe that sounded delish...and easy to whip up. So I did! With just a few alterations.

Jessica does a brown sugar strusel type of topping, but I just grabbed some homemade granola I had staring at me from the counter. Oh yeah, and I drizzled some fresh maple syrup over it too - right after it came out of the oven!

Jessica's recipe calls for Greek yogurt, but I didn't have that on hand. Just regualr, plain yogurt. So I used that. And it still tasted super!

And then I did what hubby and I seem to do with almost every dessert we eat. I added a scoop (or two) of ice cream :) Amen!

Enjoy & Thank you Jessica for the recipe!
I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has to share this week :)


1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch each of nutmeg, ground ginger, & ground cardamom
1 medium apple, peeled and diced into cubes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix until well combined. Add in vanilla and yogurt and stir. Mix dry ingredients together and add to batter, only mixing until just combined. Fold in apple chunks.

Spray 2 ramekins {I used the 6 ounce, 3 1/2 inch} with non-stick spray and pour batter into them equally. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

At this point, I dropped on some homemade granola and drizzled on some maple syrup. Or, try Jessica's original recipe with a streusel topping!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Canning: Whole-ish Tomato's

On Sunday I finally took care of the 10#'s of Roma tomato's a friend gave to me :)

I went by this tutorial from Marissa over at Food in Jars.

This was actually my first time canning tomato's! And it wasn't as bad as I had expected!

Hubby cored the 'maters...because he said he 'liked' to do that!? Ok - whatever floats your boat! Because that is one part I wouldn't particularly enjoy!

I then boiled them for a minuter or 2, plunged them into cold water, and then peeled them - Super Easy!

After they were peeled, they went into the jars, processed for 85 minutes, and

Canned Tomato's ready for marinara or whatever else I need tomato's for! And let me tell you, I go through a lot of canned 'maters so hopefully my friend has many more to give away!! I'd love to be able to put up more than these 3 quarts and a pint. That might last me a month!

 This post is linked up to Sidewalk Shoes and the Garden Tuesday Party!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Harvest Monday, August 29, 2011

This past week, I cannot even remember, what, if anything, I have harvested from the garden!
Some beans, I am sure. Probably some peppers.

But right now, were are drowning in Apple harvests!
Between now and the end of harvest season, I invite you to stop back on Wednesdays and share an Apple (or Pear or Quince) recipe for my 'Apple Harvest Party!'

Now hop on over to Daphne's Dandelions to see what other gardener's are harvesting!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Farm Friday:The Weekend To-Do List

This weekends To-Do list includes, but is [of course] not limited to:

Deciding what to do with 10#'s of Roma's given to me from a co-worker 

Sell Apples 

Give this big 6 month old kisses until he screams in my face, then laugh because it is so adorable

Hose down some Equines for what will most likely be their last bath of the season

I am also looking to dabble in some whole fruit preserve in liquors...you know, like Vodka & Rum. Is Everclear legal here?

Try my hand at making my own laundry detergent...so my husband and sisters can tell me again how weird I am...

And maybe, just maybe, I think it is time to start setting up the Dept. 56 Halloween Village*

Happy TGIF! What's on your weekend To-Do List?

*New readers should take note I am a Halloween FREAK. My whole family is! So when a holiday of this magnitude comes around, only having decorations up for 1 month is unspeakable. We.must.start.decorating.NOW!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Picking Pears - Starkrimson

Have I mentioned we've begin the orchard harvesting?
No? :)

This past weekend we took our Starkrimson Pears to the Farmer's Market. These pears are very juicy when ripe and super delicious. People who clearly did not even have an intention to purchase any while at the market take one bite of the samples I set out and instantly they change their minds.

I told Allen that I wish I had a video camera set up to catch peoples reactions when they have a taste! You'd be surprised! I think too many people [myself included at one time] only knew the taste of a pear by those old, last years crop, wax balls you get at your local grocery store. And that is such a shame.

I did have someone even comment that at this past weekends market about how 'you really don't ever get ripe pears anymore'. So true lady! So true.

So anyways, these Starkrimson Pears, we only have one tree with this variety :( And they are gone...GONE already for the season! We picked 2 bushels from the tree and sold out at market. I have a few over ripe ones sitting in a basket that I'll mash up for some sauce and that's it! I need to remember to save more for myself! Gone for another season!

I couldn't resist though, and had one, or maybe 2, while we were picking!

And seriously, is this kid for real?! This is what he did while he watched his momma and daddy pick pears! Good thing he is learning early! Next year he'll be put to work!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pear Butter & An Apple Party!

Remember the other day when I mentioned how it's harvest season in our orchard and so you can expect to be drowned in posts about the orchard, apples, pears and quince? Peddling our fruit, farmers markets and selling to the amish neighbors? Well, I thought it'd be fun to make a 'party' out of this season that is such a big deal for us over at Apolloson Acres!

So, once a week for about the next 2 and a half-ish months or so, lets have an 'Apple Harvest Party'. I'll post it up every Wednesday and you can link up with any recipe, idea or use that you have for Apples....or Pears....or Quince! But for the sake of sanity, I am just calling it the 'Apple' party! But really, if you have something you do with Quince, please share, because when they start harvesting in the orchard, they don't sell out like our Pears and lord knows I have yet to do anything successful with them!

Ok - let's get this party started! This week I am sharing my recipe for Pear Butter - enjoy! Now link up* with a post from your blog on something you do with Apples, Pears or Quince!
*Let's partake in the common blogging courtesy to check out the links of others participating and to link back to my blog post in yours :) *

Pear Butter

You will need:

-About 4 pounds of Pears, peels and diced – whichever variety you would like. I mix varieties of whatever I have on hand.
-5 Cups, Apple Cider
-2.5 C, Light Brown Sugar
-1.5 Tsp, Cinnamon
-1.5 Tsp, Nutmeg
-1/8 Tsp, Ground Clove
-2 Tbs, Vanilla extract
In a non-reactive dutch oven-type pot (I use an enamel coated pot – like a Le Creuset, but a knock off!) bring the cider to a boil and reduce it by about half. Then add in your chopped pears and cook them down. As they cook down, mash ‘em up a bit. Once they become soft and translucent, puree the mix in batches in a food processor or blender, or if you have an immersion blender, you can do it all right in the pot.

At this point, if you have a baby not yet on solids, this ‘Pear Puree’ would be perfect to let him indulge in! I have a 4 month old and I cannot wait to let him try this! And, feel free to add in the spices too if you think your tot will enjoy it!

Once the mixture is pureed, put it back into the pot, add the spices, and cook it down over a med/med-high heat until it thickens. You know your stove top best so you chose the heat level. Just keep a close eye on it stirring often so the bottom doesn’t scorch.

Depending on how much you like your spices, you can dabble with the actual measurements you put in.
Once the mixture has cooked down to a thick consistency, you are ready to ladle it into your prepped, hot canning jars. Prepare them, with lids & bands (if you use ‘em) and drop your jars into a water bath for 15 minutes. I usually make one jar w/o a sealing lid to go directly into the fridge. I recommend eating it within a week once opened.

Warm Pear Butter on a warm roll with some Peanut Butter is ABSOLUTE heaven to me Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Helpers in the Orchard

Saturday was our first Farmer's Market of the season. It went really well!! The evening prior, Friday night, we had my family over for a 'Pickin' & Sorting' Party.

We had one more tree that needed picked and then everything needed sorted, polished and bagged or 'busheled'!

My niece helping Auntie Kellie

My nephew getting help from Hubby

Allen lowering a branch for my niece

'Hey! I want one!!'


The Pickin' Party is taking a break!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Harvest Monday, August 21, 2011

Another Harvest Monday! Last week was a tad slow. I think I picked more than this, but I can't remember and didn't get a photo of it :) We've been busy in the orchard. To see some of the Apple & Pear's we've harvested this past week, check here or here.

As for this harvest basket, the last of the garlic that was drying, some yellow wax beans and the last of our broccoli. I did grab a few KY Wonder Pole beans from the trellis last night for dinner too :)

Check out what others are harvesting for Harvest Monday over at Daphne's Dandelions and Garden Tuesday over at Sidewalk Shoes!
And now that the Orchard is in season, expect to be drowning in posts about Apples...and some Pears....and some Quince!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Off to Market we go...

This week has begun our official harvesting for the season!

Tomorrow will be our first Farmer's Market for this season.
We'll have Early Mac's and Paula Red Apples.

People love the Early Mac's for the bite they get when munching on one!

We'll also have Starkrimson Pears and Seckel Pears.
Seckel Pears are also known as 'Sugar' or 'Lunchbox' Pears because they are small and taste like you've just plopped a dolop of sugar in your mouth! They sell out fast!

What's your favorite Pear vareity?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pondering Productiveness

Things have changed since having the babe...obviously! I am still able to do everything I did pre-babe, but their are changes within. For example - the horses don't get groomed every day and their stalls are now cleaned once a day. {I know, I was one of those manics who cleaned stalls in the morning and evening...but, no secret here, it is a stress reliever for me! Not a chore. Anyways...} The poor dogs are seeing a tad downward shift in my patiences these days ;) The laundry piles up a tad higher than normal. The time I have in the evenings for 'me' has slimmed down considerably {not complaing, just sayin'}. The dirt that accumulates along the baseboards hangs around a few days longer than oh who am I kidding, that hasn't changed! ha!

Anyways, lately it seems that by the time I get home from work, take care of the babe's need, the horses & the dogs [and god bless hubby because he helps me with all this too on top of things he needs to do], dinner and then tackle things like weeding in the garden, laundry etc etc, it is 11pm before I can sit down to relax and breath. And let's be honest, by that time, all the things I thought about while I was at work, that I couldn't wait to get home and do, are but a thought gone by because I am P.O.O.P.E.D! So I usually end up konking out and then the next thing I know, the alarm is going off {or a baby is crying, take your pick} and I am sleeping in 10 minutes too long and rushed to start this groundhog day all over again.

So I am pondering. Could I be more productive with my time if I woke up earlier {LAWDDDD help me} to get things accomplished? This means, of course, I couldn't be tucking in at 11 at night because there is no way I'd be able to function any earlier and more productively than I currently do! Productive being the key word here.

If I could give myself even, say, 90 minutes of time to do things before my normal morning schedule kicks in (getting myself and babe out the door!), would I feel better about my day. Things I could try to accomplish would include one load of laundry into the wash and then dryer (forget folding - I can do that some other time. Point is, the load is washed!).  I could feed the horses their breakfast. I so miss doing this! Since the babe, this has been hubby's responsibility. I could prep something for dinner, which would open more time for me after work? Yes? No? Who knows? I could stroll through the orchard and check out the apples, coffee in hand - yes please! Check out the gardens ... pull a few weeds ... pick a few cucumbers....

This is sounding pretty great - but, can I seriously get up at, say 5ish, without being dead by 10am? And dragging the rest of the day? I don't know. But I am thinking I should give it a try. All I know is, this thing called working a day job from 9-5 is really cramping my style. The WHOLE day, ok, the majority of the day, is spent away from home, at work. What a DRAG.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Baby Food - Homemade

You guessed it! I am making my own baby food. And $aving money doing it :)

Ever play that game at a baby shower where they melt candy bars down in baby diapers and you have to guess which candy bar it was? You haven't? You are missing out!

Anyways, let's play, guess the baby food. One of these, at the least, should be super easy!

 Baby Food #1

Baby Food #2

Baby Food #3

More on this topic in the weeks to come...this, I am sure ;)

Funny, non-related, side note: Since I am working on making the things I use in our home more green, homemade and all that good stuff, I throw lemons in the dishwasher after I have juiced them for a lemony smell after a round running the dishwasher. Works pretty well :) Anyways, hubby opened the dishwasher this morning and instantly had a perplexed look on his face and the conversation went like this:

Hub: 'Why does it smell like....'
Mecutting him off, 'Like Lemons!!?? :)'
Hub: 'Like....like homemade stuff? Like.....like homemade dishwasher detergent?!? said with a tone that sounded like 'Really? Allison? Really? Homemade Dishwasher soap?
Me: It is just the lemons from last night that I threw in with the wash - doesn't it smell nice?
Hub: 'You're queer!'

He won't admit it, but he knows it's cool ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In the Orchard: Early Mac's & Paula Red's

Last night we started harvesting Early Mac's & Paula Reds!

 Red Delicious still ripening

 As we were walking through the orchard, we were discussing how you can almost smell the apples...almost! Pretty soon, the intoxicating smell of apples, which go hand in hand with Fall, bonfires, hayrides and hot cider, will be in the air!

What is your favorite recipe with Apples?

I linked up with Garden Tuesday today over at Sidewalk Shoes!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Harvest Monday, August 15, 2011

I don't know about you, but I am ready to rip everything out and get some Fall crops in!

In this pic below, the 'maters you see are the massive extent of our tomato harvest this season - BOO!
More cucumbers which I chopped up for another expirement in natural fermenting ;)

And more KY Wonder Pole Beans.

And more peppers. I am not even going to attempt to indetify any of these, aside from some Jalepenos that are in there somewhere. Our pepper patch isn't following our layout at all ;)

And, 3 heads of cabbage. Which were promptly cut up for Sauerkraut :)

I am looking for suggestions; Suggestions on what kind of Garlic to plant.
What kind is your favorite or your go-to garlic that you plant every year?
I was considering Music, Spanish Roja or Oregon Blue. Have you tried one of these varieties and if so, what has your experience with them been?

And, check out what other gardener's are harvesting this week over at Daphne's Dandelions!