Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The light has subtly changed. There's a briskness in the air. Blankets come our for snuggling under in the evening. The days are growing shorter - but candles come out to warm and lighten the night. It's autumn, and it's wonderful.
I love this time of year. The Autumn Equinox the other day marked the beginning of the dark season, but there's such a rush to the end of the calender year, that it's not so bad. After all, tis harvest season - one of the yummiest seasons of them all.
Right now my home is filled with the smell of warm apples getting ready to be made into Lughnasa Butter (apples, fall raspberries and currants - yum!) Very soon I'll be picking pumpkins to carve into dozens of scary and festive scenes for Halloween. Some will be saved for Pumpkin Butter, pumpkin pies and cakes and cookies, and of course our Honey Pumpkin Face Mask. Even the veggies know the time has come. They've suddenly put on that last burst of ripening to fill my table with tomatoes, zucchini and peppers.
The herbs are drawing the bees as I finally let them flower before harvesting them up for the long winter. The rush is on to finish up the gardening and gathering before frost and winter make us huddle up in our homes.
The moral of this story - get out there and enjoy! Season's pass quickly so watch for those leaves changing, celebrate the warm days, and enjoy the change that is Autumn!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
It seems Hurricane Hana has had her way with Lavallette already. The Heritage Day Festival, which is typically a wonderful day, has been cancelled for this Saturday, September 6. With an 90% of rain and thunderstorms, the committee wisely chose to not have the event. There's nothing worse than a soggy Mummer. Sad, but wise decision.
However, Sunday, September 7th, promises to be much better - maybe even sunny. And what better way to finish up the summer season than with the Friends of Island Beach State Park Beach Plum Festival! This even is always fun, festive, educational and entertaining.
If you've never had the chance to attend, you should take the opportunity this year. There are kayak tours available, beach plum picking, a wide variety of educational opportunities, dozens of handcrafted items, and the best view of the beach you could have.
Island Beach State Park is an amazing resource, and probably one of the most beautiful spots in New Jersey. There are 10 miles of beautiful beaches, swathed in a gentle, inviting, natural maritime park. It's like stepping into another world. Definitely a spot worth investigating.
The Beach Plum Festival runs from 9 am to 4 pm at the Ocean Beach Bathing Area #1. We hope to see you there!
Monday, September 1, 2008
As you may have gathered from our previous post about honey - which you can find here
- we're a little sweet on honey. What's not to love!? Honey is a natural sweet treat that's nourishing for your outside as well as your inside.
In celebration of National Honey Month, here are two honey based recipes to get you venturing into the wonderful world of honey.
For your outside:
Honey Hair Shine
Honey's softening power will keep your hair soft and shiny.
5 cups of warm water
2 teaspoons of light honey
Optional: a squeeze of lemon juice, strawberry, or a few teaspoons of chamomile tea
Stir the honey into the warm water. Add option of your choice. After shampooing, pour the mixture through your hair. Don't rinse, just dry and style as usual. Not only will your hair be soft and shiny, it will smell wonderful, too!
For your inside:
JP's Glazed Carrots
This is a family favorite - particularly my son's. He started making them with his grandmother when he was about 5 (he's now 25).
2 pounds baby carrots
water to cover
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup pineapple juice
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Optional: just a pinch of hot pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce.
Cook to carrots in the water until just fork tender but still firm. Don't over cook them or they'll be mushy. Drain carrots and return to put.
Set heat to low and add the butter to the carrots, . Add honey, brown sugar, and pineapple juice. Stir until well combined. Turn up the heat to medium when sugar has dissolved. Let simmer in the glaze until the liquid cooks down and thickens (usually about 5 to 7 minutes).
Place into a bowl, toss the option of your choice, if you'd like. The glaze with thicken slightly as it cools. Yum!
For the best in local honey, check out Herbertsville Honey or E&M Gold. They have wonderful information, terrific products, and are great people.
Have a little honey every day and celebrate the sweetness of National Honey Month.