Autumn . . . Again!

As I was walking along the newest section of the Earl Delaney Smith Memorial Nature Trail the other day, I stopped to admire the beautiful foliage. Looking out over the valley I couldn’t help thinking about all that has transpired in our little hamlet over the past months and realize it’s a lot to ponder! I’m reminded that we Daffodilians are a rugged lot, aren’t we?

And SO . . . just a quick note to wish you the happiest of Halloweens! And watch out for the little ones Trick or Treating tomorrow!

Be well!

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View from the Nature Trail…magnificent, isn’t it?

Summer…?

If you’re like me, this cooler weather isn’t quite the harbinger of summer I’ve been hoping for. None the less, I found a silver lining when I dropped in on Richard at the Daffodil Baking Company.

He has artisan marshmallows!

Richard told me that it doesn’t have to be autumn to roast marshmallows and he said that he “simply cannot abide the store-bought, mass-produced schlock that pass for marshmallows.”

Artisan Marshmallows from Daffodil Baking Company

Artisan Marshmallows from Daffodil Baking Company

But it’s Richard, so I thought maybe there might be a teensy bit of exaggeration in his statement – you know how he gets when talking about the quality ingredients for his baked good, right? But then I tasted them! Wow! There is definitely a richness to the artisan marshmallows that I haven’t tasted in the mass-produced ones.

So … as long as it doesn’t rain this evening, I’m planning on a fire in my chiminea and then I’ll roast some delectable marshmallows!

BTW: Richard says he won’t be carrying the artisan marshmallows all summer, but he will bring them back this fall in time for “bonfire weather.”

Enjoy!

PS – Many thanks to everyone for your patience as all of us Daffodilians continue to regain our footing!

Windy!

If you are enjoying this beautiful day outside to get a jumpstart on your spring gardening chores, be careful! It’s a lovely day to be outside, but watch out for falling limbs if you are around trees! Grandma didn’t call those old dead limbs “widow makers” for no reason!

While I was out for a walk earlier, I saw Pops and Betty Wright working in their front gardens and they were transplanting daffodils. As we all know, autumn is the “real” time to plant daffodil bulbs, but, like many Daffodilians, Pops and Betty like to dig up some of their crowded daffodil clumps and divide them while they can see where their other daffodils are planted. Betty told me that each of the clumps the Pops has dug up today had no fewer than 37 smaller bulbs and they transplanted them all! Of course most of them won’t bloom this year, but they will in the future!

Enjoy the day! I’ve been talking with the Park Board so as we estimate the bloom times of the daffodils in the Township, we’ll have a better idea when our Daffodil Walks will be scheduled this spring. 🙂

Daffodils are popping up around the Township!

Daffodils are popping up around the Township!

 

I’m Back….

Light snow on a tree....

Light snow on a tree….

I wasn’t literally away – well, yes, for a bit I was out of town, but then…well, suffice it to say that our little Township has been “on the quiet” for a bit. Things are happening, but as a community we sort of decided to keep to ourselves for a bit. I’ll be checking in at the Gazette later today to see if anyone down there is going to resume online publishing soon. I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile…are you keeping warm? Our outrageously warm December has turned into a fairly cold January! Don’t try the lake ice yet, though! I have it on good authority it is NOT frozen!

Fresh apple pie

Fresh apple pie

So how are you spending these cold days and nights? In front of a crackling fire? Curled up with a good book? Baking? Feeding and watching the birds? I’ve been doing a little of it all….

Now that “I’m back,” I’ll keep in better touch. Meanwhile, keep on reading and baking and watching the beautiful birds and other wildlife around our little Township!

Beautiful bird!

Beautiful bird!

Autumn Is Upon Us

Autumn color welcomes visitors to Adelaide T. Smith Memorial Park, 2211 Sweetgum Lane.

Entrance to Adelaide T. Smith Memorial Park

Don’t you sometimes want to rush outside this time of year and yell at the trees: “No fair peaking!” As I walk around our lovely Township, I have to remind myself not to worry about whether or not the beautiful colors are peaking!

So let’s simply enjoy today. The reds and golds will soon give way to bare branches, but they are beautiful now. Remember that! 🙂

 

Magnolia Leaves

Magnolia Leaves

Caring Corners

It’s me, again! I’m back. I’ve been traveling a bit this past month – in and out of town – so I’ve been a bit negligent in keeping up with the goings-on in our little Township.

Coreopsis

Coreopsis

This evening, though, I want to give a shout-out to all the wonderful Daffodilians who help maintain our town through the Caring Corners program. These individuals and businesses and families volunteer time and energy to maintain beautiful corners and roadways all throughout the year. As summer winds down, there are still flowers blooming – thanks in a large part to the initiative to incorporate native grasses and wildflowers into many of the Caring Corners.

Don’t forget to check the calendar for the many upcoming autumn events around the Township!

But for now…enjoy the beauty of a few of our Caring Corners…brought to you by some amazing Daffodilians!

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A native Caring Corner on Route DT just outside of town.

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Beautiful floral display at the corner of Redbud Lane and Dogwood Drive.

Cast Iron Cooking

By Guest Blogger, Richard Wright of Daffodil Baking Company

Many thanks to Acting Mayor, Paula Smith, for inviting me to be a guest blogger on the Daffodil Township website. Very exciting stuff!

At Daffodil Baking Company I create quantities of my breads and cakes smaller than many bakeries, however I still have to use equipment and baking tools and utensils that work better for commercial kitchens. But what do I use at home? I love using my cast iron cookware. While cast iron skillets are great for sautéing vegetables or frying foods, I also like to bake in my skillets. There is nothing like corn bread with a slightly toasting edge that says “home-baked goodness!”

When I’ve told some of my customers about my love of cast iron for baking, they lament how difficult it is to care for cast iron. OR they tell me stories about some great old cast iron pots they inherited but they can’t use them because of the condition of their wares. I’m not going to go into details about those two aspects of cast iron cookware, basically because the good people over at Serious Eats have some great information that “bust the myths” surround cast iron cookware AND ways to breathe new life into vintage cast iron. Check out their great blog posts!

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Cornbread in the cast iron skillet ~ looks a bit like Pac-Man!

Today I thought I’d share a recipe. This cornbread recipe came to me from Mrs. Eleanor Smith ~ once I tried this recipe I never went back. It’s like Daffodilians: Basic, with underlying complexities. Wholesome. And good. Enjoy!

Mrs. Eleanor Smith’s Not-Quite-Famous Cornbread

  • Ingredients
    • 1 cup cornmeal
    • 1 cup flour
    • scant 1/4 cup sugar
    • 4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • generous dollop of love (she really has that on her original recipe card!)
  • Directions
    • Preheat your oven to 425
    • Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter to the course crumb stage
    • Add wet ingredients and beat till fairly smooth
    • Grease your 8-9 inch cast iron skillet with butter and set it in the oven for a few minutes
    • Remove hot skillet from the oven (use a mitt!) and pour batter into hot skillet
    • Bake about 20-25 minutes – top should be getting golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.

IMG_6518IMG_6521The key to the crispy/toasty crust on this cornbread is the hot, buttered skillet.

Always be careful!

 

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Blueberry & Nectarine Crisp

I keep experimenting with what I can bake in my cast iron and last night’s Blueberry & Nectarine Crisp was a great success! What do YOU bake in cast iron?

See you at Daffodil Baking Company!

Out-of-Township Project

As summer winds down, everyone around town is busy, busy, busy! Kiddos are getting ready to head back to school ~ summer visitors to the Township are packing up their memories and making plans to visit again ~ hikers, bicyclists, and swimmers are enjoying muddling through the lingering heat and humidity of August ~ shoppers are discovering some of the treasures in our little shops in the township.

And GARDENERS?

Well, gardeners are busy freezing, canning, and drying their produce.

It’s about this time of year that I casually “drop by” to see Petronella “Pickles” Smith ~ because everyone knows you can’t leave her home without a jar of her amazing pickles!

The savory goodness of the pickles of Petronella "Pickles" Smith!

The savory goodness of the pickles of Petronella “Pickles” Smith!

This year I was in for a surprise. Pickles had an out-of-township friend visiting (not TOO far out of the township…just Columbia!) and was I in for a treat! Laura Flacks-Narroll (Pickles’s friend) is on a mission to save a tomato. And not just ANY tomato, this is the Ivan tomato. Laura discovered this tomato at a bluegrass festival and has been growing it ever since.

Laura Flacks-Narroll, friend of Petronella Smith, seems to be a Daffodilian at heart. Here she is with a basket of Ivan tomatoes for her friend Petronella.

Laura Flacks-Narroll, friend of Petronella Smith, seems to be a Daffodilian at heart. Here she is with a basket of Ivan tomatoes for her friend Petronella.

But the seeds for this amazing tomato haven’t been available commercially for at least a few years now. There is SO much more to this amazing story, but the bottom line is that Laura is on a mission to save this tomato so everyone can enjoy the bounty of this delicious variety. She has teamed up with a couple friends and together they are creating The Ivan Tomato Rescue Project through their group, Victory Gardeners. The good folks at Victory Gardeners believe in biodiversity in our food as well as the healing power of gardening. Doesn’t this all sound like a project Daffodilians would believe in and love?

I encourage folks to check it out. I’m sure in the future we will see Ivan tomatoes growing in a lot of Daffodil Township gardens!

The tantalizing Ivan tomato!

The tantalizing Ivan tomato!

Doesn't this Ivan tomato make your mouth water? :)

Doesn’t this Ivan tomato make your mouth water? 🙂

Blue Moon Jubilee!

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Vintage tablecloths at Vintage Violet

Are you as excited as I am about Friday’s Blue Moon Jubilee? Businesses will reopen at 9:00PM and stay open until midnight! I stopped by Daffodil Baking Company this afternoon and Richard was very secretive about his Blue Moon Specials he’s baking up for everyone! And Lauralee promised some great sales over at Vintage Violet.

And the Pickle Party…? How fun is THAT going to be? If you have canned some pickles you want to share at the tasting, be sure to contact me before Friday morning so we can be sure to have enough tables set up.

Of course we’ll have some good old-fashioned competitions, too. Did I hear someone say “Bubbles?” 🙂 Our reigning champ, John Smith, might have some competition. I’ve heard through the grapevine that some of our younger Daffodilians have been practicing their bubble-blowing techniques.

Check in tomorrow’s Gazette for more details about who will be set up where. See you Friday night!

Fun, Fun, Fun!

Fireworks at Lake Lottawata (photo courtesy of the Daffodil Gazette)

Fireworks at Lake Lottawata (photo courtesy of the Daffodil Gazette)

Wow! Was that an amazing Independence Day Celebration at Lake Lottawata? What fun! I think there were probably a tired bunch of kiddos crawling into bed a bit late on July 4th. What fun we all had. And it was exciting for me to get to talk with some visitors from around the state! One couple from St. Louis who was staying at Maisson Narcisse told me that she had never been to Daffodil Township before but this certainly would not be her last visit! She was quite emphatic about that! I told her about some of our celebrations and fun times coming up and she was especially interested in the Coffee & Clues Weekend sponsored by The Book House.

Fireworks at Lake Lottawata (photo courtesy of the Daffodil Gazette)

Fireworks at Lake Lottawata (photo courtesy of the Daffodil Gazette)

In other news … we’re going to have a new shop opening soonish! I don’t want to giveaway too much, but it should be a hit! I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, enjoy the summer. Be careful of rising waters in all the streams, creeks, and rivers. It gets very dangerous very quickly. When in doubt, be safe!

I hope you’re looking forward to our guest bloggers. We’re finalizing the line-up and it has a little something for everyone. Look for the first guess bloggers nearer to the end of July.