Thursday, August 31, 2006

Métro Cambronne

The Cambronne station on the #6 line (Nation - Charles de Gaulle/Etoile). It's one of the above-ground stations in the 15th along the boulevards Grenelle and Garibaldi.

The light was very nice and there were very few commuters at this point in the morning. I wish I had taken some time here to do more shots, or better yet, had a ticket and gone up onto the platform. Next time, perhaps.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Paris Morning

Yesterday we woke up in Paris after arriving on Monday mid-day. We had lunch with our friend, Charles-Henry in a neighborhood bistro, did some shopping, then dinner in a Japanese restaurant a few doors down from C.-H.'s place before hitting the hay.

So, once awake, I grabbed my camera for a quick stroll around the 'hood. It was between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. and the city was just getting moving. It's still August, so people aren't really back to work or school in great numbers.

Breakfast set up in a local hotel: pains aux raisins and croissants!

Le Moulin de la Vierge (The Virgin's Mill) bakery on Blvd. Garibaldi.

A closer look at Le Moulin de la Vierge.

Colorful cookies in a bakery window.

We drove back home after a great lunch in a couscous restaurant in the 15th. Ken took pictures of the place so I'll leave it to him to describe. It was a fun long weekend, but it's nice to be home! I'll post more photos from the Normandy/Paris trip over the next few days. Word Of The Week will be back next week.

Monday, August 28, 2006


We spent a beatiful Sunday on the coast in Dieppe. In this part of Normandy, the coast is referred to as the Alabaster Coast (la Côte d'Albâtre). We ate a seafood lunch (oysters, amandes, ray wing, mussels) then walked around town and along the beach.

A beautiful sunny day on the coast of the English Channel is not to be wasted! There was a good stiff wind, and it wasn't warm, but that didn't stop thousands of people from enjoying the clear day outdoors. There were even sunbathers on the beach. We watched a ferry arrive in port from New Haven in Britain - there were many many Brits in town having a good time.

Today it's off to Paris for a day and a half.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

La Normandie

Ken and I are in Normandy this weekend visiting friends. Here's a quick shot of Rouen:

The big steeples on the right belong to the cathedral of Rouen. The city straddles the Seine between Paris and the English Channel. Our friends live just outside the city in a quiet little suburb. Today we're heading up to Dieppe to see the coast and to eat lunch.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Photo Du Jour

Chandeliers in the Cathédrale de Chartres.

By the way, sorry about the interruption yesterday. Blogger/Google had some major problems with the beta version of the blog software - I guess that's why they call it "beta" - that made the posts invisible for a while. It seems that they now have it fixed (thanks, Blogger!). That'll teach me to jump into beta software too soon!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Name That Vineyard !

Welcome to NTV Number 2 ! Thanks for the comments on last week's entry, but although most of you demonstrated that you knew the vineyard, none of you actually mentioned its name. You must name it to win ! And yes, it was indeed Vouvray.

Here's this week's entry:

  • Primary grape : 13 varietals are authorized here, but the ones most used today are grenache, cinsault, mourvèdre, syrah, muscardin, counoise, clairette, and bourboulenc.
  • Wine style : full-bodied red, still.
  • Area : 3,133 hectares
  • Production : 98,149 hectolitres or 9,814,900 litres (over 13 million bottles)
  • AOC since 1936
It's like carrying popes to Newcastle.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Un Jour, Une Tour [22]

This little tower is actually a pencil sharpener! Just another little trinket that I picked up on one of my trips to Paris over the years. And it works, too.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Word Of The Week


I learned this word recently, as I do many words, by watching tv. A commercial for the upcoming US Open tennis tournament used the tag line: US Open - Il faut avoir du cran. What is this cran stuff and why, I wondered, do tennis players need it?

According to the dictionaries, un cran is a notch or a cut in a material, like the notch in a belt for example. This didn't make much sense; tennis players need notches?

The second definition, however, is audacity, courage, or energy, as in having the guts to do or say something. And that's the definition that was being used in the commercial. Playing in the US Open takes guts, at least according to the US Open sponsors.

Since that ad, about a week ago, I've heard and seen the word used at least five times. I am constantly wondering how I can understand a single sentence of this language when so much of it sails right by me, not understood, every moment.

You've really got to have du cran to plunge into life in France!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What's In A Meme ?

A few weeks ago, Ken tagged me with a meme. What's a meme? From Wikipedia: The term "meme," coined in 1976 by Richard Dawkins, refers to a replicator of cultural information that one mind transmits (verbally or by demonstration) to another mind.

On the internet, specifically in blogs, a meme is a set of questions that one answers to give readers some insight into your personality, politics, beliefs, etc. The questions are answered, then the blogger "tags'' a fellow blogger and she, in turn, publishes her answers to the questions and "tags" yet another blogger and so on. It's almost like a chain letter, but there is no promise of riches or salvation attached.

Back to Ken's meme. Unfortunately, my answers would be quite similar to his, given the questions (see them here). Therefore, I shall shamelessy borrow a meme that I found circulating on ScienceBlogs, the Random Quote Meme, as follows:

The rules: "Go here and look through random quotes until you find 5 that you think relect who you are or what you believe." Here goes.
  1. You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients (Julia Child).
  2. Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn't block traffic (Dan Rather).
  3. The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass (Martin Mull).
  4. I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I've lost is two weeks (Totie Fields).
  5. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world (J.R.R. Tolkien).
There you have it. It's fun looking around on the quote site, especially if you sort by subject. Now, whom shall I tag?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Twenty Years

There are just about twenty years between these two pictures. My how time flies.

Walt and Ken in San Francisco, early 1987.

Ken and Walt in France, 2006.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Zucchini Quiche

Last week we made a zucchini quiche. I don't really have a recipe for this one, specifically. We just kind of made it up based on a recipe for grated zucchini quiche and the ingredients we had on hand.

First up, I made my standard pâte brisée and blind-baked it. Here's a link to my method for that (you'll also see photos of previous grated zuke quiche and sliced zuke pie).

Pâte brisée, lined with kitchen parchment and filled with pie weights, ready to go into the oven for about 20 minutes.

Next, I grated one squash and squeezed (squoze?) the excess water out and set it aside to drain some more.

Grated zucchini squeezed and draining.

I cut the second zucchini into disks and lightly salted both sides to draw out some moisture.

Following that, I sliced and sautéed onions in olive oil. While they were cooking, I patted dry the squash disks. The cooked onions got spread in the bottom of the crust to cool.

Then I beat three whole eggs, added crème fraiche and milk (we use non-fat milk which is why I added the cream - if you use whole milk you don't need the cream), some grated gruyère cheese, the grated zucchini, chopped parsley, salt, pepper and some freshly grated nutmeg. I arranged the zucchini disks on top and sprinkled with a little grated cheese.

The raw quiche is ready for the oven.

Then into the oven (180ºC or 350ºF) for about an hour. When it looked done, I took it out to cool on a rack. We served it with a green salad and chopped garden tomatoes, and a bottle of Saumur Champigny. Deeee-lish!

Above, the finished pie; below, green salad with chopped tomatoes.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Earthquake Supplies

The local papers after the 1989 earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area - more of what we had in the garage.

Over the past few weeks Ken and I cleaned out our garage. We moved into this house a little over three years ago, and the garage was where we asked the movers to put most of our packed boxes so that we could unpack them slowly and not have boxes piled in the living spaces. It didn’t take long to unpack them and get things put away, but there were, until recently, a few boxes that hadn’t been unpacked among all the other things we had piled in the garage over the past three years.

Among them was a small six-pack cooler. It’s an American thing, a little cooler that is sized just right to hold a six-pack of beer, or soda, or sparkling water. Most likely beer. I had made a label for it which was taped to the side. It said, “Earthquake Supplies.” The font was a spooky font like you’d see used for the credits of a horror movie, all drippy as with blood, but in black and white.

We lived in San Francisco for nearly twenty years, and we were there in 1989 when the earth moved, rather violently, and we were all scared out of our wits. It wasn’t too bad, but it was bad enough that people died and parts of the city burned and many buildings needed to be torn down after. Pretty scary.

So we took to heart the warnings that another bigger earthquake was on the horizon. Indeed, there were many more, thankfully smaller, quakes in the years just after 1989, but not the “big one” that is still predicted and will surely come.

We went out and purchased batteries (many sizes), packaged water, emergency food rations, sterno, candles, bandages, matches, and even an emergency blanket, and packed it all into this little cooler and put it away in a closet. It was our emergency survival kit, just like the ones they showed us over and over on the nightly news and told us we should, at minimum, have in our home. It was our little peace of mind in our unstable little part of the world. Thankfully, in the 15 or so years after we had put the kit together, we never needed it.

Fast forward to now. We left the Bay Area, sold our house built on seismically active ground, and moved to France. Yes, there are earthquakes here, but not so much. They’re very rare and not likely in our region. Hey, the Pont du Gard is still standing after more than 2000 years, and without mortar!

We’ve been here for more than three years now. We cleaned out the garage this past week and there it was: the earthquake kit. I looked through it and discovered that the emergency rations had expired in 1995, and the emergency water packs were meant to be used prior to becoming five years old. Ooops. They are now more than fifteen years old. Ken thinks the batteries are probably dead by now. At least the candles can still be used. I cleaned the kit out, threw away the old stuff and kept the usable stuff. Finally, I ripped the Boris Karloff-looking label off the cooler and washed the whole thing out. Perhaps it will serve as a cooler one day soon.

I can’t help but thinking that the little earthquake kit was just one last link to our old life in San Francisco; that dismantling it was just another cutting of ties. We really live in France now. That place where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars, and the earth moves from time to time, is fading, however fondly, into our memory.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Name That Vineyard !

I'm trying something new here at wcs that I call "Name That Vineyard." I'm going to post an aerial view of a known wine producing area of France, provide some basic facts along with a hint, and see how many of you can correctly identify it (leave your guesses in the comments section). The answer will be posted next Friday. Remember that you can click on the image for a larger view. Use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.

The images are from the Institut Géographique National's website called GéoPortail, a cool site that you can check out for yourself, here. I'm using various books and web sites for the "facts" about each wine. I make no guarantee that the facts are absolutely accurate, but I'll try to be sure they're close enough.

Ok, here we go with a relatively easy one. Name that vineyard:

  • Primary grape : chenin blanc
  • Wine styles : sec, demi-sec, moelleux; still and sparkling
  • AOC since 1936
  • Area : 2,000 hectares
  • Production : 13 million bottles
Hint : "On va vers Vernou, nous ?"

Bonne chance !

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Un Jour, Une Tour [21]

This is a stylized tower engraved on a small metal plaque - the image is pretty close to its actual size. My failing memory prevents me from remembering where it came from, but I've had it for a while. It may have been a stocking stuffer one year during the holidays.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Word Of The Week

Scélérat (e)

This adjective that doubles as a noun came up in a conversation we had with our friend Charles-Henry a few weeks ago. We were talking about faux amis, those words in French and in English that are the same or similar but that mean totally different things. Examples include:

  • eventuellement and eventually; the French word means "possibly" or "potentially."
  • actuel and actual; the French word means "topical," "current" or what’s going on right now.
  • allure and allure; the French word means "speed" as in the speed at which your car moves.
  • assister and assist; the French word means to "attend" as in a concert or play.
  • raisin and raisin; the French word means "grape."

So, our conversation was about the words vilain and villain. In French, the word means ugly, nasty, disagreeable. In English, of course, it’s a bad guy or criminal. Which brings us to this week’s word: scélérat. It’s the French equivalent to the English villain (bad guy or criminal), like Snidely Whiplash here on the left, the arch-villain from the old Dudley Do-Right cartoons who kept tying poor Nell to the railroad tracks.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Today, for Catholics in France and elsewhere, is l'Assomption. For those whose religion embraces the cult of the virgin, this day celebrates the taking of Mary, mother of Jesus, into heaven. It's part of the story that's right up there with the immaculate conception (the event for which the cathedral in my home town is named).

Interior of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, NY (photo from

Needless to say, today is also a holiday in France. And, since it falls on a Tuesday this year, many folks who are not otherwise on vacation took Monday off as well for a swell four-day weekend. That's called faire le pont in French, or "to make the bridge" between Sunday and the holiday.

A deptiction of the virgin Mary in the church at Selles-sur-Cher. At least, I think it's supposed to be Mary. That's an assumption, not to be confused with l'Assomption.

Mostly what this means for me is that the stores are closed on Tuesday. And it's another excuse to post church pictures.

Carved faces in the church at Sées in Normandy.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Photo Du Jour

Vaulted ceiling at the church in Sées, southern Normandy.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hay Is For Horses

And for cows. After the hay is baled, it's loaded up and hauled to storage to feed the livestock over winter. This year, like last, it may not last that long. Parts of France are suffering from a serious drought (sécheresse) and some farmers have had to dip into the winter feed stores already since the grass has dried up in the pastures.

Other farmers from the wetter parts of the north are asked to send fourrage (that's the hay) south to help out their compratriots. This, of course, reduces their winter feed stock.

Locally, our rain has been spotty. July was wetter this year than last, with more rain than average for this area. However, the rest of the year has been drier (with the exception of a wet March) than average for here. How do I know this? Well, retirement gives you time to do lots of web research! We also have a rain gauge out in the back yard, which is what we use to measure our local rainfall. It's not perfect, and the averages I got from the web are for Blois (about 30 miles north of us), but it's a ballpark kinda thing.

What we've noticed is that in the summer, it's dry. It makes sense since we live in a wine region - grapes like dry summers. However, the rest of the year is on the dry side, too. Our town has been toying with the idea of banning burning (in your yard) between April and September, but I haven't heard if they've actually followed through. Most everyone around here burns yard and garden waste. When they clear the brush in the woods, they burn it. When the vintners prune the vines in winter, they burn the clippings. We burn leaves and yard waste in the fall, too.

Oh well, we shall see. In the meantime, we actually got some rain yesterday. Not much, but a little. The yard is looking much greener since July's storms.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I Hear You Knocking...

...but you can't come in.

This is one of the many, many (many) critters that we share our house with. Fortunately, this one's on the outside. For now.

We frequently get bees that fly in through an open window then can't find their way back out without assistance from one of us. Then there are the moths. On warm summer evenings the moths fly right in. Once a light is turned on, of course, they flock in, but even without the lights they're there. All shapes, all sizes. They're harmless, but they look like spots or smudges on the walls. Sometimes they die and need to be swept up. We won't even talk about the spiders.

There are lots of lizards, too, but they don't venture inside. They hang out on the walls outside.

Once in a while a bird will fly in. That is an event. They can see through the living room to a window in the guest room and, I guess, just think it's a place they can fly to. But once inside they become confused. We run around directing them out through the door hoping we don't find bird poop on any of the furniture after. So far, so good.

One evening a bat flew in. I got it cornered in the bedroom, shut the door and opened the window. It just kept flying around in circles over the bed. I had to use a t-shirt to basically "bat" it out through the window. No one was hurt.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Eggplant, tomatoes, basil, all from the garden. Sounds like pizza time !

First, the dough gets made and kneaded and allowed to rise. I do this the night before and it rises in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning it comes out to warm up and rise some more. In this photo, I've divided the dough into two rounds for the final rising.

Next, the eggplant is sliced, blanched, then roasted with a bit of olive oil in the oven. While that's happening, the tomatoes get sliced and lightly salted.

Then it's outside to pick some fresh basil which gets washed and chopped. The other ingredients are assembled:

Grated mozzarella, chopped ham, minced garlic, along with the tomates and basil. Not shown: salt & pepper and olive oil. I roll out one of the dough balls and let it rise while the oven and pizza stone heat up. The semolina gets sprinkled on the pizza peel (this helps it slide off into the oven), the dough goes on the peel, then it's on with the toppings, a dash of olive oil, and into the oven!

Two of these for lunch - delicious! Served, of course, with a local gamay.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Un Jour, Une Tour [20]

"Time" for another in the Eiffel Tower series. I think this one was a gift, but for the life of me I can't remember from whom. If it was from you, please accept my apologies. The battery in the clock died several years ago, so it's perpetually 10:04 in Eiffel Tower land. Of course, I can have a new battery put in (the little clock is about the size of a wristwatch and it pops right out of the tower), but I just haven't done it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Word Of The Week

B. A.-BA

This is a weird one. Again, while watching TV, this phrase went by and I said, "Huh? What the heck is le B. A.-BA?" It's pronounced bay-ah-bah.

Ken of course knew, but I could swear I'd never heard it before. Like all things language, I had probably heard it all the time and just let it go by, focusing on the larger picture of what was being said.

Then, while watching the news yesterday, a reporter used the expression. "Aha!" said I. Now I know.

Le B. A.-BA is what we'd call the basics or basic knowledge. Like the ABCs of, er, mathematics, if you know what I mean. The fundamentals, the base. Just don't ask me to use it in a sentence yet.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sauce Tomate

What do you do when you have a sink full of tomatoes? Make tomato sauce, of course!

First, the tomatoes are bathed in water. Next, they're sliced into quarters with any bad parts removed. Below are some green zebra-stripe tomatoes that went into the sauce. Also included are yellows, romas, fournaises, and donas.

Next, I cut up some onions, carrots, and sweet green peppers (from the garden). I also added garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Oh yeah, and a good swig of white wine.

The pot is simmering on the stove as I type this. Once it cooks, then cools, I'll pass it through the food mill and put it into containers for freezing. Yum!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Zucchini Bread

I was asked to post my recipe for zucchini bread, so here it is, first in French, then in English. Let me know if you see any anomolies or inconsistencies between the two recipes...

Zucchini Bread
Cake aux courgettes

Préchauffez le four à 190º C.

Râpez :
  • 1 ou 2 courgettes (avec la peau)
pour obtenir à peu près 500 ml de chair râpée. Serrez la chair entre les mains pour la dégorger d’eau. Mettez-la de côté.

Dans un bol, combinez jusqu’à ce que le mélange soit homogène:
  • 3 œufs entiers
  • 200 g de sucre semoule
  • 250 ml d’huile végétale
Ajoutez ensuite:
  • 300 g de farine
  • ½ c. à café de levure chimique
  • 2 c. à café de bicarbonate alimentaire
  • ½ c. à café de cannelle en poudre
  • 1 c. à café de sel fin
  • 1 c. à café de vanille liquide
  • 150 g de noix concassées
Mélangez bien le tout pour obtenir une pâte épaisse. Ensuite incorporez-y les courgettes râpées.

Versez la pâte dans deux moules à cake, préalablement beurrés et farinés. Mettez-les au four et réduisez la température à 180º C. Après à peu près une heure de cuisson, sortez les cakes du four et laissez-les refroidir avant de les démouler.

Zucchini Bread
Cake aux courgettes

Preheat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF).

Grate :
  • 1 or 2 raw zucchini (with the skin on)
to get about 2 cups of grated flesh. A little more or less is not a problem.

Squeeze the flesh with your hands to remove excess water. Put the grated zucchini aside.

In a bowl, beat together:
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
Beat in:
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Mix together well. Add the grated zucchini flesh and stir to combine evenly.

Pour the batter into 2 loaf pans that have been greased and floured. Put them both in the oven and reduce the temperature to 180ºC (350ºF). After about an hour, when a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, remove the pans from the oven and let cool on a rack before turning the loaves out of the pans.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Body Parts

Seen at the Mont-St.-Michel this summer:

I don't know these people. I probably wouldn't recognize them if I saw them again. There was a crowd of at least fifty people on this wall looking out toward the exposed sands of the bay, but I hate following the crowd so I turned around.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Making A Difference

I have always heard about people who, for one reason or another, just want “to make a difference.” I’ve usually dismissed these people as young and naive, overly ambitious, totally clueless, or all of the above. I have rarely wanted to make a difference. Those times when I thought I did or even could, I was quickly reminded that I was young and naive, overly ambitious, totally clueless, or all of the above. And those who reminded me were usually right.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that people often make a difference when they don’t intend to. And, frequently, the difference they’ve made is not one they would have tried to make.

A case in point: zucchini bread. Ken and I planted a vegetable garden the first full summer after we arrived here in France. A significant plot of our garden space is devoted (or yielded) to zucchini. In French, the zucchini (courgette) plant is often called a voyageur, or traveler. This means, of course, that the plant takes over, invades, and generally produces more fruit than you can possibly use, a concept not unknown to those all over the world who grow zucchini. In our first French potager, or vegetable garden, the zucchini did not disappoint.

After gorging ourselves on countless different zucchini dishes ranging from pasta sauce with zucchini to stir-fried zucchini to deep-fried zucchini to zucchini pie (yes, zucchini pie), I looked on the internet for recipes for a dish I remember from the 1970’s: zucchini bread. I found several good recipes, modified them and tested out my new recipe several times. The zucchini kept coming. More zucchini bread. Finally, I started to share my bounty with the neighbors.

Two loaves of fresh zucchini bread cooling outside.

First up were Maryvonne and Bernard across the street. They often invited us for apéritifs (drinks before dinner). One never arrives for apéritifs empty-handed, so I thought instead of the usual boring flower gift, I’d bring a loaf of freshly baked homemade zucchini bread. Typically American; very quaint. It was a hit – at least our hosts were polite enough to praise the cake, which they promptly served with vermouth, whisky, wine and the other drinks being offered that evening.

Shortly after that, our neighbors’ daughter and son-in-law invited us to their home for dinner. I made a zucchini bread, tied it up in a pretty ribbon, and presented it to our hosts on arrival. Maryvonne insisted that it was a wonderful part of the aperitif course. And it was. Dinner after was great, too, but that’s another story.

A few weeks later, our neighbors on the other side of our hamlet invited us for drinks. Again, I brought the trusted zucchini bread, and again, it was served with the drinks. Either everybody was being incredibly polite or they really thought this was a great appetizer. In each case, the bread was devoured along with champagne, whiskey, wine, and whatever else was served.

I took zucchini bread to two more events: a dinner at friends’ house in town and a lunch at Maryvonne’s and Bernard’s house with yet another of our neighbors and the woman from whom we bought our house. Both times, the bread was served with the drinks before the meal, and both times, the praise was lavish. Although a similar spiced bread/cake is common in France (called pain d’épices), Zucchini bread is not generally known. It is exotic. Making a cake with squash, quelle idée! It was a hit.

Everyone who tasted my zucchini bread wanted the recipe. I’ve since translated the recipe (which I significantly modified from the one I downloaded – that one had too much sugar and too much cinnamon for my tastes, and I made a few other adjustments) and have distributed it to at least five French households. Maryvonne told me that she’s also shared it with her daughters (she has five). All these French women are now at various stages of experimenting with my zucchini bread recipe. Who knows how far this will go?

If zucchini bread becomes a French standard, you will be among the few who will know how it happened. In this small part of France, I will have made a difference. With squash. By the way, I think I can say that I am now neither young and naïve (the former is a fact; the latter is open to debate) nor overly ambitious. I am also not totally clueless, having picked up a few clues here and there along the way. At least I know how to make a pretty decent zucchini bread.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Un Jour, Une Tour [19]

Well, vacation is over for the juillettistes and the Eiffel Tower Series is back. And I didn't even get a lousy t-shirt. Go figure. The E.T. Series assures me that he had a wonderful time on the Côte d'Azur and is refreshed and ready for duty. Too bad that there aren't that many more entries left...

This wonderful spinning top was a gift from a former associate of Ken's who came to visit last year. It's loads of fun, but you'll have to take my word for it!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Of Apples And Such

Tuesday was apple day here at our place. I harvested some of the apples from the two trees that are producing this year. It seems early, but if I don't get the apples now, the bugs will. They're ripe enough, anyway. We don't treat the trees at all, so what we get is what we get; we share the bounty with the bugs and birds. Reminds me of Joni Mitchell:

Hey farmer farmer put away that d.d.t. now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees

Not to mention the moles. At any rate, here's the one of the apple trees in question:

Sorry I didn't take any pictures of the processing, but we were kind of frenzied. Ken peeled and I cored and sliced and we ended up with 3 quarts of applesauce put up in 2-cup quantities and frozen for use in applesauce cakes this fall and winter, AND a whole huge potload of apple jelly that we put into jars yesterday morning.

Apple jelly cooling in the jars.

The rest of the garden is coming along nicely.

Semi-regimented rows of good stuff, with apple trees behind. That's the house in the background.

Boy, are we gonna have tomatoes! Many of them will end up in sauce, frozen of course, for use over winter.

The squash patch continues to deliver zucchini and yellow squash.

I hope I'm not too boring with all the garden photos, but this is what occupies us for much of the spring and summer, aside from houseguests. It's really nice to eat fresh stuff in season, and equally as nice to eat the garden food over the winter.