We Have A Harvest

Sunrise

We’ve been in Arizona just a little over six weeks. When I started using the enormous stainless steel kitchen sink that was installed just before we returned to Montana last spring I had my doubts! The dang thing water spotted like crazy–it looked awful all the time unless I cleaned it every single time after running water–now that’s a little inconvenient isn’t it! We do have very hard water but we are neither one water softener people so that wasn’t the solution.

Laurel from Raven and Chickadee has a similar sink and hard water–she also wasn’t in love with her new sink.  Karen from Karen In The Woods has a similar sink but soft water and was loving her new sink. I certainly was not loving mine and reached out to Karen. She recommended cleaning it with spray stainless steel cleaner–it worked!!! I like my sink a lot better now. The Cowboy is relieved he doesn’t have to figure out how to install a different sink in our quartz countertops!!

On Monday the Cowboy took the backhoe into town to help our caretaker Milton with a little project. The golf course in our small town is defunct, done, never to open again and has been that way for many years. The trees have died or are dying from lack of water which makes me so sad! People who have homes bordering what was the golf course mow and cut down dead trees that might fall onto their properties. Many people attempt to water the trees close to their homes to keep them from dying.

Milton had been working on a dead fallen tree all summer, hauling the firewood he cut out to our place. He had reached a point–the rest of the huge tree was too big for his chain saw so the Cowboy went to his rescue with the backhoe.

I’ve upgraded to Windows 11–haven’t found anything I especially despise just a bunch of little annoying things.

Tuesday I made toffee for the first time in my life–it is amazing!! CJ is a Facebook friend I found when quilting–she lives in Arkansas–I’ve never met her but that doesn’t keep me from loving her recipes as she is an amazing cook! Her fruitcake recipe is not your standard, dry, icky fruitcake–it’s amazing–I didn’t make it this year and miss it. The toffee recipe isn’t CJ’s but she is the culprit for posting it!

Alicia Key  (CJ)

Toffee

★★★★★

Candy, Chocolate, Holiday Favorites

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Servings: Servings 24 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.

Spread the chopped pecans in a single layer on top of the parchment.

Add butter, sugar, and salt to a heavy bottomed 3 quart pot

Bring to a boil over medium low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.

Once the candy is boiling, stir occasionally, slowly and evenly, until the candy has reached 290F to 300F, or “hard crack” on a candy thermometer.

Once the candy has reached 290F-300F, remove from heat and gently stir in the vanilla extract.

Carefully pour the mixture over the chopped pecans.

Let the candy sit for a few minutes, undisturbed, before sprinkling the chocolate chips over the top.

Cover the baking dish with foil and let sit for 5 minutes or until the chocolate has softened.

Remove the foil and gently spread the softened chocolate into an even layer. An offset spatula works best for this.

Place the candy in the refrigerator and let cool completely. Give it at least 2 hours.

I have never been much of a bread maker. I joined the bandwagon and made lots of the artisan bread in five minutes a day type bread but not yeast loaf bread or rolls. I tried sourdough but have kind of given up on that idea–more trouble than I needed with the way we travel.

Another sunrise, can you see the light reflected in our bird bath?

Thanks to covid I have learned to make yeast loaf bread and a couple days ago I made rolls for the first time in my life. The rolls were amazing.

Wednesday we ventured to Willcox–the Cowboy needed oil for the backhoe, we went out to eat and picked up a few groceries. Back home the Cowboy tackled our front porch outside lights and I delivered goodie bags to friends in the community–turtle candies, toffee and candied, spiced nuts.

We have a harvest. When we purchased this place almost five years ago there were two sad looking pecan trees in front of the houses. With water the trees have thrived and today I noticed there were load of pecans popping out of their outer shells. The last couple years we’ve had a few pecans but the birds always beat us to them. This year there are lots and lots of pecans and for some reason the birds have not dined. I picked as many as I could reach–now the Cowboy needs to lift me up in the bucket so I can get the rest before the birds do!

18 thoughts on “We Have A Harvest

  1. I also add chocolate to the other side of toffee. After it sits in refrigerator a couple hours, take it out and flip it over in the pan. Melt another cup of chips in micro and spread it in this side. Cool it again. Then break into pieces.

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  2. Pecans (toasted) are my favorite nut. We had several trees in our yard when I was growing up. That’s so cool you have your very own harvest. We also have a stainless steel sink and hard water. I dry it after use with a paper towel so I don’t get stains…I will definitely try the spray! Thank you for sharing! Toffee is a favorite here…especially when it’s mixed with cream cheese and used for dipping apples! It’s been years since we have it! Thank you again for sharing!

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    1. My grandparents had a pecan tree in their yard and I spent a lot of my childhood playing under that tree. I have used the spray once and a week later my sink still looks good–I do dry it a couple times a day. Merry Christmas Gay, Joe and pooches!

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  3. I too have the stainless steel sink. Paid a lot
    for a top notch brand. We have hard well water too.
    Our water tastes great but hard. I will never have another
    stainless sink. I have several sprays and a special
    container of wipes…… but such a hassle. My husband
    isn’t going to use them each time and I don’t either.
    Just live with it! Lol
    Boy that back hoe has been a blessing hasn’t it?
    Doing a lot of cooking today as we have family
    Christmas Eve day.
    Have a good day, enjoy that lovely home! 🥰

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  4. Ah yes, our stainless steel sink and hard water combo is a pain – thanks for the spray solution! Your sunrises are incredible – it’s the only direction we don’t have a decent view from here. And of course I’m not up for several hours following sunrise! Our only harvest is Juniper berries. How great to have pecans in your own yard.
    Merry Merry Christmas!

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  5. How exciting to have your pecan trees producing beautiful nuts. Hope you get the rest before the birds. The toffee sounds yummy and not too difficult. As far as your sink, you can also try Mr. Clean Magic Kitchen sponge. They make my sink spotless. I keep one right by the faucet. I’d never used any of the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers before buying the house. I found a variety pack in the laundry room. They are amazing. I can’t believe the way they clean. I used one on the inside of my oven door and it removed everything. Beautiful sky in Arizona:)

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    1. I usually don’t pay much attention to the pecan tree as the birds always get the nuts before we do. This time I was playing with Emmi in the front yard and noticed one or two nuts releasing from their outer shells then realized a whole bunch of pecans were ready to be picked and not one had a bird peck hole in it–very exciting!! Thanks for the Mr. Clean tip–I too have never used those erasers but they are on my list now! Merry Christmas!

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  6. Lucky you to have your own pecan tree! I love pecans. And now you have an endless supply of pecans for your homemade toffee, which sounds wickedly delicious. I’m so glad I’m not the only one with the annoying combination of a giant cool-looking stainless steel sink with hard water spots. The stainless steel cleaner helps, and I’m going to get a Mr. Clean kitchen sink sponge. I will prevail over that sink! Merry Christmas! 🙂

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  7. Pecan harvest! so very cool. and the toffee recipe is definitely a keeper. We have walnuts from the last couple of years that I need to get cracking on! When we built our house I decided on a granite sink rather than stainless steel and yes, I love it. It is called “mushroom” I think, but never shows anything and cleans beautifully. Glad that you and Laurel and Karen found a solution for your stainless steel sinks. Enjoy the week after Christmas. I always love this week because it seems so easy going with nothing too big to acomplish.

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    1. Louanne has a composite sink and I really like it too. But the stainless is so much easier to deal with now that I’ve gotten all this expert advice! I too love this week–it’s relaxing!

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