Orchards and Pumpkin Patch

We went to the Juicy Fruit apple orchard and to the Twin Pines cider works to get some apples and pumpkins. We were amazed at the crowds of people that were out to stroll through the orchards and fields of pumpkins on a beautiful sunny afternoon. One could hardly call the acres of pumpkins a pumpkin patch. We got a large basket of mixed apples for $3.00 and 2 nice medium pumpkins for $6.00. We also purchase a jug of Twin Pines Original hard cider to enjoy at ou leisure. Our home is only 10 minutes from the orchards so it is a small outing for us but I suspect most of the crowds consisted of people from the nearby cities of London and Sarnia. We will be ready for Halloween with a pair of Jack-o-lanterns. I better brush up on my carving skills. The apples will make a nice snack and I plan to try a new recipe for apple pie. It is a apple, cheese and bacon pie recipe which I will borrow from Canadian Living magazine.The leaves are still brilliant in their Fall glory. I took this picture from my front porch and the other is at the Parkhill Conservation area 1/4 mile from our home. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful environment.

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Autumn Leaves

hpim1406hpim1407The frost is coming soon and the sugar maple leaves are turning brilliant reds, yellows and orange. Tourists come from near and far to observe this amazing spectacle of nature. Another amazing addition to their visit is to partake of another Canadian phenomena. The delicious Butter Tart. I bake these for my guests and they come back for more of these fantastic pastries. Please find the recipe below.

 Pastry

INGREDIENTS

  1. 5 Cups all purpose flour

1 package (brick) Crisco golden shortening

1 egg

1/4 cup vinegar

water

 METHOD

In a large bowl blend shortening with flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or 2 forks.

In a measuring cup blend egg with vinegar and add water to make 1 cup of liquid.

Gradually add liquid to flour mixture blending with your hands until thoroughly mixed.

Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Now you are ready to make pies, tarts and much more.  Enjoy.

BUTTER TARTS

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup black currents or raisins

1/4 cup soft butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 egg lightly beaten

1/2 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS

1 Prepare muffin tins by rolling out pie dough and cutting 4 inch circles. Fit dough into muffin tins an set aside in the fridge until ready to fill

2 In a small bowl place currants and cover with hot tap water to soften for 30 minutes

3 In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together the soft butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir well until butter is creamed.

4 Beat egg and vanilla then add to butter/syrup mixture and mix well

5 Drain currants and divide into tart shells

6 Using table spoon, add mixture to tart shells dividing equally.

Bake in 400f  oven for 15 to twenty minutes or slightly more for firm. Cool on rack.

Note! You may use walnuts or pecans instead of or in addition to currants or raisins

Canadian Thanksgiving

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I live in Southwestern Ontario Canada which is located between the 42nd latitude and the 45th latitude. We are the bread basket of Canada because we grow abundant amounts of corn, hay, soy beans, vegetables and fruit and berries. You can find market gardens with fields of tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables along side apple, peach, plumb and other orchards, vineyards and dairy farms. All of these within a 2 hour drive. Located amidst all of this you can find miles of sandy beaches on the largest fresh water lakes in the world. Needless to say. There is plenty of good fishing here.

Thanksgiving has arrived here in Canada. We celebrate it in the peak of harvest season in this country. Apples and grapes pumpkins and pears can be seen in abundance in many a farmer’s field. Families gather together to celebrate our good fortune in having this wonderful food readily available to fill our pantries and freezers. Our traditional meal consists of Turkey and ham, squash and Brussels sprouts accompanied by lots of turkey dressing and potatoes with gravy. Dessert is Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie with cheese or ice cream. Local Apple Cider and wines are pleasant additions to our feast. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

apples

The Bread Basket of Canada

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3 Photos taken in October just before harvest. The corn is 7 feet tall and the sunflowers are 5 feet tall. acres-of-sunflowers sunflowers-galorehpim1372  

“There are corn fields and wheat fields enough to grow.” (Jackie DeShannon)

Here are some pictures from June this Summer of 2016 that I hope you will enjoy.hpim1377hpim1371

The importance of corn in our lives is overlooked or down played by most people. Many producers of animal food make out corn to be a filler containing no nutritional value. Corn by- products can be and often are used in this manner. However, corn’s positive attributes far outweigh the negative. Let’s have a closer look at the many uses of corn that have a positive influence on our everyday lives.

The uses of corn are too numerous to document here but J will attempt provide you with a short list to give you a notion of the vast number of uses for corn.

  • Cooking oil and salad dressings and corn meal
  • Alcoholic beverages and industrial alcohol
  • ice cream, jam and soft drinks
  • food for livestock and poultry
  • glucose
  • ethanol
  • paper products
  • pharmaceuticals
  • adhesives and insecticides
  • soap

Southern Ontario produces thousands of acres of corn each year’ It is a very important crop to this region and the rest of the country.

Sweet corn is a different variety from industrial corn and is grown primarily for direct human consumption. You cook sweet corn by placing a small amount of water in a large pot and bring to boil. Shuck cobs of corn and  add to boiling water for 4 minutes. Remove corn and place on a large platter. Grab a cob and generously slather with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and eat the corn directly from the cob. YUM                                                  ALTERNATELY – You can leave the husks on the cobs and immerse them briefly in water.  Place them on hot grill or campfire and rotate 3 times(about 2 minutes each turn) Remove them from the fire and shuck them. Serve with butter, salt and pepper.  ENJOY