Life on Regal-Hill: Oct. 8, 2008

Although George finally finished haying for the year here at Regal-Hill, there still seems to be plenty to do. Now that the pastures aren’t growing as fast as they were, hay is taken to the pasture where the heifers are, nearly every day. We don’t want to put them in the barn any sooner than we have to, hopefully not until the first of November.
Whenever the weather is nice George tries to work at wood. Getting wood cut and ready to keep a fire burning this winter is a big job. Fortunately we have a supply of wood, so he just needs to cut it enough to bring it up where he splits it, then he piles it for us and the neighbors. He would like to get an outdoor wood furnace but so far he has only talked about it. The model he has been looking at requires the wood to be smaller than some I think, so it would require just as much work. I am not sure it is such a good idea. We already have the equipment to prepare the wood including chain saws, sledge, wedges and wood splitter to work with. Allegra enjoys helping grandpa use the wood splitter and piling the split wood into the bucket of the tractor and then taking it to wherever it is going to be stored, and unloading and piling it. George likes to get more wood than he figures we will burn this winter so it can season and burn more efficiently when we do need it. Green wood doesn’t burn very well and necessitates cleaning the chimney more often.
All the tractors and machinery still need to be prepared for winter and then put away in the machinery shed or a neighboring barn to protect them from the weather.
Another fall job I still have to do is clean up the garden and flowerbeds. Hopefully, by next week I will have that done.
We don’t even like thinking about winter coming, but we know that we must be realistic and at least prepare for the worst with the hope it won’t be as bad as we thought it might be.
Pears are another great fall fruit. They are delicious eaten raw but are also a great addition to many recipes. Try these recipes and see if you don’t agree.

Cashew-Pear Tossed Salad
1 bunch romaine, torn
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup salted cashews
1 medium pear, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Poppy Seed Vinaigrette:
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 to 3 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons finely chopped red onion
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine, shredded Swiss cheese, cashews, pear slices and dried cranberries. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the poppy seed vinaigrette ingredients; shake well. Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Yield: 15 servings
2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes

Pear Pandowdy
2 medium firm pears, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons butter
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter
2 tablespoons water
Vanilla ice cream, optional
In a small saucepan, combine the first six ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the pear slices are tender. Pour into a greased 3-cup baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in water. Sprinkle over pear mixture. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean and topping is slightly browned. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.
Yield: 2 servings
2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes