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October 25, 2003 c.e.
The Ending...And the Beginning.
An Old Year Dies...
The World Goes to Sleep
With the end of October comes the end of the year for those who observe the Celtic calendar. It is an appropriate month to end a period of time. Autumn is the time when the plants sleep, the leaves die and fall from the trees, animals who hibernate prepare for their long sleep during the winter months, and it is also the time when we say goodbye to those who have passed on during the year.
An Old Friend Crosses Over
My friend for most of my adult life; my roommate and companion for the last two years, crossed over on Thursday. She was also my familiar, if one believes in such things.
PK wandered into our lives many years ago as one of the many feral kitties wandering around the neighborhood. We fed her, and she stayed. Two years ago I brought her into the house because I feared for her safety due to the approaching winter and her advanced age. She was my constant companion from then on. I wish I could say that she died peacefully in her sleep one night, but that would be untrue. She was unable to move and had difficulty breathing for a full day before she passed. I stayed up with her until I could stay awake no longer. In the morning, my Mom came to watch her and at 9:45am, she took her last breath.
I'll miss her.
Autumn has been in full force here in Indiana for the past few weeks. The leaves on the Maples and Oaks have turned to orange, brown, and yellow. The trees in my yard, however, have failed to realize that winter is approaching. My red Bud tree, which was 6" tall when planted two years ago, and was 1' this spring, has continued to grow in spite of the frosts we have already had. Currently, if the central branch actually stood upright, the tree would be 22 feet tall. It's leaves are still green. Likewise, my apple trees have refused to relinquish their leaves yet, which show only a slight curling at the edges. My Maple trees however have surrendered to the inevitable and dropped their leaves.
Speaking of the Apple trees, I was able to make 4 pies and several pans of fried apples from the fruit they produced this year. Not bad for semi-dwarf trees that I planted last spring. Down at the bottom of this I'll include my odd recipe for Cian's Apple Pie.
A New Year Begins...
To me, autumn being the end of the year makes sense. Winter isn't a time of death, it is the rest and gestation period. During this period of cold, the world readies itself to burst forth with new growth when the spring arrives. It is also a time for people to rest from their summer and autumn activities. It's a time for people to get reaquainted with those we have lost touch with during the busy warm months.
On a personal note, someone has unexpectedly come back into my life; today, in fact. Many of you will remember Anna. She is currently living at her parents' house while she figures out exactly where she is going and what she is doing. I think it's the best place for her. First, it's only 15 miles from here. :o) Second, it will provide the quiet and peace that I feel that she really needs. Her parents live in a circa 1820 cabin out in the middle of the forest. Her dad's a palentologist. The negative is her mom; who is a fundie freak of the worst sort. Imagine Pat Robertson on a 5 week drunk and popping speed; that's her mom. She doesn't like me much.
However, the plan is to move a trailer onto their property (they have a lot) and for Anna to live there. Hopefully, her mom will stay away. I predict that she won't be there too much, though, as I suspect she'll be spending much time here. She dropped by today to let me know that she was back in the area, and to ask if I wanted to go out tomorrow. Yeah, I'm going.
My computer sales venture has officially been kicked off. (Old news, but there hasn't been a newsletter in a while) My retail site is located at: 5thElement.us
Another site I've worked on sporadically, Lyrus.Us will probably be getting completed at some point in the near future. It's an unhelpful, inconvenience store of my rants, opinions, and answers to your silliest questions. Just remember; WWLD - What Would Larry Do? (It didn't. The site is now gone.)
I have yet another message board, too. It isn't anything spectacular, in fact, I haven't even decorated it. It's a Q & A forum for my various ventures. I'm thinking of using it for the Lyrus.US site, too. The board is located at: www.forestwebdesign.com/community
(This is actually the message board for my new site, e-Volvo, now.)
I can't think of anything else, so on to the Apple Pie recipe...
Cian's Apple Pie
Ready-made Deep Dish pie crust (unless you're more industrious than me)
- 6-10 medium-large Macintosh apples (I mix Macs with Red Delicious)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp Cinnamon (or so)
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- a bit of flour in case the apples need thickening
- (optional)genuine maple syrup
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup butter (yes, REAL butter)
- 3 Tbsp flour
- tsp cinnamon
- (optional)genuine maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 375°F
Let crust thaw, if frozen.
- Peel and slice the apples however you see fit. Combine the apples, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 2 Tbsp water in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat.
- When apples have started to soften, add 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and maple syrup (if including). Continue to cook apples, stirring frequently, until they have become soft. (Usually around 10-15 minutes on a gas stove at sea-level)
- Remove apples from stove and let cool. If you really like cinnamon (as I do) sprinkle random amounts of cinnamon over the apples, maybe some nutmeg too.
- Mix the butter, sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and maple syrup (if including) for the topping with a fork in a mixing bowl. Continue mixing until it gets kinda "clumpy" (your arm will hurt, believe me)
- Sprinkle cinnamon over pie crust, especially the edges. Trust me, it's better this way.
- Pour apples into crust, smooth out, and cover the apple mixture with the topping. (You'll probably have to "fling" it with the fork) It should be pretty lumpy. Small open areas are fine, as it will fill in during baking.
- Place pie pan on a baking sheet and bake at 375°F for about 50 minutes. Check on it at around 40 minutes, it varies a lot. Once the filling is bubbling through the topping, and the topping has spread out over the top of the pie, it's ready.
- Let cool for a while. Top with Ben & Jerry's Vanilla Bean. :o)
- Go to hospital to have heart re-started.
That ends our newsletter for October. The newsletter is published roughly "whenever I feel like it," so don't wait around for it. :o)
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