soldier along the path as
harvest lures me in
satiated bins by Angie Quantrell
photo by Angie Quantrell
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.
By Lisa Amstutz
Pictures by Tabitha Shipman
Albert Whitman & Company, 2017
I love Applesauce Day!
Fall is my favorite time of year, when the apples, pumpkins, squash, and other great produce is harvested. I can’t wait to sink my greedy fingers into a box of apples or a trunk-load of pumpkins.
Applesauce Day takes me right into autumn. I can just imagine the fun and tradition of gathering with family to make large amounts of applesauce. What tastes better than homemade applesauce? Nothing! Ok, maybe homemade pumpkin pie or apple cake or pear tartes or . . .
This lovely picture book tells the tale of a family traveling from the big city to the orchards to pick apples and then to grandma’s house to put those apples to good use. What’s special about Applesauce Day is the family heirloom – the applesauce cooking pot. Family traditions and passed-down items are a passion of mine, so I immediately bonded with this tale.
I found Applesauce Day to be well written and beautifully illustrated. Flashbacks! I don’t know that I’ve seen other picture books with flashbacks, but the ones in this book are adorable.
Even though apple season is at an end, boxes of apples are still available. Go ahead. You know you want to read this book and make applesauce. Just imagine the scent of warm apples and cinnamon wafting through your home. See? I can smell it from here.
Make Crock-Pot Applesauce
apples, cinnamon, water
1. Wash, peel, and core apples. Slice into wedges.
2. Put apples in Crock-Pot. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Add about 1/4 cup water.
3. Cover Crock-Pot with lid. Turn heat to high and let it simmer. Occasionally stir and check apples for tenderness.
4. When apples are soft and mushy, use a potato masher to mash the apples into sauce. I love chunks, so I don’t strain it.
5. Eat warm! Cool and put the rest in the fridge. Or freeze individual containers for later.
I love making Crock-Pot Applesauce with my students every fall. Everyone brings 2 apples, no matter what variety, and we put them all together to cook. By the end of the day, everyone in the school wants what’s bubbling in our room!
I’d love to hear (and smell and taste) how your applesauce turns out!
Safe and gorgeous
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell
I harvested 8 pumpkins this morning.
Harvesting pumpkins in August just does not sound right. Especially when it will be around 90 later this afternoon.
Not right at all.
Extenuating circumstances encouraged me to wade deep in the bristly pumpkin patch and knee high grass to grasp my favorite orange fall buddies. Er, I mean, signs of the season. Sure, I talk to my pumpkins. And those dratted slugs and squash bugs. I do admit to speaking kindly to my pumpkin pals. Not so much with the vermin.
Doesn’t everyone talk to their plants and garden inhabitants? No? Hmmm.
Slugs. They were eating HOLES in my pumpkins! I rolled one large pumpkin over and a huge spotted slug, probably 3-4 inches long when stretched out, was coiled comfortably in the blossom end hollow. UGH. Tiny little slime booger slugs were creeping all over as well.
Odd. Spring. Weather. We had the weirdest spring. That is all I can blame on the extremely early crops. It was very warm, very hot, and then very cold. Plants in my area don’t know what to do. Except grow.
Squash bugs. I’ve been so busy packing up the house, I missed recognizing the sign of yellowed leaves that indicated I had extra special garden pest visitors. Why, those hungry little insects have moved right in!
Orange. These pumpkin babies were colorful and ready to visit my porch.
Snip, snip, tug, and off we went away from hungry mouths to the safety of shade and protection.
Fall (in August) here we come!
How is your garden growing this year?