Autumnal Dinner

I purchased a about a bushel of assorted winter squash from a local farmer for a mere $20, and now they are wintering in our basement. Some of the butternut squash became soup this week. And then I went gathering for dinner a second time in the basement. (I LOVE being able to pull the ingredients I need for dinner from the basement or freezer…bounty from the summer harvested and preserved!) This time I was seeking acorn squash.


I sauteed a pound of Italian sausage, some onion, and some apple; added a bit of curry, some pecans, dried cranberries, and some panko crumbs. It all went into the oven for awhile, before being topped with a bit of Vermont cheddar.


When served with a green salad and Colette’s herb bread, it made a delicious autumnal dinner!

Leaves Indoors and Out

Foliage has been about “at peak”, as we say and the out of doors has been a gorgeous symphony of color! A quick walk out the front door and I came home with a fist full of branches to bring the beauty indoors.



A Good Idea

"The apples were ripe. Almanzo and Royal and father set ladders against the trees, and climbed into the leafy tops. They picked every perfect apple carefully, and laid it in the basket. Father drove the wagonful of baskets slowly to the house, and Almanzo helped carry the baskets down cellar and lay the apples carefully in the apple bins. They didn't bruise one apple, for a bruised apple will rot, and one rotten apple will spoil the whole bin." - Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Maybe I'm the last person on earth to see one of these, but when I spotted it in the barn of one of the farms on the Wool Arts Tour, I was most impressed!


For winter storage, the apples were packed in there on pull-out trays. Each tray was made of slats and the sides were open to allow for air circulation, so the apples would stay as fresh as possible as long as possible.


I thought it was a terribly clever idea.

Lovely Lunch & a Blog Give-Away

I wanted to take my dear friend to lunch at Pickity Place while she was visiting. Pickity Place is a restaurant with beautiful gardens and an herbal-themed menu that I knew she'd just love! I couldn’t wait to share it with her! To get to Pickity Place, we drove miles down tree-lined dirt roads.



And just when you’re starting to think there can’t possibly be anything this far out in the country, especially a restaurant, you come upon a sign, a parking lot full of cars, lots of people, and Pickity Place! The house that is Pickity Place was built in 1786 and was the illustration model for the first Golden Book version of Little Red Riding Hood.


The restaurant has three lunch seatings daily and serves the same menu at all three. Indeed, they serve the same menu for the whole month, and their menu varies with the months…being seasonally based with an emphasis on the herbs grown on the property. You can click here to read this year’s menus. Before our seating was called, we strolled through the herb gardens.


And we explored the Drying Shed. I think I just may need one of these!



Then our seating was called! Let the feasting begin! Oh my! This was the menu for our meal:

Crackers with Boursin Spread

Creamy Pumpking Apple Soup with Clove (This was my favorite of the day!)


Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette and Edible Flowers


Cinnamon Swirl Bread with Orange Butter

Herbed Chicken Fricassee Over Red Beans and Rice

Maple Ginger Roasted Vegetables with Cranberries

Chocolate Nut Bar with Frangelico Cream

Hot Mulled Cider

Coffee

It sounds like a lot of food, but we left just nicely filled and not stuffed, because there’s just a bit of everything…perfectly sized portions. And I must say that Pickity Place does a masterful job of flavor layering. Nothing is overwhelmingly flavorful…just subtly perfect. Delicious!

If you would like to have a taste of Pickity Place without traveling there, you can! Just leave me a comment and let me know you’d like to be entered in this blog give-away. Please be sure that I have a way of contacting you, either by an email contact link on your Blogger profile, or be leaving your email in the comment, or by emailing me your email address.  I will ship anywhere in the world, so don't be shy about entering!  I am giving away mixes for two of the items we enjoyed on our menu: Hot Mulled Cider Mix and Boursin Cheese Spread Mix. Yum! I will choose a winner at 4:00 p.m. (EST) on Monday, October 24th.



Season's End

A sure sign of season’s end…a bouquet of dahlias in a vase and green tomatoes set to ripen sharing space in the sunny windowsill.



Wool Art Tour - Part II

Continuing on the Wool Arts Tour, we came to the farm of a hand weaver.


A sweet woman with a British accent, who invited me to join a weaving guild (and no, I don’t know how to weave…yet!), demonstrated inkle weaving. Inkle weaving creates fun trim, like this:


Inside the barn, we were invited to climb a very steep flight of stairs to the weaver’s studio. What a priveledge! Here are some of the sights we saw in the crowded, colorful, and fiber-filled studio.






Outdoors, there were many beautifully woven items for sale.


I greatly admired that bold, plaid, woven throw on the top right!


Among the demonstrators was this woman with her very old looking spinning wheel.


This woman taught my friend's daughter how to weave. She must've spent about 10 minutes squatting down and weaving with her...so sweet!


A sheep watched from the shadows as we moved on to the next stop on the tour.


At the next farm, spinning lessons are offered year round.  But during the Wool Arts Tour, quick lessons are given for free in this wonderful studio!


My friend's older daughter was most excited for the opportunity to learn to spin!  I warned her that I found it a bit challenging when I tried a couple of years ago on the tour.  The combination of the up-and-down foot motion with the pushing-pulling hand motion was a little like rubbing your tummy and patting your head.  But in no time at all she was spinning beautifully!


A lovely day of fall foliage, fiber, and friends!



Wool Arts Tour - Part I

Our visiting friends planned their trip around the dates of the annual Wool Arts Tour...fiber lovers all of us!  The tour is self-guided and took us down lovely country roads lined with trees resplendent with autumn color, to farms old and new, to meet some truly sweet people, and to enjoy faces like this one.


The first stop on the tour was Spring Pond Farm, where they raise alpaca! It’s a beautiful farm! The barn is so pristine inside that I think you could actually eat off the floor! There’s a fun spiral staircase that goes from the second floor of the barn to the third floor loft. And then there’s a ladder that goes from the third floor up into the cupola. There are animal pens, side rooms, and apples and squashes being stored for the winter inside this barn. It’s a lovely place!


The vendors were set up on the farm’s front lawn, and were selling all sorts of tempting items.




I thought this sweater was one of the loveliest items I saw all day…so feminine and such soft yarn!


A little fiddle music makes every event more fun!


There were pumpkin whoopie pies too!


My friend's youngest daughter loved the sheep!…and the alpaca!  Alpaca is my favorite fiber!



Just as we were about to leave, a horse drawn wagon pulled up and we were offered the chance to take a free ride on it! I was thrilled!


I enjoyed listening to the conversation of two 20-something women who were also on the wagon ride. One mentioned how she’d like to go back to horse and buggy days…a slower pace of life. The other said something about how materialism drives us to live faster lives. And the first responded on how she just wants to live like Little House on the Prairie. She reiterated, “That’s just what girls want…to live like Little House on the Prairie.” Well, AMEN! It renewed my faith that the entire younger generation is not completely lost in their techno gadgets! A wagon ride. A conversation about Little House on the Prairie. AND scenery like this! It all contributed to making this stop our favorite of the day!


Then it was stop #2,where the highlight was the sweet woman who spins straight from her angora rabbit. Her tables and spinning wheel were set up amidst the falling and fallen leaves.





Some of her beautiful hats made from yarn spun from her bunnies.


Inside the old house at this stop there were stunning, hand-dyed yarns.


Those yarns caught my eye last year, and I decided that when I went on the tour this year I would buy some of them. So here’s my big purchase of the day…yards and yards of lovely pink mohair/wool/nylon blend! I intend to make a lace scarf for chilly springtime days from it.


And behind the home, we found this adorable sheep peeking out of the barn. What a sweet face!


More of the Wool Arts Tour coming soon!
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