Monday, December 29, 2014

Apples Galore: Fruit and Fiber

We're fortunate to live in an area with fresh fruits and vegetables year-round. It's been almost three years since we joined our local CSA and have been receiving a weekly produce box of farm-to-our-table yummy goodness.

If that wasn't enough, we're even luckier to have friends who are willing to share their own home-grown deliciousness.

A couple of years ago The Man bought me an apple peeler to keep up with the annual bounty from Jerry and Jan's apple trees. This year I'm saving a step and not peeling the apples.

The core and the buggy parts are cut out and saved for the Goaty Boys and the Girls. The unblemished skin-on-slices gets tossed into a big pot with a bit of water (to prevent scorching) and it slowly simmers and softens on the fireplace's cook top.

Apples for everyone: no waste at our house.

An unwatched pot.

A few swipes with the immersion blender purees the apples and peels into a smooth, creamy applesauce.

Yesterday's project was making fruit leathers with the applesauce in my new Nesco Dehydrator.

The dehydrator came with two fruit leather trays and I used parchment paper with the other three trays. The parchment paper doubled as a wrapper. I just cut, rolled, and secured.

Easy-Peasy and tasty too.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Bravo Christmas Carol

It's beginning

to look

a lot






Wishing everyone a very Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year, 2015.

Singers Zeke, Wyatt, and Maestro Duke.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Technical Difficulties

Hi All:

It looks like the tree video doesn't work when viewed via Subscriber email or from a device - iPad. All I know is when I post a picture, a video, or publish a post I just click and click. Where it goes or how it works is beyond me. Sorry.

Anyway, try it again, it's a good one: Tis The Season.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Tis The Season

"YeeHaw, Honey, I'm bringing home a tree!"

The weekend after Thanksgiving we saw this Cowboy on Highway 101, north of Atascadero.


The dialogue in our car ~
The Man's Mom: "Do you think he knows?"
Me: "Is that a Christmas tree?"
The Man's Mom: "Yes, it is!"
Me: "I guess they'll put that side to the wall."

Credits: iPhone video with added audio by The Man.
"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" sung by Bing Crosby.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Express Train

The rain started at 9:07 pm. I wasn't sitting by the window watching for it or anything so how do I know? Because all of a sudden it got quiet. Eerie silence. You know like the eye of a hurricane . . . a lull. I came downstairs and asked The Man if he heard it. "What?" he said, "I don't hear anything."


The wind had started in the wee hours of Thursday morning. It blew, and blew, and blew. It found a little space between the weather stripping and the door and wailed and screeched it's way in. Like a banshee or an Obake. The dogs looked at me and I looked at them. We almost nodded to each other in agreement: It was freaking us out.

It gusted, it shook the house, and roared like a freight train. It was as though we were in the middle of the track. Which in a way we are. The wind was coming from the south and the only thing standing  in it's way was us. And our trees. Luckily, we lost only one large oak limb towards the back of the property far away from any structures.

Even though we had secured our perimeter we still found objects tossed about. The Weber gas grill threatened to skitter across the deck along with the glass topped outdoor table before The Man tied them both down.

The wind gusts became a steady blow just before the rain started. In the dark we stood out on the Vista being buffeted about, I put on safety goggles since I could feel myself being pelted by oak leaves and small twigs. The wind was wild and exhilarating. Yeehaw.

Overnight we received almost 3 inches of rain. For us it was a nice, slow, steady rainfall. No drama - no lightning, no hail, no thunderstorms. Just much needed, much appreciated, rain.

The Day After

It was a good day to hunker down and stay out of the way of the Pineapple Express.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Butt Bread

I have a freezer full of sliced bread. Two pieces per bag - heels of bread loaves. I save the bread to make panade (bread paste) for moist meatloaf, meatballs, or juicy burgers. But mostly I can't seem to throw them away. Which is to say they're taking up valuable freezer space.

Recently The Man "helped" by gathering the ends, repackaged, and relabeled them.

Since he came this close to throwing the bread out I guess I better use them up, pronto. What better use than homemade croutons.

I'm lucky I didn't burn the bread cubes. I got a little distracted when I looked out the kitchen window and saw a rainbow. A Hawaiian rainbow is pretty; a rainbow in Atascadero is a miracle. I had to go outside and try to get a picture of it. Of course all the animals had to show up to see what all the to-do was about but I did manage to get a small peekaboo rainbow.


And, yes, the croutons turned out delicious. The TJ Multigrain bread made excellent croutons - a little sweet and nutty, crunchy on the outside, and a tiny bit soft on the inside. Perfect.

I wasn't worried, after all, it was garbage. I had nothing to lose.

Topic inspired by Jenny who also hoards saves her bread and makes croutons.