Coming Up For Air


Where the heck has the summer gone?

As I turned my head away from my work PC this evening at 6:30 p.m. and glanced out the window into the early evening darkness, I realized that yet another summer has silently slipped away.  While I had a great girls’ weekend in Martha’s Vineyard a few weeks ago, Mary and I didn’t make the time for a summer vacation this year, because of my new public sector gig.  While I’m definitely digging my new job, I still long to feel the summer sun on my face and the cool ocean water flowing between my toes.  Instead, I just may have to substitute the feeling of a cool all-butter pie crust between my fingers and the warmth from the oven as I remove a freshly baked apple pie.

Yep, I have been an apple picking and pie baking maven with the early arrival of this year’s apple harvest.  A few weeks back, the family spent a few hours picking Cortland and Gala apples at Belltown Hill Orchards (http://www.belltownhillorchards.com/ ).  With amazing azure blue skies, gnarled trees laden with mature fruit and the essence of ripened apples filling our noses, we had the perfect back drop for one of those memory making days.  We spent that evening and the next day peeling and slicing apples.  Of course, I was willingly charged with seasoning and enveloping the resulting apples in flaky pie crust.  I compared two pie crust recipes and much to my surprise, the all butter crust was the Irish family favorite.  All I have to say is YUM!

Speaking of apples, my friend, Nora, and her daughter, Charlotte, invited Mary and me to dinner last week.  They made us homemade macaroni and cheese that was out of this world and a mixed green salad with a rich balsamic vinaigrette.   For dessert, she used her mom’s recipe (my favorite!) to make us a warm apple crisp.  I felt completely spoiled that evening and enjoyed every minute of our visit.  I’m really looking forward to spending another baking day with Charlotte in the near future (last baking day, we made chocolate cupcakes and pizza on the grill).

As for vegetables, we have had access to the tastiest produce over the summer.  While we killed our tomato plants earlier in the growing season, we were lucky enough to have an “in” with a local farmer.  My sister-in-law, Liz, is friends with an Irish farmer who has 65 acres of fertile farmland in town.  Last weekend, she took our nephews, Kenny and Brandon, to the farm and returned with an abundance of the most beautiful end-of-the season tomatoes I have ever seen.  Mary bought us a food mill, so we went gangbusters last weekend peeling and crushing tomatoes for marinara.  Instead of canning the sauce, we used freezer bags to store the resulting sauce.  We made a simple chicken parmigiana for dinner one night where we were able to sample our marinara (another YUM!) and shared the remaining sauce with Liz.

Other than that, I have still been working on my vanilla cupcake recipe, baking carrot cakes and testing new cookie recipes (the Cook’s Illustrated cookbooks have the BEST cookie recipes ever!).  Mary and I have also been lucky enough to spend time with our nieces, nephews and great nephew over the summer.  We have cooked, laughed and cried together.  We have celebrated Tim’s 16th birthday, had a sleepover with Kenny and Brandon, been to Brandon’s soccer game, a college tour with Kellie and have babysat Brody a handful of times.  I have cherished each moment with my family and just wish that there were more hours in the day and a few more summer days remaining!

I hope this post finds you all happy, well and rested from a lengthy summer vacation 🙂

XOXOX

–K

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~ by Kris on September 30, 2010.

One Response to “Coming Up For Air”

  1. Yum….pie 🙂

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