Life on Regal-Hill: September 24, 2008

It looks like the sun has finally decided to shine today in earnest here at Regal-Hill. The previous two days weren’t very good for drying or anything else since it stayed so windy, cloudy and cool. This time of year the sun makes such a difference in how warm it feels.
Finally, George is going to try and mow some more hay. He gave up wanting to harvest another cutting in the meadow, so soon the heifers will get to enjoy it and mow it for themselves. Thunder, Allegra’s horse, is already in the meadow where he has been fenced in. He seems to be enjoying it even though he can’t chase the heifers now.
Poco, one of the beef animals we have, had a heifer calf the other day. It is so cute. Its face is all white while her body is a medium brown. Interestingly enough, she doesn’t always come down with her mother and the rest to get water. I guess she has great faith that her mother will return to feed her. She seems rather small compared to the others so it is easy to spot her among the other beef animals and dairy heifers.
Hopefully the hay George mowed will be ready to bale tomorrow. I hope that if we get a frost as predicted it doesn’t make it any more difficult to get the hay dry, as a heavy dew can make it difficult this time of year. But then again it has been wonderful that it is this late in September before getting a frost.
Plums and nectarines are available now at the supermarket. Here are recipes using these fruits when you don’t want to eat them fresh.

Spinach & Nectarine Salad
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 package (7 ounces) baby spinach
2 ripe nectarines, pitted and cut into wedges
In microwave-safe small bowl or 1-cup liquid measuring cup, combine marmalade and shallot. Cover with vented plastic wrap and cook in microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.
In a small skillet, cook almonds on medium 5 minutes, stirring until toasted. Set aside to cool, about 2 minutes.
To serve, toss spinach, nectarines and marmalade mixture until combined. Place on 2 dinner plates; scatter almonds on top.
Makes 2 main-dish servings
Good Housekeeping July 2008

Spiced Plum Pie
The orange and nutmeg flavors bring out the plum flavor in this pie. It is best to have a slice while it is still warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Pastry for double crust pie (9-inches)
4-1/2 cups sliced fresh plums
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
Vanilla ice cream, optional
Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry, trim even with edge. Arrange plums in crust. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Stir in the egg, orange juice and peel. Pour over plums; dot with butter.
Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of the pie; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in pastry.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly (cover edges with foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent overbrowning if necessary). Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.
Yield: 8 servings
Country Woman August/September 2008