Friday, December 9, 2011

(Some) Lessons Learned

     The warm air, open window of opportunity came shortly after Thanksgiving.  It always does. Noncritical farm chores need to be put aside. So, to the top of the priority list went bulb planting and Christmas lights and garland. 
     The bags, arriving in October and carefully saved in the garage, revealed a mere 105 bulbs to plant plus the 8 graciously given as a complimentary gift. Thank you. Wasn't there a note to self from this time last year?  Ah, now I remember. Still fresh from the memories of beautiful daffodil arrays, the fall bulb catalogs arrive in late spring tempting with great offers and the promise of increasing the beautiful display from the harbingers of spring.  And heck, then fall was so far off why surely there would be plenty of free time on a warm day to get everything planted. 

Armed and not dangerous
     So here, armed with a new gadget, visions swirled through my head about how fast these bulbs could be planted on this day. Maybe it was December, but it was warm, and I was not going to be planting these darn bulbs on a freezing cold day in partially frozen ground.  My mind envisioned this giant drill digging perfectly round holes in rows where the quick and efficient process would be drop in bulbs, cover, and move on.  Not so fast. It didn't work the way a drill works in wood.  The drill went in, but had to be pulled up with the dirt, drilled again and repeated until the hole was deep enough.  No matter, it beats trying to dig a small hole or a big hole in rocky earth with a big shovel. 
     Ah, to be near the end 2 1/2 hours later, with only ten bulbs to go, (not including the free ones) who should appear, but Maggie, my faithful companion, with a bulb proudly in her mouth and just out of reach. She had her treasure, and I had my vision of my work being undone. For sure, at least 104 bulbs are in the ground, but maybe less.  Didn't check; didn't want to know.
     Lesson Two Learned.  Get the Christmas lights and garland put up on the very next warm day.  Shouldn't one check the two-year-old light sets to make sure they worked before putting them up? Note to self next year all three will work instead of just one.

Dessert - crust is tender, filling is perfect - only whip cream and a sliver of a slice needed
                           Caramel-Pecan Tart 5*
 3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
 2 cups flour
 2/3 cup powdered sugar
 3/4 cup butter, cubed
 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
 1/2 cup honey
 2/3 cup butter
 3 Tbs whipping cream
Oven 350
1.  Bake pecans for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes or until completely cool.
2. Pulse flour, powdered sugar, and 3/4 cup butter in a food processor 5 to
6 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pat mixture evenly on bottom
and up sides of a lightly greased 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
3. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a
wire rack 15 minutes or until completely cool.
4. Bring brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter, and whipping cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in toasted pecans, and spoon hot filling into prepared crust.
5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Cool on a
wire rack 30 minutes or until completely cool.
Adapted from Southern Living NOVEMBER 2007

No comments:

Post a Comment