Saturday, October 31, 2009


It has been a rainy, warm Halloween evening. I guess we don't have a lot of little kids in Penn's Greene these days, because the number of trick or treaters has fallen off significantly. Among our visitors, there was a Death Eater, two Little Mermaids, and one little girl who told me she was a renaissance princess. One whole family, including the parents, came dressed up and kept asking me "don't you know who we are?" Unfortunately I had no idea at all.
When Adam was little we lived in West Chester and I sat on the steps of the porch and handed out candy for hours to endless streams of children. Adam and Aaron would come staggering home with massive bags of candy, which we carefully screened and rationed out, to their chagrin.
When ABJ was little, there were only six houses within half a mile of our house. I would put her in the car in her costume and drive her from house to house. With so few children, our arrival was a major event for the occupants of these houses so they usually had an elaborate basket or decorated bag of candies and goodies waiting for her. They often invited us in and spent an inordinate amount of time admiring her costume. No one would come up the 1/4 mile driveway to our house, so we didn't see a trick or treater for about 6 years, when the houses in Penn's Greene started to be built.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Colors of Autumn

Picture taken outside of our house this morning. It is going to rain for the next two days so I know that a lot of the leaves will fall, so I wanted to catch the brilliant colors of the maples.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rainy Weekend

The past four days have been dismal and rainy - more like late November than early October. It hasn't gotten above 47 F the whole time, with a wind chill of 36 today and we have been blessed with 2 driving Nor'easters with high winds in three days. Pretty soggy . I was in the mood to make some comfort food so I tried a recipie for cheddar-apple bundles and got about half the way there. What I would change about the recipe:
1. Use Nana's pie crust and don't ever try to make a crust in the food processor , no matter what the recipe says. The crust was too thick and not at all flakey.
2. I couldn't taste the cheddar at all, so I wouldn't bother with it.
3. There weren't enough apples so it wasn't juicy.
4 Maybe try putting the apricot jam on top after they come out of the oven like they said.
After this summary, it sounds more like I got 25% of the way there. I guess the real message it to just wing it the way I usually do instead of trying to follow someone else's recipe - especially for pastry - since it rarely turns out as good as my own instincts.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another Small-Town Store Goes Under

We got a flyer today announcing our local family-owned home and hardware store is going out of business after 90 years, the year my father was born. Our local newspaper ran front page headlines on the topic and it occupied the editorial column. From the time that the groundbreaking for a mega shopping center containing a Lowes was announced a few years ago, I knew with great sadness that Pyles time was limited. The family fought on heroically for a several years trying to match the pricing and overcome the new traffic pattern that made it difficult and dangerous to access the store, but this fall it looked barren and shabby. The owner said that he was just tired out. I sadly remembered the days when it was bustling with home improvers and its glittering and extensive Christmas shop was full of every kind of ornament you can imagine and wistful children. I used to come there with my daughter to pick out a few special ornaments every year and still have the fragile peapod, ear of corn, frosted plum and bear that we picked out so many years ago.
A month ago, I was in the nearby community of Oxford and stopped in at the home and farm supply store. It was bright with wooden floors and the lumber yard was full of life. It radiated the warm friendly family atmosphere that Pyles once did and they were starting to put out the Christmas displays. I have heard that the developers of another big box store have finally decided to start construction nearby, but I hope that Oxford Feed and Supply lasts long enough to give another generation of children the joy and excitement of small town life.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Halloween Treats

The grandkids are taking a break in their busy weekend social schedule and coming over for lunch on the Sunday before Halloween. I am thinking that maybe we could decorate cupcakes for dessert.....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Autumn Leaves

I love the colors of autumn. I remember when I used to collect leaves as I walked home from school and press them between 2 sheets of waxed paper inserted in a heavy book. These are leaves collected from our front yard this evening. It is definitely getting to be really autumn. It went up to 68 sunny degrees today so it was enjoyable doing the fall garden clean-up, but it is very chilly this evening.