September 2019

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rush of brightness

how small the day is
the time of colors
the rush of brightness

W.S. Merwin

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Leading

I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading: it vexes me to choose another guide.

Emily Bronte

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For two years running, we have attempted the Labor Day Lift Off Balloon Glow. And for two years running, we have missed. Last year, it was rain and lightning. This year, we made it to the park, but the wind kept the launch from happening. The saving grace, an exhibit of full fuel burns among a sea of thousands. It was really quite something to feel the temperature spike 20 degrees as every balloonist let loose.

We made up for my disappointment by watching a few tricks at the park.

I followed it with a little camera mess around on the way home. Isn’t light a marvel?

Cut to the morning, an early walk to watch the launch from afar. It was much more our speed, frankly, the three of us (and a flock of birds!) on a hill, with one hot air balloon after another rising and rising.

All you need is love…

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It is prime preserving season under our red roof. Over the past month or so, I have swooned over roiling pots of apple jelly, peach, strawberry-rhubarb, strawberry, gooseberry, and blackberry jam, as well as apple butter. For reasons of quality control (!!), I have made batch after batch of angel biscuits (my new and likely forever favorite – the texture the truly heavenly bit of exterior crisp and interior fluff!) to slather and savor. I have absolutely no complaints.

And the pretty pink concoction above? A bit of leftover strained apple syrup prior to jelly making. I sweetened it ever so slightly to make a tart apple soda. I am thinking it would be pretty spectacular with rosemary and whiskey, that first hint of fall sipped on the porch – birds chirping, bees buzzing.

Our first harvest of our backyard blackberries (one more since and how I made the jam!!) was a swell accompaniment to a cantaloupe, cucumber, and mint salad, with a few chopped pistachios for crunch. I served it with a smoked chicken thigh – compliments of our stovetop smoker, of course. Good golly, what a magical supper that was…

A dutch baby, which we, of course, enjoyed with wee dabs of all the jams and butters and a delicate sprinkle of powdered sugar. And how about that cute pot? We haven’t owned a microwave in probably fifteen years, so it is our go-to for reheating cold coffee and making chai. I bought it in Portland, a $3 thrift store find. We have since procured, via Etsy, an identical twin, which makes me immensely happy.