Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn Equinx Exchange and Pizza

I joined a group of bloggers put together by the lovely Faerwillow to participate in an Autumn Equinox Exchange. We were paired up with another blogger and we made up Fall themed gifts for each other. I was paired up with Tammie from beautyflows. She made some fabulous gifts for me.

How could she have known that I could never get enough dried morels? I could use these almost every day. She collected them and dried them herself!!! There simply could not be a gift that could thrill me more than these.

Next she made me this beautiful bracelet...custom fit to size! I have the skinniest wrists and can never find bracelets that fit me and this fits perfectly. I like it so much that I wore it to bed. She also made me the cutest pair of JOL earrings which flew out the door with my daughter. I will "borrow" them back by Halloween time.

This pretty note pad was included.

And oh my......a stack of these gorgeous cards she made.

Her photography is exceptional.

And a beeswax candle to light during the dark months! Thanks Tammie!!! I will be enjoying all of this for a long time to come.

I am still using up the tomatoes from my gardens so I made pizza sauce. I oven roasted them with a few seasonings and some olive oil and then pureed them in my food processor.

Then I made a basic pizza dough.

I split it into four balls and placed them on parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal.

First I stretched them and then I rolled them to form thin disks.

Each pizza is topped with sauce.

Then sprinkled with some grated Provolone ans some thinly sliced raw onions. You can use any toppings you like.

I added some thin strips of pepperoni.

Then some black olives, Asiago cheese and sprinkled the top with Parmesan.

Then I slid them into a 450 degree oven onto a pizza stone.

I like to top my pizzas with fresh arugula (rocket). It is a wonderful flavor combination.

I always leave a few plain for the veggie haters in the group.

***Stop back on Saturday for the Practical Magic Blog Party and to see who won this week's giveaway. A special new giveaway will be posted at that time.

A Trip to a Fort

We drove all day to visit this cute little town. It is named Ligonier after field marshal John Ligonier (1680-1770), who was the commander in chief of British land forces and military advisor to William Pitt. Ligonier was based in London and never served in North America. These canons are known as eight-inch mortars and are made of bronze.

In the middle of the 18th century, Britain and France contested ownership of the inner basin of North America. The conflict became known in America as the French and Indian war. It later was called The Seven Years' War.

These canons are called six-pound field pieces. They shoot a 6 pound canon ball.

The army, known as Forbes army, only had wood and earth as building materials but they built this fort to enclose storehouses. Forbe's army was more than a fighting force, it was an entire community comprising soldiers, civilians, women and children. In 1758 over 6000 people lived at Fort Ligonier.

The unusual design of the fence is called retrenchment. It is made of a double-tiered wall of horizontal logs. The top is crowned with "fraising" which are sharpened pickets set at a thirty degree angle.

By 1766, the fort was no longer needed and was decommissioned.

The oval shaped dwelling far to the right is Cherokee/Catawba Indian dwelling.

This is the blacksmith's shop and a dwelling.

These buildings served as a hospital and surgical unit.

The buildings have shutters and roof vents to allow for fresh air circulation.

These are the communal clay bake ovens where everyone baked their daily bread.

This is the smokehouse where all of the meat was smoked so it could be preserved.

You can see a Conestoga wagon to the right of the smokehouse. Each of these wagons could carry 1500 pounds of cargo. They were pulled by two to four horses.

We could not go inside the fort because though this was used to fight wars apparently they are threatened by Chow Chow puppies. I don't blame them.

This guys stands outside of the town toy store.

Appropriately named Ivy Cafe.

Cute optometrist sign.

Nice iron work.

I loved this shop and bought some things for a future giveaway at The Strawberry Crow.

One of a kind shops line the streets.

Original architecture has been preserved.

A purple Victorian much like the one on my Oktoberfest post.

Teddy takes time to smell the roses....petunias. She is not much of a gardener.

Lots of nice antique stores!

This store was really cute and had all kinds of Fall/Halloween items.

I could fix this one up!

Every tree and parking meter was surrounded with Fall decorations.

Teddy really enjoyed the trip.

A squirrel feeder and a strangely placed chair.

Almost every house was decorated for Fall.

These grapevine trees were covered in orange lights.

This gazebo sits on the town square.

There is plenty of seating on all of the benches which line the four walkways.

There are four large Martin houses on the square.

The ornate wrought iron railing around the gazebo.

The wrought iron trim around the roof.

A beautiful church across from the square.

A patient pup being photographed by the Blog Tech while she waits for her mama outside a store. She suffers from separation anxiety.

This cute restaurant has second floor outside seating.

This fountain on the square has a basin for people, one for horses and one for dogs.
And here we have the faithful puppy and the Blog Tech waiting for me once again. I notice that the Blog Tech has a huge smile on his face. I think it must be because he is enjoying his NFL magazine. It turns out that he is actually laughing in anticipation of telling me that we have to abort the trip and return home. Apparently the BT needs to do some photography excercizes because he pulled a groin muscle squatting to take a photograph and could hardly walk. I had lots of fun teasing him on the long drive home while he held a big bag of ice on his.....well, you know.....the groin area!!!! The first words out of his mouth were...oh god, this is going to be on the blog. He knows me well!

So we slowly returned to the car. I actually was jumping around him laughing and teasing him about wheelchairs. He was only slightly amused.

I managed to snap a few last pics. I did not squat.

Bottles trees fascinate me. I just don't get them.

A log house on the way out of town.

*Tomorrow the Blog Tech and I are off at 4:00 am to travel to The Country Living Magazine Fall Fair. This is one of the best fairs in the America. We will be sure to take lots of pictures to show you. I will make sure he stays upright. No more squatting for quite some time.

**Tomorrow's post will be dated today because I will be putting it together today.

***Still time to enter the giveaway. Remember that Saturday is the Practical Magic Blog Party.