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Baker. Cook. Gardener. Animal Lover.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beauty Queen

I hit the jackpot this afternoon. John came home with a whole bag of these beauties.I know what I'll be doing tomorrow. Making tomato sauce. I love knowing that I had it together enough in August to get some sauce in the freezer. Perfect for one of those cold and rainy winter nights when you batten down the hatches, build a fire and smother your pasta in a summer tomato sauce. It will be worth it all come some stormy January night.

Woodsmoke....in August?

I'm not sure what is going on out here. Is it El Nino? That weird weather thing we get here in California...when it rains FOREVER in the winter. Which would be fine with me, being I'm on this bread baking kick and all. But this is just plain strange.
I built my first fire of the season this morning...and it's August 20th. But, personally, I'm lovin' it. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm just not a summer person. "Hey, Kary..wanna go to the beach and "lay out". "No thanks." And especially this late in the game. I'm thinkin' fall. Have been for days now. Saw the leaves starting to change on the neighborhood tree this morning on our walk with Buddy. And those huge giant spiders we get every fall are back. They have been on "web making duty" most of the night. There are spider webs everywhere this morning. Tried taking a picture of a spider's web. That is way too advanced for me. Nothing showed up. It was a loser.

So here is a photo of my "headquarters". The Vermont Casting woodstove is one of the reasons we moved out of our house in Cambria. You see, that house had one of those fireplaces that has fake logs and sits behind a fixed pane of glass. And to start it, well, it's really easy, you just get up and go and turn on the light switch. HUH?

I couldn't stand that thing. I mean, come on, where is the smell of woodsmoke in the air? When you look at the roof, there is no chimney. Don't need one. No fire. My favorite thing in the world is to have a cool rainy day, an apple pie in the oven and being able to walk outside to gather logs to throw on the fire and see and smell woodsmoke!

Around here, we make a whole day out of going to get the wood itself. It is an anticipated event. We even make a special "going to get the firewood dinner".

When the day finally arrives (it already has this year) John calls Howard and we load up Buddy and head over to Squire Canyon to get the wood. And on the way home, late afternoon, always has to be after 3 o clock, we make a trip up See Canyon to Gopher Glen to get apples. The Burgundy apples are ready right now. One of my favorites, with that dark red, almost black skin. Very tart.Goes great on a caramel apple. Hey, that sounds pretty good. How about some caramel apples tonight? And if the weather holds, we'll be building a fire too.