arrange sweet apples
topped with winter’s cream; is it
nature’s a la mode?
a la mode by Angie Quantrell
photo by Angie Quantrell
December, West Valley
This lovely treat was an experiment from the get-go, but worth every creative independent choice I made in the process.
First, the recipe said 6-8 apricots. I stopped at Barrett Orchards (Washington Fruit Place) to purchase apricots. A HUGE bag, with possibly 20 apricots. And cherries. 2 pounds, Rainier and a different red cherry. I can’t remember the name. The recipe does not call for cherries, but I’ve been craving them.
Then. The recipe says refrigerator pie crust. Nope. First. It’s not whole wheat. So I searched for a simple whole wheat pie crust recipe. Quite simple, but did not make very much. Or roll too thin.
Mixed the cream cheese mixture to put on the crust and realized this is more like an apricot cheesecake, but with less filling. I also reduced the sugar. Added it to the too small crust. So beautiful!
And then apricots. It only took 3 to cover the top. I still have way too many for 2 people to eat before they are overripe.
Brush the crust with egg white. What crust??? There was barely enough to fold over. Ok. There wasn’t even enough to fold over. But I did my best to brush the crust edges. Sprinkled a little raw sugar on it like the recipe said. Barely any.
So now I have a lovely rustic apricot galette! We can’t wait to have it after lunch. Or for lunch.
Next time, I will search for a different crust recipe. And try to make a larger, more rectangular galette, due to the size of our cookie sheet and RV oven. One doesn’t bake big items in an RV. And use more apricots.
resting tired trees
tucked in slumber, root anchors
rows of fruit soldiers
fruit soldiers by Angie Quantrell
Photo: Taken in January, West Valley of the Yakima Valley
Happy Hump Day! What nature scene is unfolding in your neighborhood? Try a Haiku and share it so we can enjoy nature in your area.
In case you don’t know or remember, Haiku is a syllabic-count poem written in 3 lines:
A hectic summer schedule has provided ample time for weeds to take over the garden.
Despite some attempts at control, a busy travel itinerary leaves much to be desired in the ‘finding edible items in the garden’ category. Is everything growing? Yes! All experiments and plant combinations are thriving with unbridled passion.
But alas, the weeds have accepted the challenge and are rising to the top, willy-nilly.
Enter gardening goal: Fill to overflowing one wheelbarrow full of weeds each day I am home. At this rate, the garden will look spectacular by October 1.
Gardening gone bad, you lose!
Until then, we play garden hide-and-seek for prized veg and fruit.
Strawberries, raspberries, lavender, and radishes fresh from the garden.
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell
What’s growing in the garden? I mean besides cat fur.
The strawberries are slowing down and I think ready for a big break to build up their energy. Whoa! This was the most prolific strawberry (also known as strawbabies and beebes around our house) harvest I have ever had. Not counting the minimal loss from slugs, sow bugs, ants, and raiding grandchildren.
Raspberries are coming on! Beautiful, tasty, sweet-tart lovely bursts of flavor – be still my heart. I love me some raspberries (also known as raspbabies and beebes at our house).
My miniscule crop of French radishes is nearing readiness for being pulled up, roots and all. I planted a roasting pan with radishes in hopes of avoiding above mentioned pests who annually decimate my peppery red and white treats. Take that, you vermin! Today Donavyn and I pulled up a few to check for size. And we gobbled them all up, just like Goldilocks ate Baby Bear’s porridge. Just right.
Lavender, one of my favorite flowering herbs, is starting to bloom strong. I haven’t seen many bees this spring, so I am pleased the purple blossoms are attracting several from somewhere. If only a swarm would descend in our area and we could capture it . . .
As always, parsley, thyme, dill, and sage are available free of charge to any and all. The sunflowers look like they will put on a great show in another couple of weeks. Birds delight, but beware the two slinking gray girls who blend in to the bricks and sand beneath your dinner table.
One of my failures this year is okra. I really wanted to grow some for my mom who grew up in Missouri. I’ve done 3 plantings, and there is nothing to be had but munched sprouts. I guess they taste good?
I’ve also done multiple plantings of echinacea, or cone flowers, for the bees and butterflies. This last batch is finally showing promise. I may just have to buy half grown plants.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
There is always a furry body helping me. This one particularly loves to sleep on the strawberries.
My friends, how does your garden grow?
You have no idea how happy I am to see this many blooms on the blueberry bush! The weight of winter snow broke off at least half of the plant.
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell
Next week is National Garden Week –
the 2nd week of April.
Fading beauty. I’m so sad to see my tulip season conclude.
I am so onboard for this celebration. It’s time to plant my garden!
The strawberries are looking future-tasty.
Actually, I cheated. I’ve already started to plant seeds, since we are expecting highs in the mid to upper 80’s today, it may be past time for new sprouts. But I think that is a freak of too-hot-too-early weather and it should drop back to the 60-70’s.
Half planted beds. Waiting for seeds.
Here are some National Garden Week photos from my yard.
Garlic, parsley, and sage – all repeat visitors from last year. Plus a cat tail of one who wanted to be featured.
Oh, each new bud, flower, and sprout is so exciting.
We even planted a tree trunk for the cats to scratch and climb. It won’t grow…but it is part of our garden.
I’m already dreaming about tasty blueberries, sweet-tart strawberries, exquisite raspberries, and savory herbs and vegetables.
Dabbling to pretty-up a very hot corner of the yard.
Join me. Let’s celebrate our gardens.
The dogwood is just beginning to burst into bloom.
I would love to see photos of your garden.