Monday, September 19, 2016


Late summer brings a quiet to the Garden Spot. Life slows down, especially now that I am not working. The vegetable garden has all but quit producing. We wait only for the butternut squash to finish maturing. The two plants of three planted have produced large, plentiful squash that will take us through the winter. I have two large heads of cabbage yet to picked. They'll be used for kraut burgers.

The iPhone goes to the garden with me in case I need help--like my my feet going out from under me, so I shot a few late season plants while I did the morning chores.

These are Blue Lake pole beans. I don't know what to do with them. We had expected regular green beans, but these are odd. Are they are they a green bean or are they white navy beans? Any ideas?

Two cabbages the size of soccer balls destined for kraut burgers. 

The HG tore out the wild sunflowers because they had taken over. The sparrows loved them, spending a lot of time in them, making a big mess.

The hens greet me, anxious for their scratch feed.

This old gal wants out. The girls love wandering the garden, but not this morning.

In the front garden the milk weeds have an aphid infestations. We are supposed to let mild weeds grow as food and habitat for the monarch butterfly. These weeds here have got to go, especially now that they are supporting aphids.

Just in time for Halloween, it looks like the garden spiders have taken over the fair house. The fairies and gnomes moved out this spring, leaving the house to Nature.

This week is especially quiet with the Head Gardener and Boone gone. The HG left Saturday for his favorite hunting spot to hung elk with his bow, putting me on chore duty for the week. Boone went to boarding kennel. We talked about keeping him here at home, but he is still too much for me to handle. He now comes when I call him, unless he has a rabbit cornered or has gone off on an adventure. He has been know to head downtown to see what's happening on Main Street. So rather than risk him getting away from me, the HG feels that it is better for him to bordered. I agree. So the house is quiet. 

Well, not so much. Hazel has friends. I've gone to the birds. My family sometimes leads me to make decisions that I never considered. Long, long story short, the Head Gardener stopped by the Larimer County Animal Shelter. He came home with 3 more parakeets. When he called to ask me if I wanted one, I answered that if the little birds were destroyed if not adopted then he should bring them home. The shelter does not destroy animals, but the came home with three anyway.

Yes, birds are messy. But these little girls are so darn cute and funny. They have a nice, large cage and companionship. I think they are all girls, though one's paper work lists her as male. Gender is hard to determine on younger birds, so I'll have to wait to see if their nostril plate remains colorless. Females' will turn brown while the males will grow a blue nostril plate. My grandson Nathan named them, so meet the girls:

 First on the left is Sunshine, Sunny for short. Hazel is next. The the yellow bird who I started calling  Daisy, but Nathan named her Princess, so she is Princess Daisy. She is the flock clown, silly, cheerful, friendly. Sky Blue up top has a darker, crustier, more mature nostril, indicating that she is older. She and Sky were caged together at the shelter. I thought I would give those two away, but they had to go as a pair--then I became attached and they all stayed. The HG brought home a new cage, so they all went in together. They get a long well with a few squabbles over food. They make me happy.

I made apple crisp for the HG to take to hunting camp. A couple of the young men cook pretty extravagant suppers, taking turns each night to prepare super for everyone,  so he was asked to bring braut burgers. I thought apple crisp would go well with the sausage burgers. I was going to make pies, but it was late and the crisp was easy. I haven' made crisp for years, so I pulled a simple recipe from the Internet. A sample taste revealed just how good it was--it should be with brown sugar and butter in the topping. 

The apple prep was so much easier with this handy gadget. With arthritis in my right wrist and index finger, this peeler/slicer that attaches to the Kitchen Aid mixer is a life saver. 

 The Recipe

The Kitchen Aid peeler/slicer makes quick work of apple preparation. 

I'll share Diane Kester's recipe from All

  • 8-10 crips apples--I used more since they were smaller than the Granny Smith's that many will use for pies and crisps. Nor are my apples pretty and perfect with hail damage and worms.

I suppose some are really grossed out with a bad spot, but I cut it out, saving the majority of the apple. 

  • Combine 1 cup white sugar with a tablespoon all-flour and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; mix with the sliced apples
  • Place apples in 9x13 baking dish; pour 1/2 cup water over the mixture
  • For the topping, mix together 1 cup quick cooking oat, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 cup all purpose-flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 cup melted butter
  • Pour over apples
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 350 F degrees (175 degrees C)

The sun is up. Time to get started with the day, starting with feeding the horses and hens. Then some housekeeping, laundry, a walk, and work on the dollhouse (check out Ann's Dollhouse Dreams to see the progress on the new house).

Drop by Ann's Dollhouse Dreams, if you like to see my latest projects. 


  1. I can see you have been really busy processing your bounty!

  2. Wow - busy place. Love the apple recipe - but not the bugs. Lovely end of the summer post.

  3. Ann, The birds are so cute. Many years ago I had a blue one. The apple crisp looks great. Someone at church on Sunday was giving away organic apples, their skins are not great so they will likely be crisp. Sylvia D.

  4. The apple crisp looks wonderful...fall is the time to pull out those apple and pear recipes. Somehow I feel I'm eating something a little healthier with fruit as the main ingredient! :)

    I've had my share of birds starting with a few parakeets. Then canaries and finches and parrots. Then I started to breed cockatiels. Long story. I named my birds after old movie starts. My canary was Frankie (Frank Sinatra). My parakeet, Gregory Peck. My Quaker parrot Charlie Chaplin..etc.,

    I used to have a wonderful veggie garden before we bought the lakehouse and then I simply didn't have enough hours in day. But I do remember growing these beans, they are green beans and this type was recommended by the Victory Garden, my bible at the time!

    Happy Harvesting, Ann!


  5. Hi Ann, hope you and the girls aren't feeling too lonely without Boone & the HG? I have to get me one of those apple peelers for my Kitchen Aid, like you I have arthritis in my hands and I find holding apples whilst hand peeling them is just too darned painful these days. Off to Amazon I shall go to check it out! Then I can make an apple crisp that I am now craving.
    Thanks for joining the MM crowd again this week. Take care, Maggie.

  6. Hello Ann, I love the sweet parakeets. I used to have a couple parakeets when I was young. The chickens are cute too. Your cabbage looks great! I have to try making this apple crisp, it looks delicious. Enjoy your day and week ahead!

  7. Hi Ann! Oh your birds are super cute! You and the HG are real animal lovers.
    I'm glad you're having a bit of quiet, but take it easy doing all those chores.

  8. That apple crisp sounds delicious Ann and I almost cannot help laughing about your parakeets. I'm afraid when my husband stops working we also will have birds again....Eldest daughter always had birds when she still lived at home already a long time ago, even a parrot. She cannot have animals now because she works at sea, two weeks on, two weeks off. During her weeks off she is two days of the week volunteering at an animal shelter as she cannot have own animals...and she loves them so much.
    About the pole beans, we have the same ones here. Actually we will have them for dinner tonight. They are runner beans and you eat them in their pods, Before cooking like normal green beans, you have to cut them diagonally into pieces.
    I'm sure you will get through your quiet time without headgardener this week, so much to do and see at your place.

  9. I always loved making apple crisp and apple cake! Love seeing your birds too. Hope you've had a good week...the quiet sounds nice! Hugs!

  10. Blue Lake pole beans are simply green beans, IF you harvest them before they start to bulge. If they bulge, they have gone to seed and aren't much good for eating. Just let them be and harvest the seeds for next year. Just harvest sooner next time.