Neal's parents were in town for a visit recently. Of course, we had to take them to The Ranch to see the progress that had been made, but along the way we stopped at the Happy Apple Farm to pick some Johnathans and Galas.
Neal and I had never been to this orchard and we were both like kids in a candy store. Most of the berries were not quite ripe, but we were able to pick about a pint full of blackberries. We had so much fun, we're planning to go back for more picking in September.
Neal picked about twice the amount of Galas while I picked Johnathans. He teased that this was an example of where height has its advantages! Neal's parents waited under shaded gazebos and were entertained by all the people coming and going. They were especially pleased to see so many children out in the orchard picking their own fruits.
After we left the apple farm, we headed to The Ranch. When Neal's parents visited last year, we had not broken ground or even put the shed up on the property, so they were very impressed with what has been done so far. The plumbers have finished their work and now we are just waiting on an electrician to come and run all the wiring. Then, we will be free to do the remainder of the insulation, paneling, staining floor, and putting the kitchen together ourselves.
While we were at The Ranch, we took time to water the five Ponderosa pine seedlings we set out a few weeks ago. The seedlings were left over from a Boy Scout project and were gifted to us by friends. If they make it, they will be a perfect addition to our Ranch landscaping.
After lunch in town and a scenic drive home along the Arkansas River, Neal's parents took advantage of the fabulous Colorado weather and lounged in our backyard while Neal and I prepped homemade peach ice cream from peaches his parents brought.
George was not too sure of the noisy ice cream maker at first, but once he got a taste of the salty ice cubes that Neal shared, he stayed very close and didn't miss a moment of the action.
The highlight for Captain and George was getting to lick the ice cream drippings off of the plate that we put the dasher on. Can you see the heart shape to the left center? That was how the plate looked when we removed the dasher and right before two tongues licked the plate clean!
We spent a lot of our down time looking through cookbooks and discussing the good ole days. I even found an honest-to-goodness recipe for hog's head cheese, which Neal likes. I enjoy trying out different recipes from time to time, but there is no way that dish will ever be prepared by these hands, no sireee! I think I'll stick to making apple butter, apple pie and dehydrating apple slices for snacks! Anyone have a favorite apple recipe to share?