Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spiced Pears and Pomegranate

We have been eating local all summer as best we can anyway. Shopping at the local farmers markets have been a regular thing. Missing going to the market seemed to make the week a poor one. Our local food coop Weaver Street Market is of course our favorite grocery store. This is our first indulgence in non local produce is some time. Anyway this recipe was tested last fall and we both loved it. We had only one chance to try it as the pomegranate season was over when we made the recipe. The next day it was even better, below is the recipe that I picked up at I have found some really good biscotti recipes there too.

Spiced Pears and Pomegranate


  • 3 pears - peeled, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 pomegranate, skin and light-colored membrane removed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (one fresh lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (we grind from whole nuts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds (optional)(we use walnuts in ours)
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)


  1. Place the sliced pears and pomegranate seeds into a bowl. Toss with lemon juice to coat. Combine the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a small cup or bowl, then mix into the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to blend the flavors. Serve in individual dishes, and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped almonds and a sprig of mint

More on fall happening here in Durham North Carolina

Some of our home grown lima beans harvested recently. These heirloom seeds were given to by one of my customers her family have saved these seeds for generations.

Flowering Dogwood beside our driveway today.

Persimmons beside our deck. This tree was planted by the birds. It is under our huge White Oak tree, this photo was taken last week now it is leafless. The acorns falling might have something to do with it being leafless already. Persimmons are another fall favorite of mine too. I did see a squirrel carrying off a persimmon the other day.

Two days worth of acorns falling, my estimate this is at least 10 gallons of them. So far I have swept up 17 gallons of acorns.
Below is the deck a few hour later after a mini storm that brought it a 30mph wind for about 5 minutes, you did not want to be out there on the deck they were coming down perhaps 500 a minute.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Homemade Parade More Photos


More from the Hillsborough, NC Second Annual Homemade Parade. I heard that Paperhand Puppets held community workshops to prepare for the parade, likely sponsored by the town of Hillsborough and the Orange County Arts Council.

Miss Piggy?

Two heads are better than one...

The band after the parade playing the Saints Come Marching Home.

Drumming jam session after the parade.

Duel between the Preying Mantis and the big spider!!

So much enjoy these tall ladies. They are even taller than me.

One of the band playing during the parade.

The juggling clown every parades needs at least one. The pileated woodpecker in the back was carried by the local Museum's butterfly house director.

The frogs were calling and so cute.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Handmade Parade!

Today Hillsborough, NC had their second Handmade Parade. Last year we missed it and stopped in town only to see a couple of people carrying costumes. Meg had a hair appointment in Hillsborough and I grabbed her camera and waited for the parade.

Well the parade was more than I expected. If you get the chance in late summer be sure to check out the Paperhand Puppet Intervention this is their mission statement.

This gal IMO won the best costume award. She really rode that bird.

The Preying Mantis was pretty cool and you got to love the sun creature.

This Monarch kiddo was a milkweed with caterpillars and an adult Monarch butterfly. She surely had the best kids costume.

I didn't get this at first. The blue is our Eno River and all the creatures that live in it, very creative.

There were three of these girls dancing about, very fun to watch them play.

Team work and some kids homemade puppets.

Did I ever tell you we live in the land of Paperhand Puppets. I took 300 photos today and edited them down to 63, here are 10 of just the parade and not the party afterwords. Anyone want to see more?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Acorn bombardment, fall gardening


The past few days and nights we have been bombarded with showers of acorns. It now takes about 2-3 days before the deck is covered in acorns.

Above is two days worth of acorns on the deck, pretty noisy when they hit the roof then bounce onto the deck.

A pile Meg swept up that we'll be piling in the woods for the deer.

Today Meg and I went to the local farmers market and stocked up on fresh veggies and greens, our CSA on Wednesday has now ended and they closed the Wednesday market too.

Down by the pond this morning I spied our local 3 point buck resting hidden in the willows by himself. Until a few weeks ago he was in the company of several does and two fawns, this was the third time I'd found him by himself down by the pond in the morning.

We cleaned up the garden and planted garlic, greens, swiss chard, spinach and kale. Before planting we filled a wheelbarrow with our homemade compost and added it to the soil. Someday that soil will be prime but it has years to get "fixed".

Dot the Wonder Dog in deep thought. She is enjoying the freshly swept deck, a hard hat is needed out there!

Meg was digging in the garden and found this Red Eft, Notophthalmus viridescens. This was the second terrestrial version of the Eastern Red-spotted Newt we have found here in paradise. Our pond has a lot of aquatic Red-spotted Newts every year.

Other creatures seen in the garden today were a Common Ground Skink, 2 Worm Snakes (they eat slugs BTW) and a Eastern Fence Lizard.

I was lucky enough to find this Marbled Orbweaver, Araneus marmoreus down by the pond this afternoon. They are my favorite spiders and I had the pleasure of watching it build its perfect web. Finally I can see the web and ID the spider before I look for it hidden in the leaves next to the web.

Above is an update on our Swamp Sunflowers, even in more bloom than the last posting. We have seen several Monarchs, Cloudless Sulphurs and an American lady visit it for nectar.

Here is our 10 foot tall Sparkleberry with lots of berries. It is I believe actually a holly. I canoed the Sparkleberry Swamp in South Carolina once many years ago and the sea of red berries really got my attention. So I bought this one at Durham Hardware many years ago, it has been closed down for a long time now. Last year Meg and I watched from 10 foot away in the screened in porch Cedar Waxwings, American Robins and Eastern Bluebirds eat all the berries in two days.

Our Cosmos is still doing well!

These tiny peppers are called Del Monacos I think. I searched the web for them and came up blank. Meg bought two plants this summer and both plants are 2 foot tall and wide completely covered in these pea sized "HOT" peppers. I added three of them to some salsa for heat a few times this summer. These are too hot for our liking.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Swamp Sunflowers in the garden


Maybe 5 years ago my friend Roger gave me a start of Swamp Sunflower for our garden. Not sure exactly what it is but I think it is called Swamp Sunflower, please correct me if I'm wrong. It is now blooming huge in the garden up to at least 12 foot tall. The narrow leaves can reach nearly a foot long and are only an inch wide.

Some flowers are 3 inches wide other may only be an 1 1/2 inch wide. See the tiny spider crab spiders love these flowers.

Below is the main plant in the garden it has spread by seed a little towards the pond. That pea trellis there is 6 foot tall!

Another flower blooming in the garden a long neglected Toad lily I planted when I moved here 12 years ago. Best year it has ever had!