one of my most delightful experiences this fall was discovering the dutchman general store in cantril, iowa. a friend took me to this mennonite store (where you can watch happy rosy cheeked children playing in their traditional clothing. we drove through scenic, rolling, autumn farmland, and i repeated this magical journey for my in-laws when they visited.
i came home with boxes of apples, pears, and tomatoes, delicious and decorative squash, bulk spices and other goodies that i haven't been able to find here in the midwest, like millet, flax seed, unrefined sugar. oh! and unbelievably yummy dark dutch cocoa. and all at great prices! dreamy!
i am enjoying a continuing love affair with canning this fall. the apples and pears combined made scrumptious juice, apple/pear sauce, and my favorite sauce that i discovered last year by accident: follow the apple pie filling recipe on the minute tapioca box (using both pears and apples), cut the sugar by 1/3, and cook until very juicy, then can it to put over pancakes, waffles, etc. so yummy!
i used the tomatoes to make surprisingly delicious fresh chunky past sauce and salsa.
we had fun with crabapples again.
and have been canning more chicken and beans with the new pressure canner.
we've picked apples at baxter's vineyards down the street more than once this fall, and on our first visit found 10 old blue glass canning jars waiting for a new owner. here they are with spices and goodies from the dutchman's store.
i'm still drying apples from our last apple picking at baxter's last week.
i thrill at the bounties of autumn.