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Thursday, October 29, 2015

It's Apple Pie

that I love

more than any other dessert.

We have had a bountiful fruit harvest.  

While making apple sauce I also pickled a few Jalapeno peppers. 

Ready to go into the oven.
(Recipes follows)

It's especially good when served hot.

I ate most of it.  

Fall and Apples just go together. 

Note: I have added a new ingredient to my pie crusts.  I have substituted half of the butter with Crisco.  It does make a lighter and flakier pie crust.  


2 cups of unbleached flour
1 tsp  Salt
1/2 stick of UNSALTED butter
3/4 cup of Crisco
1/2 to 3/4 cup of cold milk (yes milk not water)

Mix together flour and salt.  With pastry knife cut unsalted butter and Crisco into flour mixture. Sprinkle milk over mixture and mix ingredients until it forms into a ball. Let rest while you peel apples. Roll out dough onto floured surface. 

Apple Pie Filling

Into a bowl peel and slice 7 to 8 apples  Sprinkle with 2 TB of flour,
3 Tb of sugar,
1 Tb of fresh lemon juice and cinnamon to taste. 
Mix together and pour into pie dish, dot with 1/4 stick of butter.  Cover with unbaked pie crust.  Cut a few vent holes, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees and another 40 to 50 minutes (or until golden brown) at 350 degrees.

If you must, have a dollop of ice cream on top.

Have a great remainder of the week dear friends.  


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A very special place

Every now and then, in your travels, you will find a special place.

The "Borgo Il Melone" Country Inn, Cortona, Italy, is such a place.

You will find it in the valley just below Cortona.
The Cortona of "Under the Tuscan Sun" fame.  

When visiting the area it is best to find a quiet place nearby.  

If you just have to see "Bramasole" then the Borgo Il Melone Country Inn is the perfect place from which to begin your journey.

Cortona has changed.  Disappeared has the little shop in the corner of the square where every little item within, was the best of what this world has to offer.  

But the gelato is better than ever.  

We were given a house all to ourselves even though we had only reserved a large room.  

"Our Villa" was located near a fruit orchard, where the rain during the night had broken several branches of the heavily laden persimmon tree. 

And a final decision has been made.  I had to go back to Italy to, and once and for all, decide which Italian grape, is superior in taste.  Is it the Muskat or is it the Regina grape.  

My name sake won out, hands down. 

Have a great remainder of the week dear friends.

Gina (Regina) 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

You can take THAT to the bank.

That's what happens when you live in a small community.

You share.

It has become tradition. 
Mr G fills the truck with our home grown Lakota and Hubbard Squash and drives them to our local bank.

 Everyone at the bank gets to pick their favorites.  

The red are Lakota Squash...my favorite. 
The green are Hubbards.

 Because we save the seeds from year to year we can see an evolution of new color combinations. 
 The bees are to blame.

 You have heard of Mutation.  Without mutation life can not continue.  

We have no idea what kind of squash this is (maybe you do).  Two of them showed up in our squash patch for the first time this year.  

We have not introduced any new seeds into our field.  
Have we come up with a new variety?  

Can't wait to see how they taste.  

Make every moment count.  
Life is short, eat dessert first. 


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Zell. the picture perfect Mosel Valley town.

The picturesque Mosel River is one of the Rhine River tributaries.

You will find many historic sites along the way, you can even drive right through an old castle near Zell.

One of the nicest places to stay is in the small town of Zell where you will find the lovely
"Hotel Schloss Zell".

We were given an unsolicited upgrade. 

In fact, while traveling throughout Europe this time (and we have been there more than forty times) in all cases we were given "the best room in the house" and at no additional cost. 

 I am so glad that when they renovated this old Schloss that they left these beautiful ceilings intact.  

Lovely sites at every turn. 

An abundant breakfast was served in lovely surroundings. 

These hand made, from fine fabrics, bride bouquets always make me sad.  I want to know the rest of the story.  Who is the bride who wore this bouquet more than a hundred years ago? 

More wonderful windows.  I may have to paint these charming characters.  

It rained the day we left.  We will visit again.

Have a great week dear friends.  
Thank you for your visit.  It is so appreciated.  


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Hello dear Friends, I'm back.

A little while ago I introduced you to Kientzheim

A very small village in the Alsace of France. While there we had only a little glimpse into the very next village.  It was so charming that we just had to go back for another look. 

So here is another little jewel, Kaysersberg, only a few kilometers down the road.  

It is the area in between the two towns where the real story is told.  

It is all about the famous wines and special gastronomy along the 
Routes des vins d'Alsace. 

There are many more stories to tell...they will have to wait for another day.  

Thank you dear friends for visiting.