Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Recipe for Blueberry Pie

July 24th - Sunday 90 degrees

While we were in Florida I had made a Strawberry Pie from a recipe that I had cut from Hobby Farm Home Magazine and Lou and I were very fond of it. It was made with Strawberry JELL-O and we wondered if if would work to make a blueberry pie; however, I had never seen blueberry JELL-O. So I dismissed the idea.

Several weeks ago when we were grocery shopping I noticed Weis was carrying blueberry flavored JELL-O so I picked up a couple boxes in hopes our blueberries would produce an abundance of berries and I would try to convert the recipe to make a blueberry pie.

On Thursday I gave it a try and while I was making the pie, Krista and Matthew popped in and Kris thought it looked really good, she was on her way to the grocery and said she would pick up some vanilla ice cream, so she and her family joined us for dessert on Thursday evening and gave it the final taste test. Everyone agreed it was a good dessert. Maybe next year Matthew can try it also.

I am going to post the recipe, I do not usually do this, but thought someone else might like to try it.

Fresh Blueberry Pie
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 3-ounce box blueberry JELL-O
  • 1 pie crust, baked and cooled
  • 1 carton of Cool whip
Combine water, sugar, and cornstarch in a pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until clear. Remove from heat and add JELL-O.

Arrange blueberries in baked pie shell and pour warm JELL-O over berries. Chill for several hours. Serve topped with Cool-whip. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day at Mountain Lake

July 20th - Thursday - 104 degrees - hot and humid

On Monday, our friends had asked us to join them for lunch at their cottage on Mountain Lake. We were up early and I made my favorite fresh blueberry dessert and Lou and I were off to Mountain Lake which is located in Bradford County.

It was originally founded by the railroad tycoons that wanted a cool and refreshing place for their families to reside in the summer months. The original ice house is still standing as is the hotel where many dances and festivals were held. The Lake is all spring fed with cottages surrounding it. Most of the cottages have docks going out into the lake. There are restrictions as far as boats on the lake, you may use boats; however, no gasoline motors, only electric motors, or of course, you may paddle your boat, or canoe. You can imagine, it is very quiet and relaxing to spend your summer, weekend, or just an afternoon there.

Once we arrived, Steve took us on a boat ride, that was powered by an electric motor, around the diameter of the lake so we could view the cottages along the lake, there were many water lilies of two different colors. Most everyone feeds the birds, therefore, there were all kinds of birds flying to and fro. Even though it was a hot afternoon, there was a wonderful breeze blowing across the lake and right into the cottage with the screened in porch.

Steve introduced us to his neighbors and she took us on a tour of their cottage. She inherited her cottage from her mother and she collected antiques and that was a delight. This delightful couple live in Elmira, NY and come for the summer with their two cats and one dog. Their walls are lined with antiques kitchen utensils in the kitchen and then in the living room surrounding the fireplace you will find paintings, done by her mother, of the lake along with fish that were caught by various family members, antique fishing rods and reels, horse shoes and black smith tools, old harnesses as they were horse lovers at one time. A huge display of old bottles, blue and clear glass, oh it was a delightful afternoon just talking to them and looking around. Her husband had been in the Air Force so you know he and Lou became immediate friends......

After thanking them for the tour we exited their back door. We viewed their backdoor garden and field stone patio,that their mother had completed when she was in her late 70's .On our way back to Steve and June's cottage we took in the array of beautiful flowers and the 100 year old bunk house that their son, Steve is redoing, getting ready for his retirement.

We enjoyed a wonderful luncheon of seafood quiche, cole slaw, and a salad that consisted of cucumbers, red peppers, mushrooms, green onions, Parmesan cheese with Italian dressing, hot rolls and the blueberry dessert. Being a hot afternoon, the luncheon was perfect and the conversation was high spirited.

The afternoon passed quickly and it was soon time for Lou and I to head back to Tioga County.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Smoke Bush

July 17th - Sunday 92 degrees - Beautiful Blue Sky - Low humidity

We have had beautiful days and cool evenings; however, we are in need of some rain. The farmers are delighted with the weather, and much hay has gone into the barns this week. One of the farmers told us at church today, that he planned on finishing up his haying this afternoon after he had his dinner, as we are supposed to have thundershowers tomorrow afternoon.

We have been watering our garden each evening with the soaker hose and our garden is doing great. Considering we were very late getting it planted. We had beet greens yesterday and they tasted so good and were so tender. Our green beans are bloomed and usually we have beans on Krista's birthday and that will be on the 24th of July and it will probably be the same this year. We have little cucumbers, green peppers and the radishes have been delightful. Lou has a way with growing radishes that I don't understand.

One evening when Casey was here we were walking around the yard and I showed him my Ninebark bush that my landscapers had pruned at the wrong time of the season and I mentioned to him that I would like to purchase a Smoke Bush, so to our surprise, last week when Brion and Janet came up they brought us a Golden Spirit Smoke Bush. Lou and I had kept it watered and in the shade, hoping we would get a shower and then get it planted, but decided that wasn't going to happen. We decided on Thursday evening after dinner we would get the hole dug and get it planted. Well digging the hole was a task in of itself. You can see from the picture we encountered a huge rock that went down and down, finally Lou decided to use the crowbar on it and we got it out and filled up the hole with some choice dirt and planted the new Smoke Bush. Now to keep it watered so we can watch for the beautiful crimson colors this fall.

We miss Casey this week, as he is away at school for two weeks in Alabama, seems like we just got used to him popping in and out and his evening phone calls and he was on a plane and off again.

Now we have a much smaller grandson that pops in to visit, Matthew is now a month old and we have all found that he loves to be outside which is great as the rest of the family also love to be outside. Kris and Steve got a jogging stroller and I could not believe how easily that pushes across the grass. Lou and I both commented how great it would have been if we could have had a wheel chair that pushed that easily on grass.

Tomorrow we are off to friends at Mountain Lake for the day and this week shouldn't be as busy with appointments as last week. Lou got the repairs made to the little barn that have been waiting for two years, so now will need to get some painting done.

Ande and Sandra picked some blueberries on the weekend, so we will need to get back to the patch by mid week and get them picked, and if we don't get some rain, that is going to slow down also.

We are still waiting on Camping World to get the repairs done on the motor home as we have a camping trip coming up and need to have the RV for that. We had to cancel out on a square dancing camp out due to not having the RV to take. Seems like consumers have to stay on top of the situations to make sure all followup work is completed as requested.... Enough said. I guess everyone has the same problem.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Working at the Homestead

July 14th - 80 degrees - Beautiful day with low humidity

We have had some beautiful days this week. We do need rain, but I have to admit Lou and I have enjoyed the days with the low humidity and a nice breeze.

The blueberries are ripening, and we have been picking them a few each day, and so far we have frozen three quarts of them. Janet picked some when she was up this weekend and that was the beginning of the harvest. Brion and Preston made a frame with PVC pipe and covered it with netting, which has really worked well to keep the birds from dining on the berries.

Lou and I have both had appointments for haircuts and dentists, so all of our jobs have been scheduled around these various appointments which make life interesting. Thankfully, those are all out of the way now, and tomorrow is clear and hopefully, I can get the house cleaned up!!

Shell Oil Company paid to have Rice Road paved; therefore, the mailbox at the Rice Homestead had to be raised to accommodate the Mail-lady. You can see from the pictures Rice Road looks like a super highway, which certainly pleases the few residents that live on the road. I suggested to Lou that he install a mailbox like we have here at home and he also thought that would be the easiest way to solve the problem, and that job was accomplished yesterday afternoon.

We took my electric chain saw to cut off the existing post and once there we needed an extension cord and Lou brought out his father's extension cord. I thought it was really a neat operation, as to the way he had devised his own way of winding the cord and the way he made a separation for the part of the cord to be plugged into the outlet. It certainly worked good and was easy to wind up and put away when the job was completed.

Going to the Homestead and going into the barn or the garage is like a visit to a museum and always enjoyable so much history and memories like there. More on all of that later.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Camping At Ives Run - Tioga County, PA

July 9th - Saturday - 90 degrees Sunny and Beautiful

Finally after several doctors appointments lab work and a medical procedure, we were able to steal away with friends for a few days of camping at a local camp ground. We drove to Ives Run which is only about ten miles from our home, but happens to be a National Park and one park that I had never camped in and Lou had not been there since 1993 and we were both very pleasantly surprised at the campsites. We found them to be very spacious, shady, full hook-up with 50 amp. so we were all set. Our friends
Cathy and Jim Doane, who had just purchased a new 5th wheel, were able
to get the site right next to us.

We had perfect weather and always had a nice breeze and low humidity. Jim supplied us with a fire each evening and one evening we made "moon pies" which I had never had before.

Michelle came down on Wednesday afternoon and she and I spent some time at the beach and finally had some time to have a nice chat and were able to soak up some sunshine along with the talking. For dinner on Wednesday night, I cooked chicken, made home made biscuits with gravy, mashed potatoes, peas and for dessert we Key Lime Cake.

After dinner, Michelle found two boys that she used to baby sit with, so she was off to play soccer with them, while I cleaned up the kitchen and then we all enjoyed a fire and played cards. Michelle taught us a new game which we all enjoyed.

Thursday we were all up early, as we were expecting friends from Spokane, Washington. They arrived around 9:30 am and did we ever enjoy their company and the time passed so quickly. Such an interesting couple, Ron has just retired and they are just getting used to doing what they want when they want, and it was so much fun listening to them talk about their lives, as it sounded like the way Lou and I felt two years ago, so refreshing to hear some one else feeling the same as us.

Michelle, found that she truly loved talking to Ron and Norma and he certainly gave her great pointers towards furthering her education, she is even thinking about the Air Force once she graduates from College. When they left in the late afternoon, Michelle had six pages of notes to go over, along with Ron's e-mail and telephone number and facebook. A good bond was formed.

I fixed a baked ham dinner for everyone on Thursday night, as Jim and Cathy had to hurry home to cut lawns on Thursday and I thought I could do that to help them, as it was we all ended up helping each other, but was a good dinner and we enjoyed eating together. While we ran Michelle back home. Jim built a fire and we enjoyed our last camp fire with coffee and chocolate chip cookies and made plans on doing this again in September after the kids are all back in school.

Jim and Cathy had to leave early Friday morning, to meet their kids for a camping trip below Harrisburg, but Lou and I hung on until we had to leave at 3:00. We took a walk of over two miles and found some different wild flowers that I still have not identified. I am really anxious to go back, as I found it a charming place to visit and the lake was very relaxing, if we had the opportunity to relax!! Just have to stay longer next time.

Today we were back to normal. I did laundry and hung it outside, worked in the flowers, garden and Lou replaced worn boards on the barn. Tomorrow is church, and next week brings more appointments for the car, motor home, haircuts, dentist appointments and square dancing. We need to find time to play with baby Matthew. Krista and Steve brought him down this afternoon, and I had been weedeating and I didn't want to hold him with all of that stuff on me. I"ll get to see him at church tomorrow and hold him then also. I will steal him away from Lou!!