apple seed and apple core

Turns out right outside my window is a view of the most magical apple orchard I have set my two feet upon.  Thirty varieties of crispy red globes of goodness a stones throw away.  You can believe I am gathering as many of them as I can get my hands on.

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Amongst others you know…

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We are making our sauce from the hew variety this year.  Roasting whole and coring and peeling with a food mill.  Then vanilla beans, cinnamon and nutmeg added in with a squeeze of lemon for color and I believe we will be scooping the good stuff for many months to come.  It amazes me how happy I am when I pop open a jar of home-made applesauce in February.  The smell of that fall day, the sun shining on my forehead as I look up my ladder, the feel of the cool sweet grass on my bare toes, it just comes back.  Beats a bottle of Motts, to say the very, very least.

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Apple trees, being cared for well into their old age… as the proud owner of this orchard says, “It is a testament to the way we should treat our elderly…”.  It’s hard to see in the picture but the trunk is completely caved in.  It is a rotted half moon of a stump.  Then growing right out of the center at the top is a very healthy and producing apple tree, only needing help buy a y-shaped branch to hold it up.  Pretty amazing.

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Any good stuff being put in your jars lately?

a tradition to ground us

This past week, an absence in this space meant a presence of some very missed loved ones on a visit from far away.  Coming to our tiny home in the middle of nowhere must be quite the shock for most city folk.  The lack of television and convenience could be a bit disappointing I would imagine.  My hopes are always that it is a welcome calm in the midst of busy noisy days.  I think there is a good chance that just this happened for our lovely visitors.

And of course the littlest among us were beyond thrilled to spend every waking moment with their Duke and Dutchie.  

And those moment where one of the other was sleeping were surely spent dreaming up the next adventure they would ensue.

For we did have a few of them.

With family in town, and some oh so sweet moments stored snugly in our memories, the house is now quiet and quite honestly peaceful.  Of course family in town means help around the house, shared meals and laughs, adventures and sight-seeing, and playing and pretending galore.  But, at the same time it also means two little boys who are overwhelmed with love, sleep deprived and well… out of their element.

The first days back to normal can be so very sobering.  But not this time around.

This time, I thought perhaps a nice grounding tradition would be the way to bring things back together; To encourage our schedule to creep back up around us, to get use to the calm corners of creativity and play, to bring our feet back to the ground and begin our days as a threesome and sometimes (on the best of days) a foursome family.

The third annual apple smashing and the many annual cat pumpkin moonshine carving started this windy brisk day off right.  A few toasted seeds and a steaming bowl of apple sauce were just the remedies for the coming back to normalcy we needed.  I hope your autumn traditions are bringing you peace and comfort these days too.