Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Welcome, September

Welcome, September!!!  This is normally the time of year that all that has been lush and green starts fading and turning colors.  I look forward to the colors of Fall, and seeing God's handy-work all around us.  The colors are but for a few fleeting moments, so we must be watchful or will miss them.

Growing up in the country, fall represented a few things to me.  One of those things was, "hickory nut time"!!  Oh, man, it was wonderful to find the nuts on the ground before the squirrels did.  We would go hunting hickory nuts and pick up buckets of them.  Then the cracking would start.  It took a heavy hammer and a good arm to swing it.  But, over time, you would learn just where to hit the nut and just how hard to hit it to get it to crack perfectly.  People are always eating pecan pies, I challenge you to find yourself some woods grown hickory nuts and try making a Hickory Nut Pie.  There is no flavor like a hickory nut.

Another nut that comes to mind, this time of year is the "black walnut".  This is another extremely hard nut to crack.  Again, this nut is extremely flavorful.  There is nothing quite like a black walnut.  They have no comparison in flavor to the English walnuts that we buy in the markets and stores.  To me, the english walnuts have no flavor.  If it is a true black walnut, it will be labeled "black walnut".   Again, cracking is difficult, but well worth the learning curve.

I love to use black walnuts in my sweet breads that I make in the fall.  Yum!!!  I love to bake pumpkin bread and sweet potato bread, and also use some of the fall squashes to make breads with.  I just love the smell of this time of year leading up to Thanksgiving.

Something else I am reminded of this time of year is acorns.  Yes, I said acorns.  I have become an acorn nut.  My husband and I have a city park within fifty miles of where we live that we visit in the fall to pick up acorns.  This park is located along a creek bank.  There is water most of the year in the creek, so the trees along the creek bank are fed and nourished all year long, and with this being a wetter year than usual, I believe there will be larger acorns.

There are several different species of acorns in this park and that is what is so great about this place.  One year we went to the park and picked up burr oak acorns the size of a small teacup.  I am not kidding at all about the size.   That was the first year, so I did not know anything about preserving them, so you guessed it.  They all had eggs in them and hatched out and my house was a bug museum for a while.  So, now when we get acorns, they go in the 200 degree preheated oven, on cookie sheets covered with foil for two hours and then turn the oven off and leave them in it overnight and then you have perfectly preserved acorns.

Once they are preserved, I love to bling them up with glitter glue and put them in large vases or goldfish bowls or even candle bowls.  I have three big bowls, vases, and candle bowls full now.  Plus a few of the really large ones left from the first year that are in my curio cabinet.

I hope and pray that as this year starts winding down, the evenings start getting cooler, and the days shorter, that you will find time to enjoy God's creation.  All the beauty and splendor of it, God made it that way just for you.  I can't spend as much time outside as I would love to, due to severe allergies, but sometimes my husband and I will take long drives and just enjoy the scenery.  Let us rejoice and praise God for the beauty of all things "Fall", this year.  Let us look, purposefully, at all He has put before us.

I challenge you to find some hickory nuts or black walnuts and make yourself a pie, or add the nuts to your favorite bread recipes.  There is nothing quite like it.  Go ahead, do it, and share it with your neighbor.  Tell them about all the beauty you have seen this fall and how all that beauty was for our pleasure to enjoy, compliments of the One and only,  Almighty God, who loves us more than we could ever know.  

I hope you are looking forward to all the beauty that fall has to offer.  If you see anything strikingly beautiful, again thank God, because He put it there for you to see and enjoy.  God is good all the time!!!  All the time God is good!!! Amen!

Hugs and Blessings beyond measure, Patty

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