Apple Planting Day

Fulfilling a dream, we planted our own mini-orchard of apple trees yesterday!  Just four trees: two Stayman Winesaps, one Honeycrisp, and one crabapple (as a pollinator).  It will be several years before they bear fruit, but I am already anticipating such joy from these!  I look forward to pressing, drinking, and freezing our own cider some day.  I look forward to the beauty of their apple blossoms in the springtime.  I look forward to watching the grandkids pick apples.  And then there’s pie!
Here’s the planting operation in full swing.
Max did 98% of the digging.  One hole turned out to be mostly large field stones, much to his chagrin.  Two shovels, a 6-ft. long pry bar, and two people were needed to get some of them out of the hole.

The instructions that came with them said to get them in the ground before they leaf out.  For the crabapple, we were just in time.
I like the idea of keeping all our food at one end of the cleared area of our property (leaving the remainder for other purposes…games, entertaining, etc.), so we sited the mini-orchard near the garden and the new raspberry trellis.  If you look closely, you can see the green deer fencing that surrounds the garden plot.  The raspberry trellis is above the apple trees.  The new garden shed’s site is just beyond that trellis.
This view is looking down at the apple trees from the deck.  I staggered them, so each tree can be seen.  I also didn’t want them to block our view of the hammock, which (in warmer weather) hangs between two trees (only one is visible in this photo).
And today, my new apple growing book arrived.  I feel SO responsible.  Like I suddenly have four new babies to care for.   I read just a bit of the book today.  In it, the orchard owner (shown there on the cover) has a picture of himself digging holes for new trees with his own golden retriever standing nearby.  He captioned it something like, "Make sure your holes are deep enough according to your dog supervisor."  Whew!  At least we got that right!  Feeling overwhelmed.  Must study!

Easter Celebration

We hope you had a joyous Easter!  We started our day with worship…a good sermon, joyful hymns!  Then we scurried home to get the ham in the oven, hide eggs, and set the table.

Then it was egg hunting time!  Theo, being a very mature three years old, got the idea right away.  Basket in hand, he scampered about collecting eggs like a pro.

Melissa was very excited to find her first egg.

But she wanted nothing to do with her Easter basket.  She preferred to carry them all in her arms and tucked under her chin.  Inevitably, one would fall, and in trying to pick it up, another would fall.  I’d offer to help her out, by picking it up and putting it in her basket.  She would immediately say, “No, no, no!”  She was very certain that the basket should not hold the eggs.  Too cute!

Theo always sits beside me for meals.  I like that because we have good conversations.

- Dinner Menu -
spiral-sliced brown sugar glazed ham
roasted carrots and asparagus
mashed potatoes and gravy
hard-boiled eggs
dinner rolls
fruit salad

– Dessert Made by Colette -
Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake

New Discovery

Whenever Colette and I go to Boston, we stop in at L.A. Burdick Chocolates for a cup of their decadently delicious hot cocoa.  And even though we’re utterly charmed by their Boston store, we had yet to visit their main store in Walpole, New Hampshire.  But a couple of weeks ago I was in need of some chocolates as birthday gifts for cherished friends, so we headed west to Walpole.

By the time we arrived we were ravenously hungry.  And much to our delight, we discovered that this L.A. Burdick, unlike its Boston counterpart that is solely a beverage and bakery stop, this location has an actual restaurant.

We both ordered the french onion soup.  This was a first for Colette.  Up until that moment, I’d been the only one in our family to like french onion soup.  Consequently, I don’t make it for the family, but I order it in restaurants every chance I get.  And I must say that this french onion soup is about the second best I’ve ever had.  SO delicious!

We did, however, admire the cheese tray ordered by the 5-year old at the next table and might just order that next time. Their selection of local artisinal cheese is impressive.

No trip to L.A. Burdick would be complete without some cocoa and a little treat.  Colette tried their white chocolate hot chocolate topped with nutmeg.  And we shared a slice of chocolate-raspberry cake.

This has definitely become my favorite lunch spot in New Hampshire!
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