Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Pumpkin Festival

 We have had endless hot, sunny, dry days for well over a month.  Everything is shriveling up and no amount of hand watering makes a difference.  However, the nights arrive earlier and as do the  mornings, so, we have had quite a bit of fog.  When we left early on Saturday, it was very foggy.

 But it quickly cleared up.

 We traveled to Barnesville, Ohio for their annual pumpkin festival.  As much as we enjoy the festivals, we really enjoy exploring these small American towns.  I am an architecture junkie and I sure get my fix on these trips.

 Victorian houses just scream Fall don't they?

 Too bad someone butchered this home.  I am sure it was really grand when it was built.  Look at the top of the turret.  A turret widows walk.

 These towns take Fall decorating very seriously.

 I love this old farm table.  I wonder what plans they have for it.

 A few pumpkins and cornstalks are needed here.

 Victorians do require a lot of maintenance.  I know this first hand.

 Interesting double window above the front porch.  It must be the master bedroom.

 This is my favorite house.  The bike parked out front is just perfect?

 Welcome to the pumpkin festival on main street.

 Every parking lot in town had booths set up.

 What an interesting church.  I believe the cornerstone said 1903.

 Pumpkins from all over the country were entered.  Click for a closer look.  The middle pumpkin weighs over 1500 lbs..

 Rides for the kids.

A very typical small town.  More photos tomorrow!

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Witch and a Pirate

 At this time of year, most kids are pretty excited for Halloween. They dream about their costumes and the candy they will collect going door to door trick or treating.  I remember those days so well.  My great niece and nephew are no exception. I was so excited to hear that my great niece wanted to be a witch.  A dream come true!  So, of course, she needed a proper witch hat and a proper broom as well.  I dug out the ingredients and went to work.  Much glue and sewing and lots of magic and soon the hat was ready.  Click for a closer look.

 A big black spider and a raven in a nest sit amongst the glittery leaves.

 The edge is trimmed with lace and feathers.  An orange bow and a giant orange spider brighten the design.

 Glittery tulle cascades down the hat and turns into a trailing veil.  It is tied at the top with a satin bow and a skull.  Very scary stuff here!

 A spider dangles from a rhinestone web on the side of the hat.

 The broom is touched with orange glitter in all the right places.  It has a secret silver locket dangling from the side which holds special spells. The locket is inlaid with an amethyst which protects the owner from evil.

A vintage jewelry box is adorned with flowers, turquoise stones (for good luck) and a grasshopper. 

It holds special witch socks and a witch wig.

And some special bling in case the witch decides to glam it up.

It can hold secret treasures when Halloween is over.

Everyone should have a treasure box I think!

And pirates need a cage to hold their tarantulas.

A vintage cage covered in moss and skulls holds the tarantulas until needed.

And what holds the pirates loot?

A treasure chest of course.  Treasure chests are always shackled with chains, aren't they?

Skulls, bones and creepy animals stand guard over the jewels and money.

Spiders, skeletons and skulls try to scare anyone away that might try to steal the treasures.

A little imagination is always better than store bought.

I wouldn't mind having a treasure box of my own.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Fall Day in the Country

 One of the things we most enjoy about our excursions to the country is that we never know what we will stumble across.  Click for a closer look.  Signs like these are one of my main goals.  I can stock up on fresh eggs and vegetables that will last me all week.

 The decorating doesn't hurt either.

 All decked out for Fall.

 Amish furniture for sale and a John Deere.

And look what this place did with some rolls of hay!.
 One little piggy fell down.

 These just cracked me up.  The first one is in a sling shot.  Look at the expressions on their faces.

Minnie and Mickey.  I am still sorting through hundreds of photos so I will have more soon.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Another quick post.  There are so many festivals right now that we have been nonstop busy.  I'll be back later today or tomorrow with lots of pics!  Off to the fun I go!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Can Can Martini Recipe

This is a quick post because I was asked to submit a recipe for a good cocktail recipe.  I rarely if ever make cocktails but I did serve these at my last Fall party and they were a huge hit.  There are many versions of Can Can Martinis but everyone agreed this was the best they ever had. Here is the link if you want to check them all out:  http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/cocktails-mocktails-recipes-Food-Friday.html

Here is the recipe:



  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce Savignon Blanc
  • 1/4 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • Place all of this in a cocktail shaker, shake and pour.  Serve with a twist of grapefruit rind.

Little Caramel Apple Pies for Mabon

I made apple pies for Mabon. I used 5 inch pie pans so everyone could have their own individual pie.  I love making pies but once you slice into a big one, they don't look too good.  Plus, everyone seems to love having their own little pie.
 I made a pate brisee pastry.  It uses 2-1/2 C. flour, 3 T. sugar, 3/4 tsp. salt, 2 sticks of butter and enough ice water to hold it together...about 5 T..  Roll the dough out on a floured surface.

 Dice a mixture of apples into small cubes.  These don't cook as long as a regular sized pie so dice the apples on the small size.  I used a mix of Gala, Golden Delicious and Jona Gold.  Toss them with about 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 3 T. of flour.  These ingredients depend on how sweet or tart your apples are, how juicy they are and how much of a cinnamon taste you want.  Adjust accordingly.  Put a layer of apples in each pie plate and top with some sliced soft caramels.

 Mound more apples and more sliced caramels.  I used about 4 caramels in each pie. Top with a bit of butter.  Cover with a pastry lid and crimp the edges.

 Brush with an egg wash, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and some coarse white sugar.  Cut a small slit on the top.  Put them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  Place them in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 degrees and continue to cook for about 35-40 minutes longer.

 Remove from the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet.  When you look in the pie hole, you should see the filling bubbling.

Now open your pie hole and shove some in!