Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Farm

The weather is still holding out for us, so we enjoyed a long warm walk through the park at Ritter Farm first thing this morning.  I've rarely been a regular church-goer, unless you count the time in junior high when I was in confirmation classes, but somehow I can't help but make the comparison -- our Sunday morning jaunts feel a bit like church...our church.  A deeply meaningful weekly ritual that grounds us, brings us back to ourselves in communion with creation, and fills us with peace.

On the rare occasion when the parking lot is busy when we arrive -- "busy" meaning more than five cars -- Terry jokes, "Looks like we're late for mass."

What I mean by "our church" is that Nature is our connection with the sacred.  The farm's miles of trail by lake, through woods and prairie opens us to the cycles of life and our place in it.  Through the changing of the seasons, the comings and goings of the animals, we are brought back to the awareness that we are all connected, that we are all energy, that we are all one.
the pond

working the trail

the lake

the outside woods trail

the prairie

And sometimes, like this morning, we are reminded of the reality of death...
I can't for the life of me figure out how the deer leg ended up eye-high in a tree.  Talk about startling...yikes!

One edge of the park even borders a llama farm!  (Hi guys!)

Trooper often reminds us that it's important to just stop, breathe, and take it all in...

Can I get an amen?

Where do you go in Nature to reconnect?//

What's For Dinner Tonight?
Tonight we made ourselves an all-American meal...a little surf and turf, baked potatoes and homemade Apple Pie, as promised!  When we cook like this, I'm reminded that my hubby is a restaurateur at heart.  Sure beats the meal we'd each pay $50 for at a steakhouse.  The good part about enjoying this meal at home is that leftovers are much more easily transported...without that pesky non-recyclable to-go container.  And at home, I get to have cottage cheese on my baked potato!  Yum, yum, yum!

Apple Pie
2 pie crusts, ready-made or from scratch
6 cups (8-9) peeled and sliced apples
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
milk for brushing the top
sugar for sprinkling the top
We're still using up apples from our Apple Orchard adventure.  Pile all the goodies in a bowl and stir to combine.

Line the pie plate with the first crust and pour the filling in.  Lay the other crust over the top, trim the edges and tuck the top crust under the bottom as you work around the pie plate and crimp the edges.  Cut slits in the top to release the steam.  Brush with a small amount of milk and sprinkle the top with sugar.  Bake for 1 hour at 375.

I made my own crust, but it's just as well to use ready-made.  Mine got a little overworked in the food processor (still relatively new to the pie crust thing) so it's flat instead of flaky.
Our new ceramic pie plate we bought at an art fair earlier this summer got its test-run.  Worked like a charm!

Smells incredible!  And not too shabby tasting either, especially with a little Sweet Chai ice cream...

Enjoy your night :)

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