Saturday, September 25, 2010

Out at the Farmhouse

Last weekend T and I went out to our brother in law's land, so that T could switch out his trail camera SD cards. Sounds totally snoozeroo, but it's so pretty out there I took my camera to catch some pictures of the early fall. This is the same farm where we were married last year - here's the 1830-40's house all dressed up for the ceremony.

We made out way around the corn fields to get to the two cameras. One of the fields is right up against some woods and Rose Run creek - which is dammed up by the beavers right now, and kind of still and groddy looking. Anyway, the rest of the scenery is pretty nice. Here's some of what I saw.

On the way back in, we stopped in the cow barn to look around. Sadly, it's falling into pretty bad condition. There's a pretty big hole in the roof, there's about 30 years of manure hanging around, and let's not mention the bats. Still, believe me, it's full of that sad but beautiful rusticity. I hate to think that the barn is just going to disintegrate one day, but without a ton of money it's probably going to.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh my

So during the craziness that was making applebutter and all that hooha I managed to make these rolls. It's really gilding the lily to put butter on them, but for real, when did butter every hurt?

Now, I actually started them the night before - but don't be misled. They're not hard to make, you just need time for cooling down scalded milk, and then letting everything rise sufficiently. Seriously, they're no knead, too. Slightly sweet, buttery even before you butter them, soft, great crust. Really I could go on.

So, some day when you have lots of laundry or other lame housework stuff keeping you home, sweeten the deal by trying these out. Or please, do your families a favor and at least make them for Thanksgiving. They will love you even more than they already do.

Created by the wonderful Pioneer Woman, of course!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Apples! Get Your Apples!

Over the Labor Day weekend, we did a little apple picking. Now, we had every intention of going to Lynd's farm, paying someone else for our hard work, then heading home to make apple butter and sauce. Well, T's dad pretty much told us we were idiots, and that there is an old man down the road from their house that will let you have apples from his defunct orchard for free. Just ask. So we did.

The orchard is huge, and it's pretty sad that it's in such a poor state. No kidding, this place is a little wild and overgrown and there's a lot of stickers and possibly poison ivy, and a lot of the apples are wormy - BUT, we still managed to pick a ton that were perfectly fine.

See, they're fine! Maybe not the Miss America of apples, but still completely fine for our purposes. And totally FREE!

See how pretty they look all washed up?

While we were making apple butter, I had plans to make apple cinnamon syrup, so I washed up practically every jar in the house. There's something so satisfying about clean jars in the sunlight, waiting to be filled up and stored away.

So the apple butter was the crock pot method (since buying a copper kettle would probably mean opening up an equity line). And this was what it looked like starting out. Apples, cinnamon, clove and about a half ton of sugar. Delicious!

This is about 5-6 hours of cooking. Starting to break down and actually look like something. Let me tell you our house smelled like autumn heaven!

And this is the next day. Three crocks pot of apples cooked down for a looooong time. We mixed all the batches together for consistency, then canned, canned, canned.

And here's the end result! We got 18 jars of apple butter, and I did manage to squeeze in the syrup making too. Gosh I love those cut glass jars. Now, we still have possibly 15 pounds of apples left, so it looks like apple sauce needs to happen this weekend. Or we may have to invest in a cider press, it's hard to say.