While on my walk I was amused by this gathering of ducks across from the ditch -- and the sign leaning against the tree.
Someone has been leaving seed for the birds there. I like that person!
And this little bird has a "bird's eye" view of everything!
Leaves are tumbling at far too fast a rate for my taste! But they make a wonderful sound when you drag your feet through them.
The squirrels are scurrying with great abandon, hoarding nuts for their winter larder.
I've enjoyed a lovely color ride through the country.
This year I feel doubly blessed, seeing gorgeous color up north early in the month, and then this color down state now.
I stopped at a pumpkin farm that was offering cider and donuts. There were crowds, but not at the cider stand so I masked up and got a treat!
I resisted the mums -- it was hard, but I did!
But they were incredibly lush and full.
But I couldn't resist taking some photos of the brilliantly colored gourds!
On the home front I've been cleaning the art room and baking a lot -- Lemon bread, Marie's pumpkin bread, and apple bread. This recipe is from my friend Sharon, with whom I worked at a dental clinic 45 years ago! It was her mom's recipe and it never fails to make me smile -- both baking it and enjoying it after.
It makes a nice loaf, dense enough to hold together well when cut after being cooled. The recipe makes one large loaf, two smaller bread pan loaves or four mini-loaves. You'll need to adjust the baking time.
Sharon's Apple Bread
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prep your pans. One large or two smaller loaf pans. (Or three mini)
Chop 2 c. apple (Granny Smith or Honey Crisp) and 1/2 c. nuts to use later.
Sift together: 2 flour / 1/2 t. salt
Mix: 1 t baking soda in 1 T. of sour milk. (You can sour your milk by adding a teaspoon or so of lemon juice to it. And if you don't have milk -- I didn't one day -- you can leave it out. It worked OK for me, but I think the sour milk or milk with lemon may give it more lift.)
Cream 1/2 c. butter with 1 c. sugar.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla / 2 eggs
Mix in baking soda/milk mixture.
Add the dry ingredients and beat till combined. It will be a heavy dough.
Spoon into pans. Add strudel crumble on top. (Below)
Topping -- 2 T sugar / 2 T flour / 2 T butter and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I usually make more than the recipe calls for and use more cinnamon.)
Bake 60-70 minutes (I always check at 50 minutes and every five thereafter.) It will depend on the size of your pans.
This freezes well, too. I'll be making more to include in holiday gift deliveries.
The clocks are changing soon and darkness will fall earlier. Be careful out there. The virus is casting a long shadow. Stay safe and well.