Can you believe August is gone, school has started and Autumn is less than two weeks from today? whewwwww! Tempus Fugit, eh?
Last month I made jam, here, and today I made four more pints of peach vanilla and the slow cooker is full of Wolf River apples, known for making delicious apple butter, and what was purchased as a Granny Smith tree. The first couple of years the apples were bright, solid green and then changed to a mottled green. I’m not sure what they are other than really good tasting and add a depth of flavor to either apple butter, apple sauce or, for breakfast, fried apples atop buttered hot biscuits…with home churned butter of course.
Wolf River and Summer Rambo are my favorite apples – crisp, large, and add lovely flavor to home pressed cider. It was growing as early as the late 1700’s in his country and recorded in the 1500’s in France. All three apples are heritage with Granny Smith being the newest, 1868. The most interesting fact regards Wolf River…it can sometimes reproduce itself, true to variety, by seed.
Labor Day was spent visiting family and watching Steve, my brother, and Dad prep the bees for winter.
The lid is lifted off, the smoker uses a bit of burlap to pour smoke into the hive which calms the bees.
Daddy, using the smoker.
Each hive is checked for honey and if it has none, old honey is put into the hive to help the bees over winter. Duck tape is wrapped around where the hive sections meet, helping keep out the cold. Steve also closes up one half of the entrance which helps keep out the cold and snow.
Daddy smokes the last hive. Usually they don’t wear bee gear but since Steve is allergic and Dad is still having mobility problems from his leg operation, it was decided veils were needed.
This cabin has a good start on firewood.
Tommy, my new “boyfriend”, washing his ATV.
When I was a teenager, I had a mad crush on my cousins, Richard Lee and Eddie Dale. They were wild as March hares and lived more life than most do in ten. Eddie Dale is gone now but he and Richard Lee were car guys; knows ’em up down outside inside out. Next time we all meet up, I’m taking a tape recorder to save the stories of both his growing up, our family and cars…our family history.
He married his high school sweetheart, Loretta Lee…yes, they both have the same middle names!
Our family has been in West Virginia for more than a couple of hundred years and have a few famous members. One is Rimfire Hamrick; he and his younger brother posed for the statue on the Capital grounds in Charleston and Daddy is a direct descendant.
We come from a Irishman named Patrick who came here in 1654 through the Fredericksburg port, had a bunch of sons who had a bunch of sons who…you get the drift. One of those sons served with George Washington at Valley Head and other places.
Tomorrow, it’s finish the apple butter, start more apple butter, finish the peach vanilla jam…usual chores – move hay, sell hay, pay bills…I need a wife -grin-. I’m beginning to understand why, decades ago, women would let other women board with them. Not only did it provide company, it also provided a second pair of hands for the work.
Unfortunately, nowadays, people think work is a four letter word.
Blessings ~ apple butter ~ peach vanilla jam ~ the Hamrick family ~ Richard Lee and Loretta Lee ~ Steve, my brother ~ Daddy ~ honey ~
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