just like Dorothy what we sought was always there in our own backyard
We went to Little House in the Rockies a few weeks ago, seeking the fall color.
We’ve had this tiny log cabin for five years, and for five years, we’ve managed a trip up there sometime in the fall color date window. Mid-September, late September, early October, mid-October. We travel all ’round each fall, going hither and yon, looking for that perfect vista of autumn leaves, that soul-satisfying mix of reds, yellows and oranges.
We’ve seen some nice colors on these treks, taken lots of pictures and made some lasting memories.
On the last afternoon of this most recent visit, our 2018 Fall Colors Roundup, after hithering and yonning for days, we hunkered down and just enjoyed Indian Mountain where Little House is located. The bright yellow aspen, birds, wildlife and big blue mountain-bordered skies were just as satisfying as anything we encountered on our day trips. It was always right there in our own backyard.
Just like Dorothy.
If you’ve read this far, I have a confession to make. I was almost guilty of self-plagiarism!It’s also known as “recycling fraud,” when an author uses his or her own work without citing it. I searched the Glover Gardens blog for other posts about Little House in the Rockies and I found this one from last year: Dorothy Was Right: It Was In Our Own Back Yard (fall colors). Can you believe it? How could I forget? But I’m going forward with the 2018 version anyway, now that I’ve properly cited my work. And also, although last year’s “backyard” colors are more vibrant, this year’s post has a haiku!
You have probably figured out that The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies. It’s all allegory and human nature and fairy tale truths. And it was also a really good book.
Real life at Glover Gardens has been a little too busy for the Glover Gardens blog to be active for the past week or two…but I’m revving up for a revival.
I “catered” a friend’s 50th birthday party in the Texas Hill Country this weekend, spending a couple of very enjoyable days chopping, roasting, marinating, baking and garnishing. And hanging out with cool people in a lovely setting.
It was fun! I’ll share some of the recipes with you over the next few weeks, because this is a pretty good fall party menu. A couple of these dishes are going into the regular Glover Gardens rotation. And there was a bonus: the Grill-Meister found and executed a terrific cake called Bailey’s Chocolate Poke Cake. He says he’ll make it again, so you can expect to see it, too.
I like to live on the edge and tried a new recipe or two, including a sangria. I sent the birthday boy’s wife this story from Food & Wine and asked her to pick one. She picked a winner! Any time I get to use star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks and whole allspice berries, I’m happy.
The Rosé Sangria with Cranberries and Apples was a hit. There was a teensy bit left, and I made it the star of a still life when we got home this afternoon. This spicy-sweet sangria will be on the menu over the holidays here at Glover Gardens. I jazzed it up a little bit and will tell you all about it the next time I make it.
Happy Sunday evening!
Update – as I publish the recipes from the party, I’m adding them here.
This recipe was posted on a Swedish news website (SVT.se) and given to me by my mom’s neighbor after he made the cake – and I think I ate half of it myself.
The quote above is from a friend and colleague’s Facebook page, where she posted a picture of the marvelous apple cake she brought to our Thanksgiving potluck at work last Friday. She was happy to share the recipe when I asked (although she had to translate from Swedish, converting the measurements from deciliters), and added:
“It’s super easy to make, with a sort of a sugar cookie base with apples on top. I use Granny Smiths because of their sourness to contrast with the sweet cake.”
This cake was terrific! The tart green apples balanced perfectly with the cookie-like base, and the texture contrast between the softness of the baked apples and the slight crunch of the crust was also very appealing. It was a great dessert for our Thanksgiving lunch at work, and would be a perfect addition to any holiday table.
Rounded 3/4c sugar
Scant 1c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large apples or 4-5 small ones
1 stick butter melted
Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
Core and cut apples into 1/4″ slices. Toss in a bowl with cinnamon. I also add some nutmeg and allspice.
Whisk Eggs and sugar together. Then add flour and baking powder. Mix well. Will be a very thick batter consistency.
Take a spoonful or so of the melted butter and grease a round baking dish. A large shallow tart pan is best but I have also made in a large pie dish as well. Pour in batter and spread. (Tip: spin the pan on counter top to help the batter spread – it will be very thick)
Arrange the spiced apples on top and pour the remaining butter all over the top.
Bake at 350 for about 30 mins or until golden brown. If using a deeper pan, you may need to cover with foil if the top is browned but you can see that the batter is still wet in places.
The only thing that would make this cake better would be to serve it warm with some very rich vanilla ice cream or gelato. But who has room for that kind of decadence after a holiday meal? As made, I can convince myself that this is a healthy dessert because of the apples. Right?
When I travel, the Grill-Meister keeps me posted on happenings at home. I love it when he sends flower photos – they make me feel so connected to Glover Gardens. This week was no exception. I was in Washington, where it was cold and rainy all week (although I was almost never outside because I was attending a conference), and these pics with the Grill-Meister’s cheery messages provided all the sunshine I needed.
Fall weather has finally arrived in Southeast Texas, and I’ve been thinking a little about the seasons of the year as a metaphor for the seasons of life. Perhaps this is because of the death of my father this summer, followed by this first beautiful autumn without him. These thoughts formed the second and third line of the haiku below, which I carried around in my head for days without finding the right opening line. And than I saw this hauntingly beautiful autumn leaves art photo from The Storyteller blog, which almost sang out the first line to me and finished the haiku.
bittersweet beauty: autumn’s lingering farewell a foreshadowing
Thank you for the inspiration, Ray.
More Glover Gardens haiku is here, and more musings about autumn are here.
We never get any trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood, so this is our whole Halloween celebration, right here, with you, Dear Readers. No candy, no costumes, no curses, no ghouls. Just a couple of photos and a memory.
This is what late afternoons in Southeast Texas look like; the temperature on Sunday when I took this “spooky” photo was just what you’d imagine from the looks of it, a perfect 68°F. Our sole nod to Halloween this year (other than this post) is the Talavera pumpkin on the table – do you see him? For the rest of the year, we turn him around, and he’s just a big, lovely gourd.
And, just because I found it while going through pictures on my Dad’s computer recently, here’s a Halloween postcard from days gone by, circa…1968? I think I was Orphan Annie, but can’t be sure. No one in my family is left but me from those days.
I still remember how scratchy that mask was (why did Orphan Annie need a mask?!!?). My mother made the costume, as she did every year. I felt inadequate years later as a working mom because I bought my son’s costumes and didn’t live up to her standard of handmade Halloween heirlooms.
I now realize that it is being there, listening, and caring about their Halloween experience that makes the difference for a child, not who made the costume.
What are your Halloween observations this year, or memories?
There’s not much cooking going on at Glover Gardens of late; it’s been all travel and restaurants and take-out – oh my! But last Sunday night, the Grill-Meister and I caught up on comfort food all at once with a big pot of red beans and rice, with plenty of sausage. And of course, jalapeño cornbread. Yum!
Would you blame me if I had triple helpings, but only confessed to two?
I’m still tweaking the recipe to perfection, so it’s not quite time to share, but here’s a picture.