These afternoon thunderstorms have been good for our pastures, but they’ve also been great for the woods! And after a few rainy days…if you get lucky…you may just find the much-coveted chanterelle mushrooms. Our neighbors showed us how to hunt for them a couple of years back and last weekend the back woods were sprinkled with these golden beauties. Mike spotted them first, but I leaped out of the ATV to pick as many as I could before his patience wore out (which it did 😀 ). We shared the beautiful chanterelles with friends and sautéed some for burgers last night. Tonight they’ll go on a salad. Carol used hers for a pizza. Jay ate some raw, and Megan sent a link showing how to preserve them for the months ahead. It’s so fun sharing Nature’s gifts when you get the chance. See more recipe ideas here and here.
“Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.”
― David Foster Wallace
We are celebrating the two-year anniversary of our honeybees in the most fabulous way — with a second harvest! Life with bees has been a magical mystery ride, that’s for sure. Just when you think you know a few things, they show you that you really know so little. Kind of like horses. : ) Anyway, last weekend I felt like Winnie the Pooh…just couldn’t keep my hand out of the honeypot as we spun and bottled 2.5 gallons of the most gorgeous golden honey. A special shout-out to our neighbor Charlie, who has been our patient bee teacher, mentor and occasional swarm-catcher. Here are *sweet* moments from those first two harvests. Thank you, bees!
While we wait out this deep freeze down South, we’ve been playing with recipes that warm the body and soul. This drink is so nice, we made it thrice. : ) To make your nights and time by the fireplace a little bit warmer, here’s a fine little recipe for Winter Spiced Wine.
Winter Spiced Wine
4 cups spiced apple cider (we love Trader Joe’s)
1 bottle hearty red wine, like a Cabernet
1/3 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
Fresh zest of 1 orange
Fresh-squeezed juice of 1 orange
5-10 whole cloves
Pinch of whole allspice
4-5 star anise/whole
Orange peel for garnish
Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. Pour into warmed mugs and top with orange peel. Drink up, warm up!
Recipe (slightly) adapted from Ina Garten
Our very first sweet potato planting was a small success! Here’s a shot of the ‘harvest’ — dug up today at the start of Thanksgiving week. We loved seeing all the funny tater shapes emerge with each shovelful of turned dirt. If the family doesn’t choose the classic casserole with marshmallows and all the trimmings, we might just opt for this yummy looking recipe from our talented friend Tara, whose delicious food ideas can be found at TaraTeaspoon.com. Let the Thanksgiving Day cooking commence!
Read more about the 10 Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes.