Summer on the Prairie

As summer is starting to wind down and we are on the heels of the Autumn harvest, I am soaking in every last bit of sunshiney goodness. Perhaps y’all would like a peek at summertime on the California Prairie? Well, pour yourself an ice-cold glass of lemonade, fresh and sweet, while I take you on a little stroll through town.

Picture this: the sun is shining bright making the days long and warm, the honey bees are busy buzzing, and the farm fields are brimming with abundance…it must summertime on the prairie!

 By mid-summer, the rivers are becoming lazy and the nut trees are ripe for the pickin’.

There are full grown corn fields as far as the eye can see.

Knee high by the 4th of July does not apply to our California corn.

It is ready to be harvested by early to mid summer!

Indeed, the summer season is a bustling time for our farmers.

And, being right in their backyard, we reap the benefits of their hard work.

The Farmer’s Market.

Once a week, the local growers bring their produce to sell directly to our town’s residents.

 Every fruit and vegetable of the summer season, picked fresh.

 Fresh corn from the stalk.

 And sweet watermelon straight from the vine.

Pistachio, Almond and nuts of every kind.

And, if you can’t make it to the Farmer’s Market, there are country stores and local growers selling their crops in stands on every corner. There is no shortage of fresh picked produce.

There is such an abundance of crop that the long days of picking continue by the light of the full moon into the night.

The Farmer’s Almanac has even given the moon a different name each month, according to what is being harvested by it’s light.

The full moon in June is called the Strawberry Moon.

The full moon in July is the Hay Moon.

 The full moon in August is the Green Corn Moon.

The September full moon is the Harvest Moon.

The moon rise makes for a spectacular sight.

Dusk makes way for cooler evenings.

A time when you look forward to being outside, enjoying the beauty of the summer night.

And nothing makes a night sweeter on the prairie than sitting on the porch, listening to the symphony of crickets and wind chimes, with a slice of fresh Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.

Start with a 9 inch, unbaked pie shell.

Chop up rhubarb and slice strawberries.

Mix with sugar and cornstarch and pour into the pie shell.

Set aside.

For the crumb topping:

Mix brown sugar and flour together.

Add cold, chopped butter.

Cut butter into the sugar mixture until it resembles pea like crumbs.

Pour crumb mixture on top of the strawberries and rhubarb.

Add a few extra chunks of butter on top of the crumbs.

Bake at 400* for 25 minutes, then cover edges of crust with foil.

Bake an additional 30 minutes.

Make sure to bake the pie on a four-sided, rimmed cookie sheet as filling tends to bubble over.

Allow pie to cool before serving.

I hope you enjoy your sweet pie and a little taste of summer on the prairie.

Lots of Love,

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I fell in love...

… with a tube of mascara.

And all of my dreams came true.

Ok, not really.

But sort of. ;)

(Hello by the way. Long time, no talk. I’m still here and hoping to giving this blog a little more attention now that we are getting settled in to our new house. But we’ll talk about that later.)

Have you ever seen a 3 am infomercial with a product that sounded like the best thing you’ve ever seen? Like you absolutely can’t live without it? And if you weren’t so deliriously tired and completely unwilling to remove yourself from your comfortable bed to go find your wallet, you would pay any amount to get this miracle product. Because, surely, it will change your life. Note to self, buy miracle product online in the morning (though you are frantic that not “acting now” will result in not receiving double the product and something else thrown in, completely unrelated). Then, you wake up in the morning, and your logical, rational self decides that that diet juicing machine won’t magically make you look 30 lbs thinner without a lot of exercise and skipping out on the ice cream at night, or the miracle wrinkle cream won’t actually lead to the fountain of youth.

Well, I came across a product that was CLEARLY too good to be true: 3D mascara. I saw a Facebook post from a friend that was hosting an online party. The examples shown couldn’t possibly be real. Or could they be? haha

I’ll admit, my curiosity was peaked. I enjoy makeup as much as the next girl. Probably more. I’m one of those women that will probably always have makeup on when you see her. I rarely leave the house without it. I’ve been like that since I was a teenager. I just enjoy the art of makeup. And not looking ill. No really. Just about every time I run into someone when I’m not wearing makeup, I will inevitably get the, “are you ok? you don’t look like you are feeling well…”

No. Actually, my face just naturally looks ill. Thank you very much.

So, needless to say, over the years of makeup wearing, I have tried just about every mascara, from drugstore to department store brands. (And to be honest, I have yet to find a department store brand that impressed me any more than a drugstore brand). So, when I am seeing absurd results, I’m finding it a little hard to believe.

But.

I want to believe.

I want to have hope.

I want to have dramatic results.

I love the look of fake lashes, but I do not have the steady hand of a surgeon to apply them straight. I mean, am I the only one? Not to mention the glue. Ugh. The glue. So that kind of hassle isn’t an option. I’ve always considered eye lash extensions, but then I saw how much they cost.

Ha. Ha.

All my nopes.

So, if you are telling me that the answer to fabulous lashes can come from a tube for a reasonable price, I’m willing to try it.

And, I like the friend who was having the party. I wanted to help her out with a sale. So, that justified me buying the miracle mascara. It wasn’t an infomercial. It was a friend. And they were saying it worked.

It arrived. And my life has never been the same.

haha

But seriously,  it worked. It REALLY worked.

I love it. As in, IN LOVE. Like, if I weren’t already married, I would consider marrying a tube of mascara.

Want to see why?

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That’s me. Those are my eyes. And those are my eyelashes going from nothing, to drugstore mascara, to amazingly fabulous fantastic razzle dazzling 3D mascara. Clearly, I need to share this with others. It was time for action. It was time to become a presenter. To tell my tale. My eyelash testimony, if you will. Because I became a believer.

Miracles are real.

They happen when you least expect it… when you’ve lost all hope in ever having long, luscious lashes. And then a tube of miracle mascara arrives at your doorstep.

So, I am slingin’ lashes now.

And, I’m having a party. You are all invited. Take the leap of faith… you will never go back. Promise.

(And, if you try it and decide having ridiculously incredible lashes just isn’t your thing… there is a 14 day money back guarantee. So really, there is no risk. There will be no regret. And, also, I’m a horrible salesperson. haha Come to my party. Please. *in my not desperate at all voice* ;)

Click here to change your life forever at my Amazing Mascara Party! :D

PS. If you are reading this, thank you! I appreciate you sticking with my sparse posting. I’ll get better. God’s working with me on that. ;) Now, someone please bless my heart.

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Friday Pieday: Week 6: Spicy Raisin Custard Pie

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I have a confession to make.

I changed the name of this recipe.

Mostly because it had “sour cream” in the name and I just couldn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I like sour cream in moderation, but I don’t want to know that it is in my pie.

It was almost a deal breaker.

And then I read one of the five star reviews that said “My mom actually cried when she took a bite of this pie”. Done. I wanted to cry because it was so cotton pickin’ good, too. Of course, the reviewer explains that her Great, Great Aunt made a pie that tasted exactly like this when she was a little girl. Then I really did cry (blame it on pregnancy hormones). I mean, how sweet is that? To have such a strong memory of her Great, Great Aunt and recalling her love through a bite of pie. Just like scents and songs forever link you to fond memories, so does pie.

Now I was all sappy, visualizing some farm kitchen with a sweet old lady baking up pie for her sister’s great grandkids. A lifetime of making pie and she was serving them her very best. Because pie is love. And she was dishing out the best kind of love. Sigh. I had to make this pie. I needed to know what was so special about this pie, sour cream or not.

Spicy Raisin Custard Pie

  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 400*.  Combine all ingredients except raisins. Mix thoroughly. Fold in raisins. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean halfway between center and the edge. Chill before serving.

Original recipe can be found here.

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The verdict: The process was as easy as it gets, the pie was done in no time at all. To be honest, I was a little hesitant to take the first bite. I had no idea what to expect. But I’m glad I did because it was honest-to-goodness delicious. I kept trying to put my finger on what the taste reminded me of. The best I can say is that it is somewhere along the lines of an oatmeal cookie (perhaps the raisins?) and a pumpkin pie (most likely the spices) with a more custard-like consistency. No sour cream taste whatsoever. Just pure deliciousness. Definitely reminiscent of an old-timey pie, completely solidifying my imaginary version of the Great, Great Aunt story. It is unique and well-worth the justification for sour cream in the pie, yet I’m not budging on changing the name. ;)

Make it! It may be the pie adventure you are looking for!

Happy Friday Pieday!

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