Life on Regal-Hill: Oct. 29, 2008

We recently returned to Regal-Hill from vacation with a welcome home sign. Allegra made the sign and, I think with her uncle’s help, put it up. It said, “Welcome home grandma and grandpa.” One would think we had been away a long time. Actually it was only a week and a day that we were gone.
We traveled over 800 miles and covered three states, New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. The leaves were beautiful and most of the leaves were still on the trees. The leaves here are all off the trees, making the mountains look so bleak already. I was ready to turn around and at least go back to Saratoga County where we noticed that some of the field corn hadn’t even been frosted yet.
This vacation was different in that we visited family and friends rather than going sight-seeing and staying in motels.
In Vermont we enjoyed seeing beautiful dairy farms that ship milk to Organic Valley, as we traveled northward on the eastern side of the state to Newport where we visited George’s youngest brother. After visiting there for several days and attending church, we went on to New Hampshire where we visited friends who at one time came here to the Catskills for deer hunting. They were busy working and building a barn so their son can milk cows. Then we returned to New York State near Glens Falls to visit one of George’s sisters and she took us to Lake George where we had a picnic and saw other area sights like one of the power plants that crosses the Hudson River. Hopefully, we got some nice fall pictures in all the places we visited.
We had beautiful weather with rain only one day. On most of the sunny days the temperatures were especially warm while we were riding in the car. We saw gas signs as low as $2.99 a gallon in several places. Thankfully we did not have an accident nor see an accident while traveling either.
Now that we are back home I have just finished catching up on laundry and putting luggage away. Thankfully the heifers stayed in the fence and didn’t mind rotating from one paddock in the meadow to another to get their fill of grass. This way of grazing is somewhat new to our heifers. It is supposed to be a better way to graze a field so the whole field gets grazed more evenly. The heifers seem to have caught on quickly.
For those of you who like to celebrate Halloween these recipes seem appropriate. Try and enjoy.

Pumpkin Patch Bites
1 box (15 oz.) refrigerated pie crusts
6 oz. sliced Black Forest or Virginia ham
8 oz. sliced extra-sharp Cheddar, Swiss or Gruyere cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil.
On work surface, unroll pie crust and cut each of the two crusts into 12 pumpkin shapes with a 3-in. round pumpkin cookie cutter. Using a 2-in. round cutter, cut 24 rounds from the sliced ham and 24 rounds from the sliced Cheddar.
Put 2 slices each ham and Cheddar in the center of each of 12 pumpkins. With a small brush, brush beaten egg around edges.
Top with remaining pumpkins, carefully pressing on edges to seal. Using a spoon, make ridges on pumpkins by pressing into tops in a few places. With a small knife, pierce ridges in a couple of places to vent.
Place on prepared pan. Brush tops with beaten egg. Bake 10-12 minutes until light golden. Let cool on rack a couple of minutes before serving.
Makes 12
Woman’s Day November 1, 2008

Bloody Soup
1 jar (24 to 26 oz.) marinara sauce
1 jar (about 7 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained
1/2 cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) reduced sodium beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Red food color (optional)
Put sauce, peppers, tomatoes, oil and garlic in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Pour into medium saucepan along with the broth and Worcestershire sauce. Stirring often, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Remove from heat; stir in a few drops of food color if desired. To serve, pour from a liquid measuring cup into small cups.
Makes 6 cups
Woman’s Day November 1, 2008

It was nice to get away but it is always nice to return home, especially when met by such a nice sign.