29 August 2011

Family recipe Monday: Late summer, early fall

Cottonwood stars, from New Mexico

Juvenile hawks. Photos courtesy of Tartan Girl

It's the end of August in a long, hot, and (for the Texas and New Mexico clan members) unbelievably dry summer. Everything seems to be moving toward fall much sooner than normal. Up on the northern prairies, the hawks and other migratory birds are gathering with nervous eyes to the south, and the grasses are rapidly browning. 

Tartan Girl shared photos of young hawks hanging out in teenage noisemaker mode in New Mexico. These guys are full-sized and -fledged, but still showing juvenile plumage. This will be their first fall, and they may need to keep moving to find adequate prey. She also shared a photo of the stars to be found at the base of cottonwood twigs. Find a cottonwood and check this out for yourself. 

Fall is in the air, even the hot, dry air. Here is a recipe for apple butter to capture the season.  

Apple butter

For 1/2 peach basket of apples

Peel, quarter and core apples. Put in oven at 200*F. Add 1/2 lb dark brown sugar, 1 T cinnamon, 1/2t allspice, smidge of clove (ground) or one whole clove. Allow to cook down. If not peeled, run it through a food mill. Let cook all day or longer.
--Gene Hess

Note: This goes in a heavy pot or Dutch oven. You may prefer to simmer this on the stovetop.

Happy Monday. Look for the stars wherever you are.

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