Friday, November 11, 2011

Giving Thanks

It's been a while, so stay with me as I ramble away at what has happened in the last few months.

Apple season! Almost gone at this point, but when these pictures were taken, it was full blown, get to an orchard quick, apple pickin' time. Since I'm no longer at a year round school I couldn't make apple butter. There just wasn't time to stir a pot for 4 hours while reading a book. Sad, so sad. So what's a person to do with 2 large bushels of apples? Bake, bake, bake. I have made three apple pies, some of the best I've ever made. Practice makes perfect. I used Martha'sPate Brisee because it's all butter for the classic apple pie, but my favorite, and the one Matt requested for his birthday, is Bon Appetit's Apple Pie with Oat Streusel. It has a sweet spicy apple flavor, and the streusel combined with a regular pie crust on bottom is perfect. Hannah captured Matt's birthday pie lovely. It's my new favorite picture. However, I have to warn the public. Do not stick candles into a warm apple pie. They will melt blue into your beautiful pie. It reminded me of when Matt and I were dating and I attempted a surprise birthday for him at the little red house he shared with four/five/six some guys. I made these horrible pumpkin pies. You had to eat them with a spoon they were so gummy. But, since then, pie has been a birthday tradition for Matt. This year he requested the Chocolate Stout Cake from Smitten Kitchen, but I couldn't abandon tradition, so he just had two birthday desserts.

A new tradition I started this year is Apple Latkes. For the past couple of weekends, I have grated an apple and fried these heavenly pancakes. I love the taste of freshly grated apple, deep fried of course.
*Image from Food Network- not me!

Back in early October, Matt and I blew our budget and went to the mountains for two days (with the main purpose of picking apples). How does one blow their budget in two days? You stay at the amazing bed and breakfast, The Sourwood Inn, and you eat like gluttons. It was an amazing time. The inn is located at the very top of a mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and is so quiet and peaceful. Nothing, but a 360 degree view of nature. The weather was warmer than I had hoped, but sunny and cheerful.

We ate dinner at Zambras, a tapas bar, and had all kinds of amazing creations. My favorite dish was Pork Belly glazed in a chocolate sauce, with homemade marshmellows, nutella, and persimmons. Sounds like a crazy mixture of ingredients, but it was unforgettable. Matt tried skate wing and lamb kidney. We then headed to the French Broad that does hand crafted chocolates. As we were leaving our one night stay, and winding down the mountain, we spotted a black bear crossing the road. The cherry on top of a wonderfully short trip.

Can you see him?

A lot has been happening in the garden. Matt is working on getting us into a local farmer's market this March. We'll hopefully be selling eggs, honey, pecans, and produce. Here are a couple of pictures that sum up our joy:

One last thing I forgot to mention. There was an addition to our Coble family! Megan gave birth to a perfect little baby, Colton Ray Lyon in September. Here's a picture along with the dinosaur I made him. It was my first attempt at sewing a 3D object. It was much harder than it looked! But, for a little boy so precious, it was well worth the frustration.

Having the day off allowed me to take the time to write. I hope I can do it again, maybe for Thanksgiving. We'll be with the Ballard's this year.
Oh, I almost forgot! New blogs I'm addicted to:
*She makes me want to have babies now!
*I have a current obsession with everything UK related.