Apple Day!

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Elizabeth’s apple tree showing off

 

It was a late summer day, one that had a light humid rain, matching the humidity in the air. Not a great “hair” day. My friend, Elizabeth had offered her apple tree to me, so my husband and I set out to go apple picking.

We arrived to find the tree heavy laden with apples, and a skirt of red on the ground around her as well. Some of the fallen apples were good, and so we sorted through to find some of the better ones. I sampled one, right off, and it was crisp, juicy lightly sweet and tart at the same time. Superb. I had forgotten to ask her precisely what type of apple this was, but whatever the name, it would be perfect for baking.

We loaded up two bags, and carted them over to Jen’s place, where we would have an apple baking feast!

When we arrived, the necessary candle was lit, dinner was in process and it smelled divine!

We washed the apples and placed them on display, such natural color and beauty.

Chris peeled, I peeled, Jen cut and cored. Nala and Buffy watched.

Then, our son arrived and we left the apples to sit while we ate dinner together and enjoyed each others company.

After, we got the dessert going, our own version of apple crisp! This is something Jen’s Great-Grandmother and my Grandmother used to make and I loved. I’ve honed it a bit through the years to include tons of apples, a bit less sugar and topping but including lots of total deliciousness!

So here goes!

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Nothing better than a basket full of fresh picked apples and a kitty peeking in the background!

Recipe for Apple Crisp

20 cups tart or mixture of tart and all purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar mixed together in a small bowl (If sweeter apples, use less sugar).

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated (optional) nutmeg

2 Tbsp water

1/2 cup dry regular oatmeal

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup melted butter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 385 degrees F

2. Place the cored and sliced apples in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Mix together half the sugar mixture, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle all over the apples. Pour the water evenly over the entire mixture. The apples will be mounded sky high. Don’t worry, they do shrink up. But it is recommended to put the baking dish on a cookie sheet that’s larger than that dish.

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This is the apples, sugar, and spice mixture

3. Combine the oats, 1/2 cup flour, the rest of the sugar mix, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter. Mix together and crumble over the apples.

 

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This is the unbaked finished product

 

4. Bake at 385 degrees F for about 100 minutes. (Leave in longer if necessary).

Enjoy!

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For help for choosing the perfect apples, click on the link:   http://www.apple-works.com/perfect.html

The Devil’s Hole Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary

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The Devil’s Hole State Park is 42 acres of both wooded and cleared land along the Niagara River gorge, adjacent to the Whirlpool State Park. The park has a charming trail along the top of the ridge, providing beautiful scenery, including a view of both the American and Canadian Power vistas, which are both accessible to the public. http://www.nypa.gov/vc/niagara.htm and http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/sir-adam-beck.html   If you descend one of the walkways down to the river, you will be presented with a wild river, full of torrential rapids. There are also trails down below.* Beware this is a dangerous area and to enter the water is deadly. Also, the trails are steep and the footing can be treacherous. http://www.everytrail.com/best/hiking-buffalo-new-york.

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The Niagara area and beyond are very historical and played a large role in the establishment of the United States as we know it.

Yesterday marked the memorial of the 250th year since the Seneca Native Americans ambushed the British at Devil’s Hole.  http://niagara-gazette.com/communities/x312428187/Devils-Holes-marking-250th-anniversary-on-weekend.

To commemorate the Anniversary, a re-enactment of the events was held. The upper trail is most often used by tourists, joggers and dog walkers, but yesterday, that wasn’t the case; horses and wagons appeared in the normally quiet park. True to period costumes for the soldiers, Native American garb for the Native Americans, and rifle firing over the gorge were the order of the day. There were also walking tours available, and we took one, in which the speakers in essence said the following;

*Warning: the italicized writing is HISTORY. We like it. Not everyone does. We tried to make it interesting, but to each their own…

In 1763 the British held Fort Niagara, after the displaced French, and the Native tribes of the area were unhappy about it. Supplies played a vital part in why the Fort was needed and in supplying Detroit further on down the line.

Now here’s the rub. The Seneca had held this trade route for many years and considered it their right; after all, it was their land and livelihood. They had tolerated the newcomers, having found a useful niche, of sorts, but when the British cut them out of the equation, a smoldering resentment erupted into the ambush at Devil’s hole. About 400 Seneca were waiting for the convoy and when all was said and done around a hundred men were killed, many scalped and found in the river, having fallen the height of the gorge down to the river below. The headmaster survived, having escaped back to Fort Schlosser, up river, above the Falls and lived to tell about it. http://dmna.ny.gov/forts/fortsQ_S/schlosserFort.htm.

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Men representing the 46th Regiment Grenadiers dressed for their role in authentic period costume, tall hats and all. Chris is a regular participant in re-enactments, and a Western New Yorker. We commented on his “chapeau” and its unusual shape and height and told him it reminded us of a German topper. He answered, saying the Germans had also used them and that “it was designed to intimidate by adding height” to the often already taller than average Grenadiers. He also said how another advantage was when the Grenadiers, (who used to throw grenades), found that when they did so, sometimes their hats would catch on fire, and that the  taller hats would not! (At least that’s what Chris said)… Eventually these same hats morphed into the bearskin hats we know and love today as those worn by the Queen’s Guards displaying them in front of Buckingham Palace. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bearskin Chris kindly posed for this photo; a fine looking specimen, at that.

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We spoke with Al Parker, also known as Ho/yen/dah/onh who was one of the Seneca representatives. He was sure to tell us that his native name means “He got it”, which we found amusing! Parker felt the main thing that came out of this historic event was the treaty between the English and the Seneca Nations. Parker is on the Board of Directors at Old Fort Niagara and is involved in the French and Indian War re-enactment held there each July, http://militaryhistorynow.com/2013/07/08/living-history-french-indian-war-comes-alive-at-fort-niagara/ He also told us that some of his fellow participants at this event were regular re-enactors who act in movies as well! Pretty cool.

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2chicks2go… Where?

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Welcome to our blog. We are the two chicks! Jennifer and Sherrie, Daughter and Mom. We live in Niagara Falls, NY.

During our travels, people always ask “where are you from?” and we say “we’re from Niagara Falls.” Inevitably. they know just where that is, with their only question being, “which side of the border?” because Niagara Falls is the “world’s most famous address.” And the second question is “living in a tourist area, where do YOU go for vacation?”

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So, we thought that we would answer those questions and more in the form of a blog. First of all, for those coming to visit our world famous attraction, we will happily give insider information, tips, and tell you what we like to do.

Secondly, for those of us that live in the Western New York area, you know we’re sitting on a treasure. Wouldn’t it be nice to have consolidated where-to information, schedules and reviews at your finger tips? We would also like to share our enjoyment of local fare, markets, restaurants, and the wine trail. Jennifer and Sherrie also enjoy cooking- we will contribute some recipes of the bountiful produce that Western New York has to offer here on our blog.

Living in such a centrally-located area, we have access to so much. World class events, dining, entertainment, hiking and scenery. For people that are visiting our area, they may not be aware of how this hub can lend to an exciting extended vacation and for locals to enjoy day trips. As anative born Canadian, Sherrie has a unique perspective of both sides of the border.

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That brings us to where we like to vacation. Sherrie has traveled extensively across most of North America, where as Jennifer has traveled abroad on several different occasions. We would also like to share some of these experiences with you.

So put on your yellow rain slicker, and lets get ready 2 go.

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