Behind My Red Door

Friday, September 26, 2008

Her very first apple pie and I have proof!

Happy Friday!! I hope everyone had a great week. We had gorgeous weather for most of the week, but woke to lots of rain and it looks like it will be this way for a few days. I truly thought we had enough this summer to last all year, but I guess Mother Nature has other ideas. I am staying in and starting the change over from summer to fall clothing. It's always such a chore. And it is sure to turn warm again once I do this so always have to leave one pair of capri's and some short sleeved top out. Do you find that happens to you too? And have you noticed how short the days are now? The sun is setting earlier and earlier. That's one of the main reasons we are starting to see this gorgeous site more and more around here.

Yes - the shorter days (less daylight) means that the trees are not making the chlorophyll they need to stay green. By no means is this site the norm yet but there are many isolated spots of this color - often around water. I hope you don't get tired of me posting pics of foliage - I wait ALL year for it and it so fleeting - I want to enjoy it as much as possible! It is one of the best things about living in New England.

Another special thing about fall in NE is the fact that we live very close to Leominster, MA, home of Johnny Appleseed and orchards are plentiful around here. And what would fall be without a trip to one of the family owned orchards. Our DD Jen and I went to one of my favorites -Clearview Farm in Sterling, MA. The farm has a very interesting history and anyone who knows nursery rhymes will recognize some of the characters!
This is taken from the farm's website: "In 1906 Caswell and Etta Wood bought the property which consisted of a traditional farm house with all post and beam barn and wind driven well. Their only surviving child, Edith Wood, a well known elementary school teacher in town married “the boy next door”, Norman Sawyer, from the Sawyer farmstead of Mary Had a Little Lamb fame. In the 1940's Norman planted the standard orchard of mostly Macintosh apples still used today for PYO and cider apples. Norman and Edith’s oldest grand daughter, Diane, and her husband Rick moved here in 1989. A statue in the center of Sterling commemorates Mary and her lamb. Diane is a sixth generation descendant of Mary and currently owns the Sawyer homestead. Rick still farms some of the original Sawyer farmland. This site has been a farm for 200 years and in this family 6 generations."
We used to take our nursery school classes here every fall to ride the wagon out to the pumpkin patch so each child could find a little pumpkin to take home and then pick apples to bring back to school to make applesauce and apple crisp. The kiddo's loved knowing that Diane was related to Mary. One of them always asked where the lamb was! Well no lambs but plenty of apples and I spied this cutey picking a bag full.

Look at how full the branches are.

Caught ya!! Awwwww who can resist a bite of one of these crisp beauties.
After leaving the orchard, Jen asked if I would teach her how to make an apple pie. After I recovered from the shock, I said "of course". You see my Jen has never shown any interest in domestic skills. Here she was, granddaughter to my mom, the original Martha Stewart of homemakers, and daughter of mine, a domestic goddess (stop laughing!) and she couldn't boil water. Not that I didn't try when she was living at home, but she was too busy dancing or going out with her friends, or dancing, or talking on the phone, or dancing. Now that she doesn't live at home, she has learned to clean and do laundry and the basics, so apparently she did learn something through osmosis. In her defense, she does have a few recipes she is very good at but she is very lucky that her guy Justin cooks. And so you can imagine my delight when she said she wanted to learn and so home we went to make pies.

First the peels were flying...
Then the flour was flying
After adding my secret ingredient, we piled the crusts full....

Then we added the top crust and made it pretty yet rustic...

Around this time, my DIL called Jen and asked if she wanted to head to the mall with her. Jen looked at me in her sweet way and said "mummy bummy (you can tell already she is buttering me up!), Angela wants me to go to the mall with her when she returns something. Do you mind if I leave now?" And I looked around my kitchen at the huge mess and said the only thing I could say "Sure Jen, go ahead!!" LOL Hey she learned how to make a pie - that was enough for me!!

Here is my pie all done. Isn't it pretty?? You should have seen the look on my hubby's face when he came home and spotted that on the counter last night. I had dinner cooking in my Slow cooker and this on the counter. ~ Yes! Fall has truly arrived Behind My Red Door~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So now BOTH of my adult kiddos know how to make my apple pie. You see long ago Jason asked how to make one and since owning his own home 4 years ago, he has made several each fall. He is a great cook and a newly wed, so his bride Angela was treated to this the other night. See her initial in the middle? All together now awwwwwwwwwwww!!

And just because I can, I am sharing these pics of more foliage. This is what I see outside my bathroom and kitchen windows these days. Again, just an isolated spot, but it's mine!

I also want to thank Jody over at Star Spangled Creations for giving me the Your Blog Rocks Award. Jody has been reading my comments on awards so she left it up to me as to how I wanted to handle it. Thanks so much Jody! I am honored that you enjoy my blog and appreciate your consideration! If you haven't been to her blog yet, you have to see her wonderful dolls.
We lost our Internet connection for much of Friday and I have some other important business to take care of that will tie up my computer time for the next day or so and I am already very behind in visiting many blogs on my blogroll, but I hope to catch up with all my wonderful blogging friends this weekend.
Until next time - hugs, Linda

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Home on the Hill and Fall Fun with a Fabulous Friend!

HAPPY FALL! I can officially say that finally - yeah!!
The first day of fall was pretty dreary but yesterday - day two was a gem. My dear friend Chris and I headed north just over the NH border to Pickity Place for another awesome luncheon. Above is the pretty scene that greeted us as we entered the gift shop. Chris had the idea that once each month this fall we head to Pickity. Because the menu changes each month, there is something new to look forward to each time and I am more than happy to be her luncheon campanion any time.
This is what we dined on yesterday:

Garden Patch Dunk Dip
Cumin Corn Chowder
Fennel and White Bean Salad
Parmesan Herb Bread
Ripe Tomato Four Cheese Lazagne
Yellow and Green Bean Saute
Carrot Spice Cake with Ginger Frosting

Everything was delicious! The portions are not huge so we managed to eat it all. The see pics of this incredibly quaint restaurant in an antique cape in the woods of southern NH go here.

As we left Pickity Place, there was some gorgeous foliage. It's a bit hazy because I was pointing towards the sun but you can see the brilliant colors in this grove. It was breathtaking. And that's just a hint of what the entire landscape will look like soon!

After my last post and the mention I made about tags, awards and memes and how much time they take and how I refuse to leave anyone out or assume anyone wants to spend all the time it takes to post an award, several blogging friends mentioned they were glad I brought it up. It seems that many of you are also as honored as I am to receive awards, but you also have a hard time finding the time to post and link back and single out others and link those those blogs and many also told me they too hate to leave anyone out. I was really just echoing what others had mentioned, so I was happy to pass it on but I am really glad I did.

What makes it even more interesting is that I also heard from several non-blogging friends who read my blog and many of yours as well. They said they read our blogs for our stories, our recipes, our crafts, pics of family, friends, home and travels and things like that. Two friends told me they feel like the awards and some of the tags take away from why we blog and they won't even bother to read those posts. That REALLY got me to thinking about why I started blogging in the first place and I can see their point. I have been blessed to have made many wonderful blogging friends and like my friends, I want to see your stories, recipes, crafts, family, friends, homes and travels too. Is anyone else feeling this way? I am curious!

Several times I have mentioned my Kathy from New Brunswick. We met through our Webshots Albums of our homes and hit it off and find more in common every week it seems. I just LOVE her Home on the Hill. And if you are a Mercantile Gathering fan, I mentioned here that her home will be in the upcoming Christmas issue. But YOU don't have to wait until that issue comes out as I have the pleasure of showing you all some pics of her lovely Home on the Hill all decked out for fall. Kathy's home is filled with family heirlooms and most of the new wonderful reproduction furniture is hand made by her talented husband Stephen. Then Kathy's uses her talent to make many of the accessories and finishing touches and when it is all done, it is, well, in my opinion, decorating magic!! She has just enough, never too much, placed just right to make the most tastefully decorated colonial prim home you can imagine. But you don't have to imagine - here we go....

Let's start outside her pretty red cottage with the pretty yellow doors.....

And now we are in the hallway - imagine being greeted by this lovely scene....

We'll move into the kitchen and dining room where you can just picture having a lovely meal...

And now we'll retire to the warm and cozy living room...

Wasn't that fun? To see many more pictures of Kathy and Stephen's Home on the Hill, you can click here to their albums. It's worth the time! Thank you Kathy and Stephen for letting us have this peak into your home.

Our sweet daughter Jen came to dinner tonight. Jen and her boyfriend Justin live in town in a big old apartment in a big old house owned by our friends Tom and Sue. Justin is working in Washington, DC this week so my DD is alone at dinner time. I couldn't let that happen every night so I made one her favorite fall meals - steak on the bone (read T-bone or Porterhouse -that is what she has called it since she was little), Mamma's rice pilaf (mamma is my mom and she makes her pilaf from scratch) and butternut squash fresh from the farm. My little girl has champagne taste on a beer budget! I don't get to spoil her too often anymore so I was happy to do it tonight. David and I didn't get to the orchard on Sunday, so Jen and I plan to go tomorrow. We haven't done that together in years!! I can't wait.

Until next time - hugs, Linda