Cooler Weather

Last night we went to bed in a very warm bedroom.  Our bedroom is in the top floor of our house, and so the warm air rises and just hangs there heavy.  If we're not running the air-conditioner, we put a fan in the window to keep the air circulating.  This morning we awakened to our usual Portland gloom.  It was foggy in the valley, and the clouds didn't burn off until after noon.  That was okay.  We've had several hot days in a row, and so it was nice to see some cooler weather.

Our neighbor is gone for the week, and so we're watering some of their landscaping.  It was my day to take a turn at it, but I first took the opportunity to walk around our own property to see what's up.  Two of the dahlias have bloomed.

Two more are not far behind.  I believe they will be yellow ones like the one above.  Our neighbors gave us the yellow bulbs a few years ago, and they are always the most reliable of the bulbs we have planted.  I love the dahlias.  You get a lot of flower for your effort with dahlias.

Then there is this scrawny little guy.  This is our poor little apple tree, which was planted seven years ago--the same time as the plum tree and the cherry trees.  Those trees are thriving, but this apple tree (which is supposed to bear five different kinds of apples) has never done much.  It keeps pressing on, however, and so we keep hoping it will do something with its life eventually.  It's sort of like a teenager trying to decide whether to go to college, and what to study.

So a couple of weeks ago, I was showing Erik some things in the yard, and I was complaining about the scrawny apple tree, threatening to dig it up, when lo and behold what should I see?  Apples!  It had about seven apples on the one branch that actually has some foliage. Now that was something.

It only has two apples now.  I'm not sure what happened to the other five, but I suspect it probably shed them.  It's little limbs are so tiny, I think seven apples would have probably been too heavy for it.  I don't suppose I'll be making any pies with these apples.  Unless they are small pies.  Very small pies.  Like, ramekin sized, and only one.  Anyway, it's something.

But the most exciting thing in the garden right now is this artichoke plant that Erik and Mae gave us a couple of years ago.  It is a permanent resident in the patch of ground we laughingly call our vegetable garden.  Actually, we don't laugh.  We are bitter about it. Nevertheless, the artichoke plant now has seven artichokes on it.  Very cool.  It is a perennial and I'm absolutely amazed that it continues to survive our cold winters.

The largest are about the size of tennis balls, and so it remains to be seen whether these will actually mature into something edible.  And let me tell you, these are some wicked thorny critters.

So after watering the neighbor's yard, I came back and built a cherry pie.  Pie crust and I have a love hate relationship.  I love pie crust when it goes together right, and conversely, I hate it when it doesn't.  For whatever reason, this crust was dry and crumbly and it fought me every step of the way.  Also, I didn't really have enough cherries, and so I ended up adding some frozen blueberries to it to stretch them out a little.  I think one would call that a Bumbleberry Pie.  (Googling "bumbleberry" right now.)  Don't you love the internet?

bumbleberry  (ˈbʌmb ə lˌbərɪ) — n
( Canadian ) a mixture of berries used in pie fillings and in preserves
Sometimes my vast knowledge of useless information amazes me.

Anyway, my pie fought me every step of the way on all levels.  I suppose more beautiful pies have been created, but none with any more determination.

You can be sure that we will eat it with gusto and lots of vanilla ice cream.  And it will be good, so sayeth the cook.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Loretta said...

Your flowers are breathtaking! Never had this pie, but it sure does look delicious! Yum!

gpc said...

Wow, and all these years I thought a bumbleberry was actually a type of berry! Thanks for sprinkling your wisdom on me! Your artichokes are beautiful - I had no idea how they grew!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Pie crust- never a problem, it's the sweetness inside that I love! Yours looks just fine.

What pretty apples, do you think a deer might have eaten them? I saw a short apple tree that was so full of apples it drooped. There were four or five deer standing next to it munching at head level. I wish I had a camera- it was right in the people's front yard.

Lee said...

Beautiful dahlias! and I think I'd have no problem digging into that pie...if it were here ;)

Needled Mom said...

Cherry pie is my all time favorite so I am sure I would enjoy the bumbleberry!

Yesh for the apples! You almost have enough for a pie!!!! LOL Maybe next year.....

The dahlias are gorgeous. Did you steal a bouquet of them?

Junebug613 said...

I do so enjoy your wisdom! I even share it on occasion, such as the "two birds with one stone" history you shared the other day. Bumbleberry sounds simply delicious to me and looks scrumptious!

Dana Gaffney said...

The dahlias are so beautiful and I just love the way the artichoke plants look, very alien. That poor apple tree, I'm sure it's trying to work out how to give you five different kinds of apples, next time you're talking to it, tell it one or two is O.K.

Snoodles said...

It's not useless info....you were able to use it and impress all of us! LOL Those dahlias are incredible....so big and pretty. I will probably be ostracized for life (and you might give up on me altogether) but I have never ever eaten an artichoke. Heehee! If you don't reply I'll know that you are through with me forever because I am just uncouth. :)

Pieces to Love said...

I love the daliah with the dark red/purple center and white tips. The deer love to pluck apples off the trees here and your pie looks, good to me, I'm not a very good crust maker either.

Teresa in Music City said...

I've got my pie-and-ice-cream spoon at the ready - what time's dessert? That looks yummy to me!!! I've never seen an artichoke plant - amazing :*) Almost as amazing as those gorgeous dahlias - ooooohhhhhh!!!!

KatieQ said...

I've never seen an artichoke plant before. It really looks cool. Can't wait to hear if they turn out to be edible. I often threaten things in my garden if they don't do what's expected of them. We have some "Magic Lily" bulbs that we put in each year. The leaves come up, but no flower. I told my husband at the end of the season, they are going on the compost pile. On has now bloomed twice. It's not much to look at, but it has earned it's keep. The rest will go. Their foliage is not very attractive.

Judy1522 said...

I love the artichoke plant I had no idea that they looked like that. I always had trouble with pie crust also until one day I didn't have enough shortening and used unsalted butter instead. What a difference I found that it is so much easier to roll out. I make the crust in the food processor too. Also I used to have a problem with my crust sticking to the surface I rolled it out on. On Americas Test Kitchen I watched the chef roll out pie crust one day and figured out what I was doing wrong. I would roll it out and never turn it. They put more flour down to roll it out on than I did and then after each roll they would lift the crust and give it a quarter to half turn counterclockwise adding more flour when needed. Since I started to use these techniques I have never had any trouble with my piecrust. Hope this helps as I know how frustrating it can be to make a piecrust and then not be able to get it rolled out and into the pie plate without it falling apart.

quiltzyx said...

I LOVE artichokes!

But I always wonder about that first person who decided to eat one. They must have been so VERY hungry!!