Saturday, October 17, 2015

Autumn Aspen 2015

We live in a lovely mountain valley, surrounded by lakes, trees, wildlife, 
and a river that runs through it. 

For the Beauty of the Earth - Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Sometimes we get so used to this beauty that we don't even pay attention to its loveliness.

This Fall, however, our family has taken a few late afternoon drives and walks
up a corner canyon through the trees as the colors have been changing.  
The Aspen are my favorite.   

That evening sun and the golden shimmer.... ah.

Valley View

Even tried to get a few family pictures...

A few mountain maples nestle in the scrub oak with that last bit of color hanging on...

Oh, deer.

My favorite time of the year.  Warm sun, cool air, deep shadows.

If only every day could be just like this.

Fall foliage; family.  What could be better?

It's a beautiful world.

~the Momma

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Garden-fresh tomatoes.  Makes my mouth water!  For those first tomatoes off the vine, I can hardly manage not to take a bite, tomato juice dripping down my chin, right there in the garden!  As it is, even if I make it in to the house, I'll usually stand over the sink to get that first delicious bite of harvest.

We moved this summer before we could harvest too many tomatoes from our garden, but Grandma Mickie had an abundance, and she shared!  

So we peeled, quartered, and froze a few quarts - the best way to save the freshness.
1)  Wash tomatoes
2)  60 seconds in boiling water
3)  Plunge into ice water bath to stop cooking
4)  Peel
5)  Quarter, remove most of the seeds.
6)  Store in Ziplock freezer bags.

Then when it's time to make spaghetti sauce or soup, we'll just head to the freezer.

Then, when my sister brought by a box full of cherry tomatoes... too many of the teeny tinys to eat fresh... well, we weren't afraid of those, either!  

Tossed them into a pot of boiling water for a few seconds to quickly peel off the skins, then made some homemade tomato soup.  And, to quote the Dad:  Best. Soup. Ever! 

Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup
In a large pot, simmer for ten minutes:
3-1/2 c. peeled, seeded (or canned) tomatoes
2 slices onion, 1/4" thick
1 bay leaf (and/or a handful of fresh basil)
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Remove bay leaf if you used one, then puree soup in blender, a bit at a time
so the hot soup doesn't explode all over the countertop.  Set aside.

Make a roue (thickening):
In the pot, melt:
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
Cook, stirring until smooth, then add:
1-1/2 c. (1 can) evaporated milk
Add hot tomato mixture,  stirring constantly until heated through.  
Serve at once.  Perfect for that chilly Autumn afternoon.

For more mouthwatering recipes like this, check out our family cookbook, "Home Cookin'"

~the Momma

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