The weather cannot decide what to do with itself. The sun shines, but huge black clouds are chasing it and, for a while, they win and it rains and sleets! Then it is 10 degrees warmer because the sun is back. But it is clear that the thermometer is only really going in one direction, down, and we will have a killing frost tonight. I am just as glad. What few flowers are left are raggedy and worn, time for them to be put to bed in the compost pile. However, I am left with one glorious nature picture. A really brilliant maple, shining so brightly in the sun becomes back lit by the very dark clouds and suddenly, brightness is rendered in stark, glowing neon! Just breath-taking.
The Downies seem to have settled their differences and peace is reigning in our little corner of the world, at least among the feathered. The furred realm tells a different story - I have been feeding a stray, a really beautiful black male named Black Kitty - really creative, aren't I. He looked terrible when I started 6 months ago, but now he is gorgeous. He is very polite and just eats from his dish and generally either takes a short nap or goes right out again. However, Sarah hisses, Bert swats, and Ernie whines at him. Neurotic ol' Andy pretends he is terrified. He ignores them all, being composed of heavy muscle while their laziness -es are pretty wimpy.
I made Baked Apples applesauce today. I had only bland tasting apples, so as I added cinnamon and cardamom, I thought, hmm I bought these for baked apples, why not... So I added raisins, a little brown sugar and some butter. Voila, Baked Apples Sauce. It's very good. I had it with some chamomile tea and toast. The chamomile picks up the apple and they play nicely with each other. A fortuitous discovery. If you make very strong chamomile tea and boil it down it makes a lovely addition to a custard, using some of it in place of milk.
I also had a little leftover Lapsang Souchong and instead of milk in my scrambled eggs, I used the tea. Just the nicest hint of smoke. I also use it in beef stews, to replace some of the liquid.