Weekend Wonderings & Cranberry Apple Cider Sangria

       One thing that I was so unaware of before I made the Cape my permanent home was just how beautiful and wonderful the Cape is during September and October. I had heard how gorgeous the leaf peeping was in New England, I had heard how fabulous the North Coast was and all the wonderful food. I had heard of the festivals and fairs. But the Cape, takes a lot of that and adds in the sugar of empty beaches with warm waters and cool evening breezes. Ok so there are a few years in there that summer did not know when to stop but overall, there is a change of seasons that is not as fast as the Northern Kingdom and becomes more pleasant than the mid-west. The wine trail is at it's peak with the grapes coming into their own and apple orchards bring in their bushels to make cider, hard cider. But the Cape has most of this or are within a days trip to any of these than to come "home" to that beautiful fall sunset is like no other. Cape Cod in the second season, late summer, early fall, is like no other and one has to experience to understand it all. This Saturday I may take a drive up route 6A and visit some of the bookstores still there and see what I might find. Then find a nice place to enjoy a light lunch or early dinner and a good brew and a place to watch some football. Or maybe find a farm market or two and get some fresh fruits and backed goods. Or maybe find a nature walk or a dune stroll, or visit a lighthouse, or,, so many things to do such a short time to do it. So what are you doing this fall here on Cape Cod, if you had really never given it a thought maybe you should, it's a more happening place than you realize. Have a great day in all you do especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod.  
      There are farms all over the Cape, and in each area has it's own set of unique farms. After going to the Brewster Farmers Market I have a couple to nope that if you are in the Harwich area will want to check out. First is Hemeon's Farm, just off Banks Rd. in Harwich Port. They veggies was well as customer woodworking. Interesting combination but it works for them. 
   Next in the area is Pleasant Lake Farm on Birch Dr, certified Organic Veggies if that is your concern, they also do beef, Pork and eggs. Check out their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pleasantlakefarm. This is the time that veggies are all reaching their peak so get them fresh from the farm while you can. 
   Also in the Lower Cape area is Checkberry Farms off Tar Kiln rd in Orleans, again veggies, herbs, eggs, garlic and more. 
   Down the street in Brewster is Eldredge Farm, off Eldredge Farm Cartway, Veggies Chickens, Turkeys Egg, all available. And then there is Tuck-A-Way Farms off Barkely Way in Harwich again fruits, veggies, herbs, honey, eggs and more. This is just this small area and just a few of what is out there. Get a hold of the Cape Cod Buy Fresh Buy local Guide to Local Farms & Food and you can find Farms, Markets and more all in your area from P'Town to Sandwich, to Falmouth and back to Chatham and everything in between. Over the next couple weeks I will mention other in different areas of Cape. But please don't wait for my list, get to the book and go check out the local farms and farmers markets while still happening.
      Next up, You know I love to promote our local artists, but from time to time I come across something different and unique. Judy Plank Art is an Artist from Massachusetts, more specifically the other Cape area Gloucester, after spending time in Florida for a while. Please check her web site out at http://www.judyplankart.com/ and check out the portfolio area. I am telling you the web does not do justice to how the colors just pop off the surface we is painting on. If bright colors are you thing, if ocean theme is your your thing than you need to check her out. I can not say enough how excited I was with here work. Not overdone and not too busy, just simple exciting bright and brilliant images that could bring excitement to any barren wall.  
      Well, welcome back, I'm glad just because Labor Day has come and gone that you have not forgotten me. We are still going strong here, and second season is just about as popular as primary season. One main difference though is that the number of children on the beach are at a minimum, and the although the days are way the evenings can cool off pretty nicely. (ok most the time.) The fishing boats are changing season and tuna is and stripers are in season, winter flounder are in, Cod, and Halibut and more. We have everything from commercial to chartered to the local personal fishermen going out. This time of year the weather can change quickly with winds in the morning out of the southwest and by afternoon coming in from the northeast. Mornings can be socked in with fog and the horn and the beacon are a necessity to clear the shoals and make it safely out to sea or to warn those freighters and cruise ships to stay clear. Sometimes we forget what the real purpose of us being here is for the safety of our ocean goers. Our history is rooted in help those on the ocean not need our rescues services, but if trouble arises we are available and ready to aid at any time. I am now adding into that is shark and whale watchers as well as need need to keep our mighty friends safe from harm as well as protecting our seagoing vessels. It would not make me unhappy to see some of these seals go away as they are cleaning out our fish population and are one of the primary reasons we have so many Great Whites Sharks. But they don't ask my opinion so whatever. Well, don't forget that we are open still through the middle of the month then will see how the weather goes. We are open to scheduling groups of all ages for private tours and this will got all through the off season. So until then please keep us on your schedules and if nothing else if you can only make it on the weekends we will open and ready to see you here. I hope you had a terrific summer season and hope you can make it back for second two, right here on old Cape Cod.   
      I do not do normally do a punches or multi serving drink recipes. However this time of year and what is available, campfires on the beach or out on the farm just calls for a beverage like this. I enjoy Sangria on an occasion, but this one is rather very tasty, and I would say could become a regular during the fall and winter months. On of the things that just called me on this was the use of Cranberries, and being here on the Cape, what else could be so Cape Cod like. Now if you don't like this recipe, go trolling on the web and you will find more variations than you have fingers and toes, or cranberry bogs in New England. But this is the one I picked so take it, try it, add to it, take away from it, but leave the apples and the cranberries or it gonna be Cranberry Apple Cider Sangria. No let's get this show on the road,,, but please be a responsible host and consumer, any life is to precious to loose over stupidity. Now, let's go
      This week's recipe: Cranberry Apple Cider Sangria

      1      large      apple, cored and sliced
      1      large      lemon, sliced & seeded
      1      med       lime, sliced & seeded
      1      cup        fresh cranberries
      1      bottle     red wine (750 ml)
   1/2      cup        apple liqueur 
   1/2      cup        spiced rum (South Hollow Spirits is my go to)
   1/2      cup        cranberry juice
   1/2      cup        apple cider ( NOT Juice, but cider)
      2      Tbsp      honey (if you can get an Apple or Apply Cranberry all the better)
                            sparkling water (optional)


      Place fruit in a large pitcher. Add remaining ingredients and stir until honey is dissolved. Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least a couple hours, best overnight. Serve with a splash of sparkling water if desired. Garnish with more fruit.

      And don't forget to join me for morning gags, giggles and usless information good for the water cooler or IM conversation, just check it out at ccrockhopper.com



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