Another Chapter of Life on Cape Cod 10-'18 & Apple-Yam Casserole

      So how is your fall going, what fall you ask? I know the cooler weather, the changing leaves the smell of burning leaves, the hot chocolate and S'mores, where is it all. But as I have said before somehow it all balances out, so if it is warm now there is coming a time when it is going to be bitter cold. So I will enjoy what we have and going to football games in shorts and a tee shirt, walking the beach barefoot and enjoying a vineyard without a coat is fine with me. That also means no heat yet, and the A/C units already out of the windows. And the clear skies at night make it enjoyable sit out on the deck look at the stars in the sky, enjoy that rare occasional cigar and glass of liquid gold from a favorite bottle of distillation. instead of S'mores there is grilled ribs, or chicken, or if you are really lucky a steak. Then after everything is done maybe the coals will still be hot enough for the S'mores or grilled fruit, like pineapple and peaches, bananas, and even apples. Wow yum, making me hungry just thinking about it. Anyway, the leaves will be turning soon, and raking will be inevitable, I am hoping that I have mowed the lawn for the last time. Folks off Cape forget sometimes that we have the same autumn chores that they do. The deck furniture like the outdoor shower will stay out as long as possible at my house, but other things like the hoses and garden items are finding there way into the garage. I would normally be stacking wood for the winter but looks like that will be a no go this year as I had to have the chimney extended up about 2 feet and next replace the liner as the wood I got last year was bad. Ya local outfit and I was lucky enough to get the bottom of the pile that had been sitting in the wet all last summer. So between those tow no extra for wood and will have to pay the piper for the heat. Unless someone has a place in Florida they want to give me, I would sacrifice myself and go. (LOL) After the back surgeries I am thinking that winter journey is looking more enticing with every cooler temperature I feel. Oh well, life is as life is and we go on. Does not matter if you live on the Cape or not, we still all have our issues our situations and our wants. I talk about this a lot as I get the feeling that many who come here during the summer think we all are retired, sit in our cozy homes drinking scotch or tea and eating cookies or bonbons with no worries or cares to life. But many of us who call this place home year round still have mortgages, still have doctor visits, still need to eat, many have kids that go to school and the list goes on. The only difference is that we get to go watch the sunsets on the boardwalk year round, take a walk on the beach whenever, go visit a lighthouse when we lose our way, dig our own clams, (not an easy thing), go fishing just about whenever. Ya we have some pluses but we also have the same issues. No it is not all easy street but it is special, and I would not trade it easily away. So if you get a chance and you don't live here come on out and experience the slower pace of fall, and if you do live here, try to take a day and just go explore the Cape and remind yourself of all the reasons we continue to stay here. Until we meet again, Have a great and wonderful, especially if you can do it right here on Old Cape Cod.       
      Small business report time. Ok this first one has been a fun one to watch grow. When I first because aware of this guy one of my neighbors was helping out part time and I saw one of his hangers on her house and fell in love with it. Then about 3 or 4 years ago I started seeing him show up at craft shows, then in a few shops and now, something that was almost a dare or gamble is snowballing. He at one point worked at a big box store if I heard him correctly and he just did not see that going anyplace, he was a welder and metal worker and decided to give this gig a try with the support of his wife. Today he can not make them fast enough to get them out into stores let alone go to many shows. This Yarmouthport resident is looking to increase his output, looking to move out of the house and expand his barn or into another building. He is running out of room he really could use help in this time labored craft but holy smokes are they selling like hot cakes. the business: Shore Drive Designs, find them online at www.shoredrivedesigns.com, his about does not even begin to explain the abouts but you can shop on his web store, and keep your eyes open and you can find his works all over the Cape now in so many shops. What are they, In his words; Remember Cape Cod with something special that's designed and crafted here.  We think that's pretty special.  Hangers are made from 12 gauge steel that will hold up to an incredible 75lbs, come with 2 mounting screws and are even powder coated or rubber dipped to resist rust and corrosion.  Each Cape Cod and or Massachusetts hanger comes with 2 magnetic Hearts so you can move to mark your favorite Cape Cod or Massachusetts Location. Seriously I remember when he only have 3-4 designs, and now, 24 designs. We all love to hang plants out on our decks, or bird feeders, what about a name plat hanger, or hang a small flag from it or a solar outdoor light. The ideas are endless, and they are not just for you, but think how cool these would make as a gift. I am so pumped to see how he has grown and how it has taken off, this is one of those things I just wish I had thought of the idea first. Check it out and grab them now for Christmas or you might not get what you want. 
       Next is Robin's Toffee by the Sea: Shut the front door cause this gal can make it happen when it comes to toffee. First fine online at https://robinstoffeebythesea.com/, second at her shop located at 572 Main Street(Rt. 28), West Yarmouth, and third at over 30 other shops on and off the Cape. Her shop will be open through Christmas than they will take a little winter break till March, but fear not her online store will continue to operate year round. Woo hoo. There is toffee, then there is Robin's Toffee, I kid you not, this stuff is to die for  or at lease keep your dentist in business for an extra year or two if not help pay their kids way to college. I like toffee but it has got to be good stuff and Robin does not skimp on the good stuff. Someone might look at her web sight and go, that's all she does, folks is that allll she does, wow are you missing the boat on this one. So if you see it in one of the shops like, Atlantic Spice Co, Cape Ability Farms, Cape Cod Beer, Cape Cod Winery, Just Picked, Peterson's Market, and the list goes on, get a bag and go find a place to hide and enjoy. This is some of the best stuff you will have when it comes to toffee. 
      Welcome back folks, I hope you had a wonderful holiday and took in many of the celebrations going around the Cape. Well weather has not been anything to write home about, but with that is good for the high seas. We have had a lingering hurricane/tropical depression far to the east of the Cape that has caused some undertow closer to shoe and out to see 50-100 miles or so some pretty rough seas but that has been about it. We have another system that has moved up through the states out of the Gulf of Mexico that is now effecting us a little but here again only remains that are just pesky. So with all the gray skies the beacon has been pretty visible even during the day and have only had to blast the fog horn 1 or 2 nights. I've heard that Strippers and Blues are running and being caught both from shore as well as boats, have not heard much about tuna's yet. The weekend was packed at the station every night even though Sunday night was a little misty but I think that just helped mystify things a bit, you know that eerie feeling we all get around this time of year. And with so many ship wrecks off the coastline of the Cape there are many spirits with unfinished business that roam up and down the shore line looking for closure with no luck to be found. And I have seen with my own eyes a few of the lost ships sailing up and down looking for it's crew lost crew in hopes of some kind of redemption's, but to no avail. Yes this time of year can lead to some very strange sighting so come with an open mind and be ready for anything. See you soon and hope you are enjoying your fall, especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod. 
      This time of year there is so much going on in gardens and orchards that I can not just overlook what what goodness can go on in the kitchen. This time of year makes cooking fun to no end as there is so much coming in and as the temperatures cool off turning on the oven and doing some serious baking and casseroles and well just about anything that we have not been able to tolerate doing while hot outside. So with apples coming in and yams abounding in all sizes out of gardens lets look at combining the two and for some really good eats. Now on with the show.
   
      This week's recipe: Apple-Yam Casserole
 
   4-5      med      Yams, cooked, cooled and peeled
   4-5      med      cooking apple, uncooked peeled, sliced
      1      cup       granulated sugar
      4      Tbsp     cornstarch
      1      tsp        salt
      2      Tbsp     butter
      2      cups     boiling water
 
      Mix the dry ingredients in a saucepan, Pour 2 cups boiling water over and cook until thick. Add butter. Heat and melt in mixture. Layer yams and apples in a 2-21/2 qt casserole and pour mixture over top. Back 1 hour at 350 degrees. This service about 8. Something to add would be raisins or currents, dates, or cranberries.  
 
      Don't forget to come join me weekday mornings at ccrockhopper.com for some morning Thunks, Thoughts & More pleae. 

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