|I think the kitties missed us at least as much as we missed them!|
Since we were in Asia for 3 weeks, it took us about 5 days to really get over our jet lag. But it was a great time to reconnect with our pets and get our fridge restocked, and we took some walks around our neighborhood. While we were gone, fall came to Central Oregon!
|The fall colors at the Bend Fall Festival.|
|one of the many parks near our house.|
|driving around town - look at all that yellow!|
While walking back from the Bend Fall Festival, I spotted a plum tree sitting on a vacant lot. After trying a few and determining that they were, in fact, plums, I went back the next morning and foraged a whole bag.
Then I proceeded to make wild plum jam! Here is the recipe I used, although, because I have no idea how much my plums weighed, I sort of winged it. I also used a little pear juice and only 4 cups of sugar, because 5 cups of sugar seemed a bit much.
|All the plums, washed and ready to be pitted.|
|Threw them in a pot and added sugar...|
|They came out a beautiful red color.|
|The finished product! 24 jars - enough to give away.|
|It's easy, just put the apples in the pot, cores, skins and all, with spices.|
I added a cinnamon stick, cloves, and a secret ingredient when I cooked them down. Mike said it's the best he's had (and he is picky!). No sugar needed, which I think is awesome.
|The food mill removes all the stems, skins and cores without wasting any apple.|
Last time I made applesauce, with my friend Sheila, she had an automated food mill. This time, I had to use a manual food mill, and man, it gives you a workout!
|The applesauce, ready to be canned!|
|The finished product!|
So 5 pounds of apples only made three 12-ounce jars of applesauce (plus a little for eating immediately), sadly. Apples are cheap around here - I can get Gala apples for $0.68/pound, but I wanted to try these Honeycrisp apples, which are $0.89/pound. Not too bad, but I found an orchard which lets you pick them for FREE, which I will be doing next year; by that time I should be pretty good at canning applesauce.
In consolation I made us a Buttermilk Spice Cake. Nothing says fall like spiced-something.
|The batter came out pretty thick since I don't have a Kitchenaid mixer.|
I followed the recipe mostly (if you know me, I love to experiment), but with a little less sugar, and I made my own cinnamon/nutmeg glaze with a hefty amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, powdered sugar, and just a touch of milk. It came out really tasty and a great consistency.
|The cake was light, moist and fluffy - yum.|
We are continuing our foraging this weekend on the Mushroom Foray we signed up for, about a month ago, with the North American Truffling Society. Here's to hoping we learn something useful!
|our new truffle rake, brushes, and basket for collecting 'shrooms!|