Sunday, October 31, 2010

Caution! Do not read this post on an empty stomach

The first sign of Fall around here is when the Robins all
more or less suddenly disappear at the end of August,
beginning of September. The first birds to return in the
Spring from their Winter down south somewhere and
the first to head back down there at Summer's end.

Well, most of them anyways.

We have a Mountain Ash tree in our back yard and this
year it is loaded with berries. The berries are still fairly
hard because they haven't fully ripened yet, but that is
not something that concerns the birds who gorge them-
selves on them. There have been a half dozen or more
Robins who have put their vacations down south on
hold while they do their very best to strip the tree of it's
Autumn bounty.

Robins are so common around here and they aren't
the most handsomest of birds, red breasts not
withstanding, but this picture I took from our dinning
room window of this fellow in our tree looks pretty
good with the red of his feathers and the red of the
berries and the red of the changing leaves all around.

And following the red theme even further ... this is one
of the cherry trees at the front of our house. These
berries are also quite hard and since they are also quite
a bit bigger then the Mountain Ash's berries they don't
get eaten as early in the season. In late Winter and
early Spring the Robins and the Ceder Waxwings will
devour these bright red globes as fast as they can
swallow. In the meanwhile we have the berries hanging
on the bare limbs of the trees for color and for our
enjoyment during the dull, cold days of Winter.

I love RED!!

I've been stitching away on Halloween Quaker this
week and enjoying working on the little motifs as
a break from the larger ones with the ... uh ... less
then enthralling borders.

Don't you just love that little bat with the BIG eyes?
So cute. I love the little off white accents in this
design which add just a little extra oomph to the
whole piece. There are a couple of pumpkins to
stitch of course and I considered stitching those in
a shade of orange of some kind, but in the end I
decided to keep to the designer's vision of how this
should look.

What I've been up to this past summer
and Fall - an ongoing report .....

Regarding the trip to the Mennonite Fall Fair at
Black Creek Pioneer Village in September. There is one
major reason why we love going to this fair whenever we
can. It's not just the ambiance, or the quilt auction, or
the costumed volunteers demonstrating various skills
and activities in the buildings. No, it's not even for the
ride in the horse drawn wagon.

What is the real honest to goodness, just
between us, reason why we go to this fair??

It's the FOOD!!

Check this out!!! The Mennonite folk arrive at the
fair every year with tons of delicious home made food for
the enjoyment of us dedicated fair goers. Home made
bread, cakes, pies, cookies and other delectable delights.
You can buy whole loaves of bread, or entire pies etc to
take home with you or you can buy slices of this or that
and eat them right there and then.

Pie anyone??? How many flavors can you spy there??

There are also booths set up selling food cooked
on the spot. So, having been doing this for years we have
our agenda all thought out and ready to follow. First stop
... the booth selling back bacon and a fried egg on a bun.
Then we hit the booth selling spring rolls which were
three per plate and came with a home made sweet sauce.

That's me noshing down on my back bacon and
fried egg on a bun. MMMMmmmmmm!!!!!

Then it was time for a sweet. Deep fried rosettes with
home made strawberry preserves and home made ice
cream on top!!

After that we took a break from eating and began
to walk around the village, taking in the sights and letting
our first course settle. I think that I had a cup of hot
apple cider during this time because after all there's
nothing like apple cider to put you in the mood for
Fall, right??

In one building a couple of ladies were busy
making bread. There is an outdoor brick oven to bake
these yummy loaves of whole grain goodness and the
flavor of these is unbelievable. You can put in an order
to buy a loaf or two when they're done if you like but
you have to be there pretty early in the day to do so
because they sell out in no time.

Is this what it looks like when you're baking
bread at your house Barbara???

After seeing (and smelling) the bread making and
baking we decided that it was time to have something else
good to eat. After all it had to have been at least forty five
minutes since we'd last had something good to eat.

Another highlight of the day is the open fire pit
where chicken legs and thighs are roasted to a lovely
golden brown and then offered to hungry foodies ...
like us!!

From left to right: Darlene, Helen and I enjoying
our finger lickin' good roast chicken legs.

After that we decided to have a veggie so that
we could at least say that we'd had a balanced meal
that day. Corn on the cob, dipped in melted butter
and sprinkled with salt. Sounds healthy doesn't it?

After all that ... er ... healthy eating (!!) we of
course had to have a desert. We planned on a slice
of pie (see photo at beginning of this report) but
were horrified and dismayed to discover that the
tables formerly covered in pie slices were now bare.
Not a flake of pastry or a bit of fruit left in sight.


So we went to plan B. Hot, deep fried apple fritters
covered in maple syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon
and icing sugar. MMMmmmmm .... maple syrup.

Another cooking demonstration that we
found was making beet butter. I think I mentioned this
stuff in a previous post. It was so delicious, hot from the
pot and spread on little biscuits taken hot and fresh
from the brick oven, that it just bears mentioning
again. Sweet, sticky and delicious!

Here are Helen and Darlene about to help
themselves to their share of the beet butter samples.
There was also pickled beets and eggs soaked in
beet juice that we were encouraged to taste.

At the end of the afternoon, having walked (and
eaten) our way all around the village we were tired and
ready to head home. The booths were mostly sold out of
food anyways so there was no added incentive to stay.
But just before we left the village proper and headed
off to the gift shop we stopped at the back bacon on a
bun booth and bought one more round for the road.
Why no, we have no shame! Why do you ask?

In the gift shop located near the exit to the
village and in the old merchant store in the village
itself you can buy old fashioned candy and other
treats. You know, just in case you get peckish on
your way home.

I've been busy reading several awesome books
in the past few weeks and have ripped through these
totally awesome stories as fast as time allowed. The
first is book two in this series by Jacqueline Carey.
As usual wonderful characters, enthralling story, and
incredible imagination for creating a world from
geography to mythology and traditions make Ms
Carey's books fabulous reads for any fantasy lover.

And for those of you who enjoy their knitting,
or who love stories with characters that you fall in love
with and come to believe in totally then this one is for
you. Loved this one sooo much I immediately went on
line looking for sequels and anything else by Kate Jacobs
that I could find. If she'd published her weekly shopping
lists in a series of books I think that I'd have bought 'em!!
Yes, she's that good!


Monday night was election night here in Ontario.
We voted for our choices for local government including
Mayor, councilors and school trustees. Except that
our mayor got in by acclamation because no one ran
against him.

But what our local election campaign lacked in
drama and excitement was more then made up for as
we watched the goings on down in the big city of
Toronto where the Mayoral candidates have been going
at each other hammer and tongs since last January.
Fun to watch, but I wouldn't want to live there.

It was reported in our local newspaper that
only 25 % of our areas eligible voters actually
bothered to turn out to vote. It wasn't raining, there
wasn't a foot of snow, there hadn't been a total
eclipse of the moon or anything like that. People just
didn't bother to show up and vote. Ah Democracy!!

And yes, Phil and I did make a point of getting
out to vote. We always do.


Well, it's getting on and I've got chores to do
and candy to put out and special treat bags to make
up for any trick or treaters who show up at our
door this evening for Halloween.

Hope you're all having a great Fall and enjoying
any festivities that might be occurring in your
neighborhood this weekend to celebrate Halloween.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving your
always welcome and greatly appreciated and enjoyed

Take care!



Judy S. said...

Cute project you've got there, Judy. Red is my favorite color, too; do you do redwork as well as cross stitch? I loved the Kate Jacobs books also.

BrendaS said...

Love your Halloween Quaker piece!

The fair looks like lots of fun and the FOOD looks very appetizing. Sounds like you had a very busy Summer.

Thanks for the book recommendations. I am always looking for good books.

Thanks for sharing

Lynn said...

Love your shot of the robin! I saw one in the front yard this morning and I don't know why he's hanging around here since we don't have any tempting berries for him.
Quaker Halloween looks awesome! Now I'm really tempted to start mine.
You're right, I should never have checked out those photos before dinner. Now I'm really starved!!

Jennifer said...

I loved the 'friday night knitting club' and there is a followup also . The Robin is beautiful and love your new start on the Halloween Quaker.Wow the food! Your new camera has taken you to a lot of great places!Looking forward to our visit!

Gina E. said...

It is great to be able to catch up with you again Judy - your blog is one of several that my old computer won't let me access. So I came across the room to my husband's laptop and here I am! I guess I'll have to give in soon and get myself a new computer..
I was interested to read about your elections. In Australia it is compulsory for everyone over 18 to vote at all elections - Federal, State and Local council. I often wonder what it would be like if it wasn't compulsory...would we have the same government and the same people??

Andrea said...

Mmmmmmmm, food glorious food!

Anonymous said...

I will read it again with greater care, but for now, after showing the pictures of the pies (and the rest)to Rui, both of us have to go to the kitchen and eat something. And it has to be something sweet. Love the Robin and all the rest. Have to talk more about books... Not enough good second hand around here!!!
Paula (on my way to eat something sweet :-) )

Brigitte said...

Your warning was justified - after reading your post and looking at all the yummy pictures I went and had a second breakfast, something sweet of course, lol. And now I'm back for a comment. Thanks for the wonderful report (and pictures of course) about your visit at the Mennonite Fall Fair.
Yes, we defintely have fall here, too. All the migratory birds that spend the warmer seasons in our region have disappeared. But not all that rest here for a while coming from Sacndinavia and flying down to Southern Europe have already appeared.
Your Halloween Quaker looks gorgeous with its many Halloweeny details.
I always love to see your book recommendations because there is always at least one book among them that attracts my attention and lands on my wish list. It's not that I'm short of unread books, no, lol. But it's like with stash - you can't have enough, lol.

Siobhan said...

I should have heeded your warning. Now I am jonesing for some pastries!! The fair food looked amazing!

Love your Halloween Quaker piece!

Good for you for voting. I don't understand people who don't exercise that right and priviledge. We vote via absentee ballots in the US & here, too.

Pumpkin said...

I think you took one lovely picture of that robin!

Your WIP is coming along very nicely :o)

Oh my! Look at all the pie!!!! I've never heard of deep fried rosettes before but my keyboard is wet from all my drooling ;o) apple fritters with maple syrup???? You're KILLING me here! Good thing you did a lot of walking ;o)

Only 25%? Gee, that's LOW! If you don't vote, you can't complain...