Sunday, November 24, 2013

Flavorful, sweet local tastes of fall

We've still got a few winter pears from the tree out back, and, because I've been super busy this year, I just bought a quart of black walnut meats.  They have a pungent, earthy taste and smell unlike anything else in this world.

I was given a quart of wild honey harvested from Drip Rock a weekend or two ago.  I swear it's the best honey I've ever eaten...tastes like golden rod, apple blossoms and clover...smells like the lazy-sounding drone of busy bees... runs golden like humid summer mornings.

In the back of my mind, I've been wondering how to combine those flavors. In a fruit salad, perhaps?

This morning inspiration came from out of the blue, and I decided to make pancakes.

I mixed some self-rising flour, a big tablespoon full of cold leftover oatmeal from another breakfast, a bit of yellow cornmeal, some baking powder and salt, an egg and some milk. I chopped about half a ripe pear and stirred that in, then I coated a griddle with coconut oil.

I spooned the batter out to fry, then sprinkled chopped black walnuts on the pancakes before I flipped them.

I didn't measure the ingredients, but my "recipe" made about four small pancakes. When they were golden brown and done, I topped them with a pat of butter, then I drizzled some mountain honey over them and plowed through them with my fork.

Ummm, they were good.  And I didn't have to wonder anymore how the combination of pear, black walnut and honey would taste.

The flavors were sweetly earthy, grown from the same dirt I came from, and very satisfying.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fun times lighting up the Rivertown

Clay really, really enjoyed the horse-drawn carriage ride today at the Light up the River town event.

He wasn't too impressed with Santa, though.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I'm loving the muted colors of fall

I don't like it getting dark so early on these late autumn days, but there's something very beautiful about the soft greys and browns of a bare Kentucky landscape.

I like this photo that I took today.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First snow of the season

 It's a bit early for snow here, but we had a pretty dusting this morning.  I stopped and took these two photos on the way to town. The hills look like a winter wonderland, but the roads were clear, so the kids still had to go to school, much to the disappointment of some of them.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Evoking "home"

I'm probably nuts, but I'm gonna give it another shot.  I either attempted or completed the National Blog Posting Month challenge the past two years, and I have the itch to try it again.

Never mind that I've already spent approximately 50 hours staring at a computer screen this week.  Never mind that my mind is numb after production day is done at the paper on Tuesdays.

One of the daily prompts said to post a picture that evokes home for you.

That's pretty easy.  It would have to be food--or the hills.  Maybe I'll do one of both, hills and food.

Homegrown home-prepared food definitely evokes home.
And if that doesn't do it, then the sight of these hills in front of the house will.

Note the sugar snap peas growing in the foreground. Maybe, just maybe, they will yield before they freeze.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Chicken man

The leaves hung on longer than usual this year, but the wind and rain stripped many of them away the last day or two.

Still, there are enough bright ones left to make the hills beautiful.

I drove to a place called Crowe Hollow today, where I was told that the last man hung in Estill County on the court house square once lived there.

My plan was to take a few pictures of an Old Time Arts and Crafts Gathering for the paper, and while I was driving between the railroad tracks and the river to get there, I thought how the valley looked like a giant stained-glass bowl with the patch-work hills surrounding me.  

The river bottoms roll on and on along that stretch of two-lane road, filled with soybeans and corn ready to be harvested.

I wish I could have taken pictures between the tracks and the river, but the road is narrow through there and to do so could have been hazardous to my health.

Instead, I got a picture of a sunlit tree.

And here's Chicken Man, with one of his pet Bantams perched on his head.  

Chicken Man said the trick to getting his chickens to obey is to treat them with dried mealworms.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

First trick or treat for this dude!

Cowboy Clay didn't want to wear his cowboy hat...or his cowboy boots...or carry his six-shooter, but he was still stinkin' cute when we took him out trick-or-treating tonight.

I'll have to admit it was a better night for it than last night would have been, with the wind batting the leaves around and howling through the hills...Mmmaybe.

Anyway, we had a good time checkin' out all the other little kiddies in their costumes and just walking around town in the cool fresh air.