Take Cover…The Walnuts are Falling!

It’s the end of August and the days are beginning to get cooler and shorter along the Klamath River.  The days are most pleasant, around 85 degrees, but the nights are getting down to 50 degrees and coming from the desert, that’s cold!
The blackberries are really ripe and so abundant! We picked a pound to freeze  today so we can enjoy the bounty this winter.  We picked the last of the apricots today as well, the only thing left are pits from the apricots the birds have been eating.  All of our little feathered friends are eating away so they can fatten up for the winter!
 And now We’ve started gathering black walnuts! Let me be the first to say that Keith wasn’t joking when he said that when they fall out of the tree they will really hurt if they hit you on the head. They come down with a bang!  This black walnut tree is so old and huge.  It must stand 100 feet or more! The walnuts fall from tree limbs that are so high you cant even see them!   Today we got the first English walnut as well. That tree is not as big as the black walnut tree but I think the walnut would hurt if it hit you in the head too!  It’s going to be fun to learn how to cure them and eat them! We’ve also  had our first couple of green apples fall and they are so yummy! We have red apples falling too but they are not ready to eat.  Looking forward to sharing apple recipes soon!
And I can only imagine all the leaves that will begin to fall soon ( a few are already falling)! I think I’m starting to figure out why they call the upcoming season fall!
This evening I baked thumbprint cookies ( recipe below) topped with homemade blackberry and apricot preserves.  It’s also starting to smell like fall in the kitchen!
This is such a big change for me.  I’ve lived in the desert for the past 15 years.  I know it’s gonna be cold but I am enjoying the changing seasons.  I’ll let you know if I feel the same in January!
Missy’s Thumbprint Cookies
 2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar + about a 1/4 cup to roll cookie dough in
1 cup ofsoftened butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Fruit preserves or jam of your choice
Combine flour and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl,mix sugar, butter,vanilla and egg.  Mix well.  Add flour mixture in half at a time.  Mix until dough is soft.  Put dough in refrigerator for about 20 minutes for easier handling.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Form dough balls about 1 inch around and roll in sugar cinnamon mixture.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Cook about 5 minutes, take out and make indent with spoon.  Fill indent with fruit preserve or jam of your choice.  Bake for additional 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove cookies from oven and let set for 3-5 minutes. Remove cookies and cool on wire rack.
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