September 28, 2013

Apple Pickin'

Today, we took a break from pouring concrete when my mammaw and my great aunt came by to pick some apples off our tree. They carried away three big bags.

The apples getting much bigger and taste much better (this weekend's recipe was a cobbler). I guess late September- early October is when they are truly ripe for the picking.  I'm still trying to figure out what type of apple tree we have.

I'll be posting some pictures of our outdoor projects soon. For now, just enjoy these apples.

September 22, 2013

Helping strays along their journey.

So, you probably don't remember this from way back in an early post, but I had said living here made me feel like a pioneer woman who would offer food and comfort to straggling strangers who were lost, worn, or just needed a rest stop on their way to another place. Well, those weren't my exact words, but those are close.

Little did I realize I would become this woman. Little by little, I'm learning how to make real meals and keep a home in order  a step above chaos.  I am, however, helping weary wanderers find rest and a good meal. They just happen to be dogs and not humans. Last weekend, a little dog we called Chico came to stay. He was a friendly little guy, who was dying to be loved and to live in our house. Unfortunately, we couldn't keep him, but we did find him a home with Walter's dad.

The past few weeks, we've been a refuge for this guy:

Meet Ole Roy.

We met him about three weeks ago. He was on a trail howling and would not stop for anyone or anything. For almost two weeks, we could hear him howling, but he would never stop or respond to us. It was as if he were a dog on a mission and couldn't be bothered.

Last weekend, he found me out at the apple tree picking apples. He wasn't howling anymore. His nose was chapped and he was skin and bones. I fed him. Then, a few hours later he was gone. The next day, he came back. I fed him again. He stayed around for a few hours, then, went back on his way.

We hadn't seen him for a week, when he appeared yesterday in the rain soaked to the bone. What could I do, but feed him again? (Just look at those eyes.)
When I bought the welcome mat, I never realized dogs would take it seriously.

 He stayed all day curled up on our porch with our other dog, Ruth. Ruth and Roy. Makes a cute pair.

Don't get too attached, Ruth. He's a drifter.

September 21, 2013

Anyway, like I was sayin', apples are the fruit of the tree.

You can put 'em in a pie. Boil 'em. Can 'em. They's apple butter, apple crisp, apple jelly...

And it's apple season at Roundtree Lane.  Now, I've begun to realize how Bubba felt in the shrimp business. You can do almost anything with apples. And thanks to the world wide web, I am managing to try a few new things.
Plenty of these beautiful apples hanging patiently waiting to be picked.
About the end of August, Walter saw that the apples on the tree were looking ripe. My sister in law was our first "customer" picking as many as she could reach. She made a few stops and filled up a few bags to take on the road with her. 

By labor day weekend, she requested some more apples to use at a camp retreat. We picked three Walmart bags full of apples and sent them on their way. 

Now, in mid September the branches are weighed down with these delicious apples (not sure what kind they are). 

Feeling guilty about not using the resources at my fingertips (literally), I decided to go apple picking.

Thinking of the possibilities.

Just a small amount.

Apple Pie Quinoa Breakfast Casserole (11)-2
Apple Pie Quinoa Breakfast Casserole
from Healthful Pursuit.
There's something about this season (and living here in general) that makes even a non-domesticated girl want to slow down and pretend she is living on a prairie.  The past few years, we haven't had a real kitchen and I've relied on Ronald, Wendy, and a Colonel for food. It feels so nice to step back and actually cook meals again. Now, I wish I had time to grow more food, and learn how to can. Not to mention, milk cows and gather eggs. Maybe someday.

Picking apples lets me live out a snippet of this dream. So last weekend, I decided to hone in on my domestic skills. (Although they are so limited, the target was very, very small.) My first try was a breakfast recipe. Another one of my sister in laws (who finds lots of delicious recipes) made a pumpkin pie quinoa breakfast casserole which I loved. I decided to try it with apple. [Find the recipe here.]

Later that afternoon, I filled my crock-pot up with apples and made two jars of apple butter. [Recipe here.] We had some of the apple butter for breakfast this morning with homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, and bacon. (Yes, I'm tootin' my own horn now for actually making breakfast.)

After breakfast, Walter and I watched a few of our friends eating the apples that fell to the ground and realized that it was time to try another recipe.

We don't have to worry about rotten apples with these four around.

So tonight, following a bowl of chicken n' dumplings. I made apple crisp. I topped mine with ice cream and drizzled it with caramel syrup.

Now, my stomach almost hurts, I am so full. I probably need to just eat them the way the deer do.

September 14, 2013

Fall has arrived at Roundtree Lane!

      After yesterday's rain, fall is in the air. The temperatures cooled off considerably here from the high 80 degree temps we've had lately. 

     It was perfect weather to wear long sleeves and my muck boots and pick some apples. Then, follow it up with some pumpkin spice latte on my front porch. 

     It's starting to feel more like home everyday.

     Here's a sneak peak of what to expect this fall on the farm:

September 2, 2013

Oh, Deer.

From late morning until early evening, chances are you will have visitors. Sometimes it's a couple bucks. Sometimes it is a couple doe. This particular morning, Walter and I saw a doe and her fawn eating under our apple trees.

We watched them both eat, then, the fawn feed. Finally, the mother heard and saw Walter watching from the window and ending up trying to scare him off. Who needs Animal Planet?
Mama deer eating under our apple tree.

September 1, 2013

Blackberry pickin'

Ah! The perks of summer. 

I love berries, and our property has a very generous amount of these plump treats growing around our barns and around the treeline.

While they are nowhere near the size you'd find if picking their thorn-less relatives (and more sour), it's nice to know they are there for any future cobbler or jam cravings.