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Baker. Cook. Gardener. Animal Lover.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I have been so excited about getting to share my TRUE LOVE with you all. It's a pumpkin patch. And it is run by the sweetest lady who ever walked the earth. Mary. It's a family effort. Mary's husband, the sweetest man who ever walked the earth and her children all work the farm. That's the farmhouse. Can you take it? It makes me so HAPPY to just see it every year. My friend, Julie and I used to sit in the car under the pear tree..yea, that's right...I said pear tree.... and we would like to guess what they were having for dinner in there. Meatloaf with gravy? Swiss steak and mashed potatoes? Roast chicken with stuffing? Spaghetti Bake with cheddar cheese on top? Is there a pot roast in the crock pot to have after a hard day in the pumpkin patch. Julie and I took a trip to New England a few years ago in October, and while we did visit alot of great pumpkin patches, Mary's ranks right up there in the top 3. We used to joke about it....3000 miles.....and Mary's...right in our own backyard.

Today my brother Mark and Julie and I rolled up the driveway, but we could see they were just setting up. All hard at work, decorating, stacking the pumpkins in neat rows.... so busy...working so hard...there is even a witches path with a cemetary, a corn maze and and animals to feed and pet.

They should be opening this weekend. Stay tuned.

See any Halloween?

Hint Hint...the light in the window is a witch.

Pizza and Syrah

We're LUCKY ! We live in the Paso Robles wine region and we have some beautiful wines here. It really starts to feel like fall when John and I open one of the big red wines. They taste and smell of autumn in the woods. All earthy and jammy and winey. We have been making homemade pizza for Monday Night Football for nearly 30 years.And now we have Sunday Night Football so our new pizza night is Sunday. Any excuse, really. I made the dough in the morning and let it sit on the drainboard all day. When I walked by I could just feel the yeast growing..and it smelled so yeasty and lusty. By evening we opened our wine and rolled out the dough. I sauteed some mushrooms and we put on a few olives. Sometimes I buy "special" cheese....and sometimes I use what we have. Tonight was what we had. And it went pretty well. I had some mozzarella and some leftover fontina and some of the parmigiano-reggiano we had grated for the tagliatelle night.So we sipped our wine, rolled our dough, heated the oven and baked pizzas. We sat in our little cozy living room enjoying pizza and wine.

I told John, we have had pizza all over the U.S. And at some of the "it" places, but I don't know how you could beat this. Maybe it tasted so good just because we were.....HOME.