Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Veteran's Day 2018

We were invited to KT's school again this year for their annual program.  There were so so so many vets there this year -- many more then last year! Lots of military families out in their area, for sure.
 We did a complete circle around the halls of the school and stopped for each grade level as they sang patriotic songs for us.  KT's grade sang and also use sign-language for their song.  We got to stop right in front of KT! You could tell she had really practiced and knew the whole thing very well. So proud of you, KT!!
 These two are like peas and carrots!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Peach Wine 2018 Bottled

After just under 6 months, the peach wine is finally ready to bottle.  It's been frustrating, and I've considered dumping it several times, but I really think the extra time has paid off - it's really very good finally!  It could be the addition of the potassium sorbate that I added last month that finally was the key, but the wine stopped fizzing, and has really cleared so beautifully.
 My 3 gallon carboy
This batch made 9 wine bottles and 3 quart mason jars!
Now out to the bunker for 3 to 6 months to age -- we'll be drinking this next summer!

Hot Pepper Mustard

I found something new to try with the last of the hot peppers from the garden, Hot Pepper Mustard.  We're going to lose all of the peppers tonight (our first frost, and it's going to get pretty darn cold) so I fully expect to wake up to blackened pepper plants tomorrow.

Fairly easy to make because the base is already prepared, jarred mustard, so half the work is done!  I made 1/2 of the recipe, and it made 3 pints and 3 half pints, plenty!

 I definitely tasted as I worked, and it was super delicious! Sweet, mustardy, with a little kick! I used a combination of jalapenos, sugar rush peach, and a red hot pepper (can't remember the name), plus a couple of sweet red peppers to add color.  I did remove all of the seeds and membranes to keep the heat from being over-powering.

I can see us using this for ham and cheese appetizers, spread on tortilla roll ups with ham or turkey and cheese, or something similar.  It's really quite tasty, and not super hot at all!

Trip to Fort Davis --- Day Three

On our last full day we started with breakfast at the Drugstore across the street from our hotel.
 A really neat place, don't miss it if you go through Fort Davis!
Afterwards we drove out to the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute Nature Center and Botanical Gardens. We happened to come on a special day, "Herp Day" at the institute.  They were hosting several schools and had some experts on snakes and lizards there to teach the kids about them. Definitely not my thing! ha!  Thankfully, the kids were busy at the institute, and we had the gardens mostly to ourselves.

After the garden, we drove up to the McDonald's Observatory and wandered around some there.  We try to go there every time we're in Fort Davis -- it's a must!  As we came around one of the many switchbacks on the way up the hill, we saw a whole family of wild hogs crossing the road right in front of us! 

Who says we don't have fall colors here in Texas?!

Back to Fort Davis for a late lunch, then we spent the rest of the afternoon at the Fort.  They've done so much work there since we were there last.  As a matter of fact, they were roofing some of the building back in the officer's row while we were there, using cedar planks like might have been used back when the fort was originally built, all though he was using an electric nail gun! ha!

 Women had some very narrow, small feet back in the day!

Whew! After a long day we were glad to get back and relax, have a delicious dinner and then get ready to leave the next morning early.  What a wonderful few days, but we're always glad to get back home!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Cranberry Cordial

Made a batch of cranberry cordial for the upcoming holidays -- this sounded so good! Basically heat up your cranberries, sugar and water until the cranberries break down, then cool.  Add vodka of your choice and pour into a jar (I had to use two), cap and I'll shake it up daily for 5 days.  I'll do another post when I strain it in a few days.

Trip to Fort Davis --- Day Two

On Tuesday we went for a drive! There's so much to do and see in this part of Texas, and if you enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the Texas desert, this is the place for you. It's still, it's quiet. I dare you to stand on the hillside anywhere here, take a few deep breaths and feel the rush, worry, stress and all outside influences melt right off.

First stop was Marfa, where we walked through downtown and through the historic Paisano Hotel. Here's another place I'd like to stay some day -- they are famous for housing the actors during the making of the movie Giant, the greats such as Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean.

A shoe-shine stand - a sign of times past, for sure!

We drove around to see how much the town has changed since we were here last. (it appears that the Thunderbird where we stayed last time we were in Marfa has closed down. It looked deserted and their website is wonky.) Then we went looking for the newest hotel in Marfa, the Hotel St. George. It's a blocky, grey building -- very modern looking -- and the Marfa Book Company is in one corner of the building. 

Our next stop was Presidio where we visited the Fort Leaton State Historic Site. This was not a military fort, rather a border trading post established by Benjamin Leaton.  The structure was built in a fort like manner to protect the inhabitants from Indian raids. The high ceilings and thick wall made the interior very nice a cool. 

There was a good exhibit about the types of medicine practiced back in the day -- many of the items were examples of herbs and plants used by curanderas of the area. This is a fascinating subject -- so many of our herbs and plants are the basis of modern medicine.   

 The outside couryard held a huge wagon
 They used the local ocatillo cactus as covering over shade areas. Yikes! Pity the very tall man!

 There were examples of the types of items that were offered in the trading post, from the practical to the fancy!

 Baby bed with a woven rope bottom
 A window overlooking the desert in one of the main sitting rooms used for social occasions. I loved how the sun was coming through this window.
 We continued on to LaJitas, and stopped to see the balancing rocks at Big Bend Ranch State Park.  This park runs for miles and miles and miles through the desert, coming very close to the Rio Grande river all the while.  

 Texas on our side, Mexico on the other!
 We stopped in Terlingua for a very late lunch.  We were looking for the Starlight Theater where we had eaten on our last visit out to this area, but they weren't open for lunch.  We ended up at the High Sierra Bar & Grill. Very delicious Mexican and American food, and they have plenty of options on their menu. 

We got back to Fort Davis fairly late and ended up with a cheese and cold cut platter for dinner with some box wine, cause that's how we roll! ha!  Day three will be dedicated to the Fort Davis area.