September 19, 2010

Cozying Up to Fall

What a perfectly cozy weekend it's been here. Cool, rainy, foggy, misting. Makes us even more grateful for a warm, comfortable home. We both love this time of year when we can be outdoors without so much heat, and we have much more energy too! The garden out front is just overflowing with color. There is so much to appreciate and so many plants thriving that have been given to us as gifts. It's quite a memory maker out there!

Out back, our compost bin is overflowing too! Every year that we've used this bin (thanks to my Uncle J), we've had volunteers growing forth. This year the last bin is stuffed with tomato plants, watermelon vines, and a large pumpkin vine is out and over the bin.

And look at the beautiful gift hiding underneath all that vine! We had a lot of rain this weekend (nearly two inches here), and there is a beautiful pool of it on top of this pumpkin. I adore this pumpkin. It's called a Cinderella Pumpkin because it resembles the pumpkin that turned into Cinderella's coach - my favorite childhood movie! Not the Disney version mind you - the 1965, Lesley Ann Warren as Cinderella version, which was a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical made for T.V. We own it on VHS cassette and it's the only movie that I had to forbid my daughter from loaning out!

Here's another tangle out back in the garden. What are the odds that this will become a proper asparagus bed by next spring?? We have some research to do on this matter. There seem to be many opinions about how to handle a newly forming bed. We love asparagus and hope to make this work!

What better thing than a warm meal to end a fall weekend. These Delicious apples, which originated in our county, pair up incredibly well with a couple of good Iowa chops! These chops came from a farm in Ankeny, IA called Griffieon Family Farm - antibiotic-free, no-hormones-added pork. The apples actually came from our local "gas and go"! Our next order of apples won't be in until Thursday, and our local grocery store is closed on Sundays, so on the off chance that they would have some sliced snacking apples, my DH popped into the store and there were two beautiful, fresh apples! I posted a while back about the surprising retail finds I've discovered in a town where we've lived for four years with our eyes closed apparently!

I used a good pair of kitchen shears to help make a nice pocket in these chops and then filled them up with the stuffing.

They were truly delicious. You can find the recipe here, on the recipe page.

Yep, my old spark is returning, and I'm back to seasonal "mantlescapes". I lost my enthusiasm for several reasons this past year, but I'm happy to be back to the fun of it. Now the only thing missing from this cozy home scene - our DD. Miss you honey. xoxoxoxo

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