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October 2012

October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Harvest

Pumpkin harvest is chugging along here. I love to watch the steady flow of farmhands buzzing about on our property and beyond.

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Pumpkins have the pleasure of bringing a smile to everyone they meet. Who doesn't love a pumpkin?

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As the autumn weather sets in and the air begins to frost, so does the foliage on the plants. It's actually quite nice when that occurs because it makes harvesting that much easier. No searching around through the leaves for each pumpkin. The farmhands come through with big clippers and clip the stem away from the plant. The stems can be quite prickly and tough.

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The pumpkins are gathered up and placed in big bins to be transported by tractor to Byron's farm across the way where they will be sold.

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Happy harvest, pumpkins. Happy harvest, you. And may every pumpkin bring a smile.

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P.S.

I'm blowing a kiss to Donna Bradley in Texas for the lovely letter. Bless your son for his service to our country.

I was recently on WBCL radio. You can listen by clicking here if you'd like. (My segment starts just after the 6 minute mark).

A friend of a friend is facing some challenges. The Spokane community is rallying and you can help too. Click here to learn more about the upcoming tag sale that is being held to raise money for her and her mom's care. If you're in the Spokane, WA area, you can donate any goods for the tag sale or make plans to shop at the sale coming up in November. Click here for more details.

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Image by Samantha Cabrera


October 22, 2012

Cider A La Mode

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I love apple season and getting to have fresh-pressed cider is just an added bonus. The other night I was thinking about how much I wanted some apple pie but I wanted it RIGHT then. And since pie takes a while, I started thinking about what I could make instead. Cider. Spiced Cider. Hmmmm, could I add a dollop of ice cream and make it a Cider A La Mode? YES! And this little treat was born.

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh-pressed cider

1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 scoop vanilla ice cream (you can use your favorite non-dairy variety to make it vegan)

Heat cider, then stir in sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add ice cream and drink right away.

Please note, this isn't a mulled cider. This is a quick-fix kind of treat. The longer you heat cider with spices, the more intense the spice flavor becomes. If you are going to do this as a mulled cider, you'll want to experiment with the spices to suit your taste. Also, if you ever make mulled cider, I'd recommend using a cinnamon stick rather than ground cinnamon because it gives a great flavor without the powdery consistency of the ground cinnamon.

If you want to make more than one cup, just double or triple ingredients as needed.

IMG_3444Sources:

Glass mug: TJ Maxx

Handmade kitchen cloth: Katelyn Foutch

Ice cream scoop: Beam & Anchor

October 15, 2012

Meet The Farmer: The Erovicks (CherryShack Orchard)

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Meet Brad and Jackie Erovick of CherryShack Orchard!

CherryShack Orchard is located just down the road from my house and boasts more apple varieties than you've probably ever heard of. More than 30 in all.

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McIntosh, Spartan, Golden Delicious, Ida Red, Green Gravenstein, Red Gravenstein, Ginger Gold (My favorite!), Early Gold, and many many more.

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CherryShack is truly a family run orchard, with everything they sell coming straight from their farm. Brad keeps busy year round managing the orchard, pruning trees, maintaining the land, pressing cider and so on. Brad's dad, Bill, runs the orchard store:

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Brad's mom, Marilyn, makes all the jams, syrups, pies, caramel apples, and helps Brad with the cider pressing:

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Recently I was so excited to discover they sell a huge variety of vintage potato sacks! You can do so many great things with them. I stuffed one full of straw, stapled the open end closed, and use it for a cushion on a straw bale. The perfect fall porch seating! We also took one and covered a cork board for a great message board at their store.

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Fresh-pressed cider is in high demand here and during the fall, they press about four times a week, producing hundreds of gallons of cider. Did you know it takes about 14 pounds of apples to make one gallon of cider? I really like that they pasturize using UV light, rather than through a heating process. I think more nutrients are retained that way. Here is what the pulp looks like after pressing:

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The pulp is used for things like chicken feed and compost. Nothing goes to waste here.

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In addition to the more than 30 varieties of apples that are grown here, they also grow apricots, cherries, pears, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and other assorted vegetables.

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Jackie and Brad Erovick

You can find contact information for CherryShack Orchard by clicking here.

You can find them on facebook by clicking here.

God bless the farmers - the men and women who work the land to make our country the beautiful and fertile place it is today. You can read more on my Meet the Farmer series by clicking here.

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October 05, 2012

Fall Fills Our Home

I went walking around our property to gather bits of fall to bring inside. My first stop was the wild little apple tree by the road.

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Golden autumn leaves were next. Gather gather gather.

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Then some oak leaves from one of the scraggly little oaks along the fence. The leaves are fire-like.

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I trudged through the thick dusty field to the backside of our property where pumpkin harvest is in full swing. A little basket of minis was all I needed.

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I stopped by the garden for a few cornstalks too, then back inside to plug it all in.

I started with this beautiful antique runner from my friends Dustin and Christian of Uber Chic Home.

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Cornstalks were added in to create a base.

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Then some leaves

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and little pumpkins.

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I like to incorporate just a few elements. I think a display is more impactful that way.

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All the remaining gathered goods were added onto the shelf in my kitchen.

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Now, fall fills our home.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

The table runner is from Uber Chic Home.

The dining room table was made by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from World Market.

The dining room light fixtures are all from Pottery Barn.

The basket on the shelf above my stove is from Roost Antiques in Spokane, WA.

The mortar and pestle was found at a little bargain shop in San Francisco's Chinatown.

The tile in the kitchen is from Dirk Elliott Tile.

October 03, 2012

Big Boy Returns From Florida!

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Big Boy made it to Florida just in time for Hurricane Irene. Yipes!

He was there visiting Jackie and had quite a time, despite the scary weather conditions.

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He took in a football game just before the storm hit, then it was pretty scary from there. Shuttered homes, flooding, and some worry about what would develop. Luckily, Jackie was a wonderful hostess and made him microwave potato chips when they ran out of snacks.

Big Boy loved Florida, despite the scary weather and now he's enjoying some time in Idaho.

You can findout more about his upcoming travel schedule and back story here.

Happy trails!

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