Monday, March 7, 2011

Three seasons later...

I ought to have named this The Spring Blog. Since I totally missed writing about summer, fall and winter. Now here we are, March 7th, and spring is right around the corner. I must say I am very excited, though we had an amazing winter which I enjoyed entirely. I'll give a brief review of times past and next post will be the start of a new cycle.

We'll start with Summer. I had an AMAZING summer. I found wild raspberries, red and black varieties. I baked some really scrumptious Raspberry Cornmeal muffins with some of my find too. As per tradition, I went to the annual Old Songs Festival with my husband and his family. We volunteered in the kitchen, slept in a tent, went to music workshops and listened to all sorts of wonderful folk, traditional, ethnic and domestic music of the oldish persuasion for a full weekend.
Then, my good friend from Miami came to visit me and we had such lovely times together. I showed her my raspberry patches and we spent hours picking berries and chatting while fending off mosquitoes and maneuvering around thorns. We hiked a mountain (eating loads of raspberries on the way) and strode along lovely New England beaches (finding all sorts of cool shells) and canoed our way around a small lake behind my in-laws property. We explored the beautiful town I live in, got caught in a summer storm and sought shelter at our local library. Quite a magical time all things considered.

Shortly after she went back home, two of my sisters came to visit. They stayed for a good three weeks and we squeezed all kinds of excellent summer activities in. We camped the White Mountains, hiked and swam a bit in them too. (Natural waterslides for the win!) Lots of tea parties, more town exploring and enjoying the warm days and balmy nights. One day we cooled off and did some art at my friend's a/c'd paint-your-own pottery studio. Which reminds me of something that boggled my socks off when I found out about it....LOTS of people who live in the North East do not have central air conditioner. Wow. Really? EVERYONE had it in Florida. But that's because it's down-right needed down there. Up here, there really only were about two weeks where I was really hot. And it was primarily humidity. A fan and a dehumidifier would do wonders to solve that problem. And nights in general are quite cool. I can imagine how wonderful the breeze is if you live on a lake or near the ocean. (similar to a winter breeze in Key West, no doubt).

Fall too, was lovely. The leaves took their time in changing, it seemed. But when they did, how glorious! I took a drive one morning and listened to Handel's Messiah while viewing some extraordinary fall foliage. FIRE! I tell you. Burnished bronze, copper, gold, crimson and scarlet. All the colours of a warm toned rainbow. I wish I had taken more photos of when the leaves really turned. I used up all my camera's batteries on early fall and didn't get around to buying more until long after the leaves had browned and fallen. Autumn was filled primarily with both my husband and I working. Though, we managed to slip up to our mountain trail and pick about a peck of blackberries. And plums on Plum Island (where my in-laws have a house) were an adventure to find and pick. (We may have broken some laws doing that, shhhh). I wish we had had more time to make our bountiful finds into wine. We had LOADS of pears that would have been better put to being wine, instead, all the ones we didn't manage to eat got rather rotten. Thankfully we gave away a lot and did indeed eat a lot before they did. Pumpkins were a wonderful to see, buy, roast and cook and bake with. I made some amazing pumpkin scones, my traditional pumpkin cookies and some pumpkin gnocchi with sage and balsamic vinegar marinated mushrooms.'m telling you. John also made his first beer this past fall. And his second beer. Both, a regular ale and a ginger ale, turned out quite good.
His chocolate lager, however, that he brewed this past winter was incredible. I loved it. Still am loving it, as it only just got to the point in it's aging where it's drink-worthy. I believe it will still be getting better as time goes by. Another lovely winter memory is the opening up of a bottle of our last spring's Dandelion Wine. It really shined. Dandelions are a wonderful blossom and I truly look forward to their bloom this spring. I'll cover more on this past winter in the next post as time is short for me now, and winter isn't quite over so I can blog about it in present tense with a clear conscience. :)

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