Sunday, October 2, 2022

Let's go for a drive...

 Nothing like taking a drive on a beautiful autumn day.  We took the roads less traveled and enjoyed Mother Nature's artwork.  It was the perfect day for a picnic on top of Cement Ridge.













My only regret is the ranchers were rounding up the cattle to move them off the summer pastures.  I was so enamored with the process and the enormity of what they were doing that I forgot to take pictures.

I hope you enjoyed the trip.  I know we did.  Are the leaves changing in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, September 25, 2022

The great pumpkin...

Fall is here.  The air has a chill, the leaves are turning, and harvesting is in full swing.  I am getting the itch to bake.  Last week it was peach cobbler.  This week it is peach strudel muffins and trail bread.


My husband actually got a trophy for our great pumpkin competition.  The picture didn't turn out the best.  It reads "The Great Pumpkin Champion."

This is my husband's leading contender.  I am withholding a picture of mine until the official weigh in.  Mainly because it wandered off into the woods and I can't get a good photo of it.  Stay tuned.
I am saving flower seeds.  The hollyhocks and delphiniums were prolific this year.

I met my good friend, Jody, yesterday and we went shopping for quilting material.  She has an amazing sense for colors and I appreciated her help immensely.  


We are still elk hunting.  As always the things you experience are so amazing.  The sunrises have been breathtaking.





That is all I have of interest.  Have you been baking?  Do you save your seeds?  If so which ones?

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Traditions...

If you read my blog often you know I have certain traditions.  One consists of picking, drying, and braiding sweetgrass.  This tradition began when my mom gave me a sweet grass braid for Christmas one year.  I was hooked.  That spring I bought five sweetgrass starts, planted them by our pond, and have never regretted it. I give away most of the braids, but two go in the windows of our bedroom.  Heaven.
Picking and braiding sweetgrass takes concentration.  The smell cannot be described.  Especially this year as they dried by the front door.  Sitting on the porch was brought to a new level.  

My other summer tradition is the peck of peaches I get from a friend at work every year.  While sweetgrass ignites your sense of smell, these peaches flood your sense of taste.  They are so juicy I have to eat them over the sink.

Of course peach cobbler is on the dessert menu.  I always can honey spiced peach slices.  Then I usually make jam, salsa, syrup, and barbeque sauce.  This year I tried something different, Maple Whiskey Peach Jam.  Wow.  It is amazing.  Today we made elk chislic (breaded and fried elk stew meat) and dipped it in the jam.  Delicious.  A whole new level of tasty.


MAPLE PEACH WHISKY JAM (SMALL-BATCH)

INGREDIENTS
2 ½ cups chopped peaches, about 3 medium peaches, not canned
¾ cup maple syrup
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh if possible
2 tablespoons powdered pectin crystals
1 tablespoon whisky

INSTRUCTIONS
 
Gather glass canning jars with lids that can hold a total capacity of 3 cups (750ml). Wash the jars and lids with hot soapy water. Dry the jars and lids and set aside.
In a medium-sized pot, combine the chopped peaches, maple syrup, sugar, lemon juice, and pectin crystals. Stir to combine.
Bring the peach mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the jam reads 222ºF (105ºC) on a thermometer. Remove the pot from the heat.
Stir in the whisky then carefully ladle the hot jam into the clean jars. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth to remove any sticky residue, then screw the lids on tightly. Cool the jam completely before storing it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

We are still elk hunting.  We've heard elk and seen elk, but can't close the distance.  We still have two weeks. 
I didn't a landscaping project with my students.  We laughed at how bold the chipmunks we're at the visitors center we worked.  On the last day I set up my phone camera and baited it with a piece of my sandwich.
My students thought it was hilarious.  Wait for it...
 
Wait for it...

Wait for it...
Whaaaaaaa.....So funny.  

What are some of your yearly traditions?  I hope your summer is slipping into fall.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Busy busy

We've been pretty busy this week.  Elk hunting is in full swing, unfortunately the elk aren't.  There are plenty of elk around. It's just talking them into sauntering within 35 yards.  We aren't too worried.  The rut should be coming soon.  We finally got some rain and the weather has cooled down which helps immensely.

I still contend that nothing is more amazing than laying in the woods looking at the moon and stars while elk bugle.


 Between hunts, I have been harvesting.  I've broiled my tomatoes, cut the sweegrass, and racked my wine.  I was fortunate enough to spend some time with a good friend and we picked some grapes.  I have a peck of peaches coming tomorrow.


This time of year can be exhausting, but still worth every bit of extra effort.  Now bedtime, I have been up since 3:45.  I hope your harvests are fruitful.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Things have picked up...

My last post was about the summer lull.  Well, things picked up.  This weekend we have been elk hunting in the morning and demolishing our deck.  It was a hairy endeavor.  Our deck was a last minute project done in a day on the last day of our cabin build.  They didn't put concrete footings in so the deck was precarious to say the least.  We found someone to rebuild, so we just had to remove the old deck.

It started out simple enough  removing the floorboards.  Then as the floorboards disappeared so did my workspace.  The three I'm sitting on are not nailed down.  Yikes.
After that was the frame.  No pictures as that was an all hands on deck (pardon the pun).  We used a chainsaw to cut the cross beams.  Then attached a strap and I pulled the frame over as my husband cut it loose.  We were pretty nervous, but it went over without a hitch.  All that is left is the cleanup.
My bird feeders were on the deck, so the whole time we had confused birds circling us and trying to land on our heads.
The week prior I didn't post because my brother-in-law and his wife were visiting.  We went to Kool Deadwood Nights.  A classic car show.  It is one of my favorite events.



We haven't had any rain.  It is very hot and dry.  My flowers are hanging in there.  The chipmunks are frantically try to save seeds for winter. My usual hummingbird left a month ago, but I have a little female that showed up today.
That is it for our neck of the woods.  I've been keeping busy and trying to keep cool.  Oh I have to show this little fella.  He is no bigger than a pencil.

I hope everyone is enjoying the Labor Day weekend.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Summer lull...

 No bears since last weekend.  I can't say I am not disappointed.  There are lots of bees and summer flowers.


Phlox is one of my favorite flowers.  The scent is amazing.  The hummingbird moth is never far away.  They also love the phlox.






The chipmunks planted these petunias.  They are always surprising me.
I have many acorn squash and zucchini.  My carrots, beans,  and tomatoes are in full swing.

How are your flower gardens?  How are your vegetable gardens?  I know I need to stop eating the tomatoes and start broiling and freezing them.