Monday, October 10, 2011

Apples and Black Walnuts

HAPPY FALL EVERYONE…This weekend was one of the most beautiful so far this month…well the whole last two weeks were as well but I so enjoyed the weekend.
We spent lots of our down time in the screen room – not many of those kinds of days left to sit out there.  We enjoyed watching the Brewer’s and the Packers do their thing…like they do!!!!  Yeah…they both won!
And I made some awesome Baby Back Ribs and these delights below!

I had a need to make something with Apples so I made some Apple Dumplings – they turned out good but not great. I don’t think I had enough sugar inside but it certainly didn’t stop me from eating mine.
They were calling my name even before they got baked
Dumplings 4

Here’s mine just waiting for the special sweet Vanilla sauce
Dumplings 5 

Dumplings 6 
Doesn’t it look awesome!  Yep, it was.


On Thursday I went Black Walnut picking…right out my front door (well, IN THE STREET, across the street).
These came from the road – there are so many you don’t need to search or even go into the grass area and the best part is the cars that hit them have popped the skins on them so that saved me tons of time and stained hands.  These are also the culprits that kill all our tomatoes, and most of the flowering plants we plant…there’s a tree in back and one in front…we are doomed.
Black Walnuts whole 
Now mind you I finally did get stained fingers – I lifted up the bag they were in without thinking. Do you know how long the stain stays…I have a tinge yet this morning.

I put them in a pillowcase (no I will not wash them and use them again on the bed!) and in pans then covered them with very hot water and almost immediately it started  to show some color.
I let them soak for a couple days
Walnuts soaking
And no finished photo to show you…I was so busy helping Doug get these bags out of the pans and not get any of it on the driveway (death would have occurred instantly because this was all done against his will).
We put the stain in a large covered bucket and he carried it oh so carefully to the basement where I will have to use it…no stain upstairs in the kitchen sink.

Now…will someone tell me how to use this stain…do I use it like I do my coffee mixture?
And…if I boil it down some to condense it will it still work so I can get a darker color?
I thank you in advance.


Goodness I just have to share this.  I purchased a Kindle edition of the new book by Amy Clipston called ‘Naomi’s Gift ‘ (another wonderful Amish Fiction – part of Kauffman’s Amish Bakery series) and not too far into it I found an error…double words so that left part of the sentence off…but I kept reading…a few pages later, more double words…this repeated itself through the entire book.  36 KNOWN DOUBLE WORD ERRORS/PARTS OF SENTENCES LEFT OFF in the book (that I noticed anyway).

I reported this to Amazon (along with a detailed description of EACH ERROR AND PAGE it was on (at their request) and they immediately refunded the price
(but also removed the book from my kindle - Boy, they sure could have let me have the inferior edition for heavens sake)!
And I e-mailed Amy as well…she replied back with a huge thank you.

Kauffman Amish Bakery Series
Book One:  A Gift of Grace
Book Two: A Promise of Hope
Book Three: A Place of Peace
Book Four: A Life of Joy (available Jan. 24, 2012)
Book Five: Naomi’s Gift
giftofgrace_thumb  promiseofhope_thumb 

placeofpeace_thumb  lifeofjoy_thumb


So how many of you are on PINTEREST?  I love that site.  I have found so many wonderful ideas and recipes – it’s like having your own online journal of all things you like…so if you want to follow me and join yourself let me know…I’ll send you an invite. You can find it on the right sidebar at the top.

Now that’s not much from here but it’s all I got for ya! 

P.S. I want to say thank you to WENDY for becoming my 800th follower today! Wow…thanks Wendy.



  1. Oh Karen, what a great idea! I have, well, actually, my neighbors have an ENORMOUS Black Walnut tree in their back yard, but because of the power lines, it is nicely trimmed on their side, and LOOMS over our yard! This fall, when I am raking, I am going to try this! Maybe it will make the job seem a little better, knowing that I will have a fun result from it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Karen - I have become addicted to Pinterest. It is so easy to store things I love, want to try, and the recipes are wonderful. A great way to stay organized!!
    Thank you for following my boards there!!

  3. Your dumplings look so YUMMO!- You have inspired our treat for tonight *Thanks Karen!

  4. Yeah - go Pack. The dumplings look yummy too Karen :)


  5. Boy, those apples look great! Walnuts everywhere this year!
    Have a great day!

  6. I really have been looking for something good to read lately...I know you have mentioned you really like the Amish series. I may have to try one out at the library. TFS!
    Also, those dumplings look delish!! :)

  7. Oh my -- those apple dumplings look good...... I think one is calling me.....
    I am hoping someone can give you info on the black walnuts, as we have a neighbor with a tree as well -- and it seems all the nuts fall on our property. Whatever the squirrels don't rip apart and make a total mess on my deck and front porch with, I collect. Either that or I step on them and turn a good ankle...... :) I tried making stain one year and it didn't work..... so any help from friends would be good!!
    Have a nice afternoon!

  8. Dumplings with vanilla sauce.Yummmm! Warm Blessings!~Amy

  9. Karen, those apple dumplings look so good!!! We used to have a walnut tree right next to our house. One year I thought I would collect a bunch of walnuts to eat. I saved them in our basement. Bad idea, they got moldy and stinky. Those trees are so messy. Glad we cut it down.
    Good luck with your stain.


  10. I wish we had walnut trees here, Karen and your apple desert looks so awesome.. ..
    Yes, I love pinterest and am one of your followers..
    Thanks for another lovely posting..

  11. Hey you!
    Those dumplings look DELISH!!! And they look GREAT to me! But you gotta share with us that vanilla sauce recipe....I've never heard of that before - we just do ice cream usually. And I hope you find some answers to your black walnut stain quest....and then do a tutorial (starting from the get-go - like you shelled those things before soaking them???) I've long wanted to make stain for my stitching and punching but haven't a clue where to start.... And I've visited Pinterest once or twice (ok...maybe 3 times....) and it is really incredible...but nope - I issued myself an official restraining order. I have WAY too many computer-related addictions already (and some not so computer-related ones as well....) ;o) Enjoy our glorious weather - looks like it's coming to an end and rain is on the way.....and go Brewers go!!! Smiles & Monday Hugs ~ Robin

  12. Oh Friend I am drooling over those sweet dumplins. I made apple pie this weekend. Its apple time. I also have the same plate. I collect red and white dishes.
    I just love my kindle.
    What a great idea with the walnuts.
    Happy Fall!
    Blessings Trace

  13. The apple dumplings look so yummy! I hope that you will share if you learn more about the stain.Love my kindle and will be checking out that author.Hugs,Jen

  14. Oh so much to comment on. I love the apple dumplings. They looked great before you put them in the oven but after, my mouth was watering. It is so neat that you have nut trees around. No on has those around here. I think it's neat you are making your own walnut stain. A lot of people use that stuff. Just ask someone on the forum how to use it. I love Amish stories so thanks for the thumbs up on this one. I never read a book unless someone recommends it to me. And lastly, I have a pinterest account and looovvee it. I will find you and add you to my account. -Steph-

  15. Hi Karen! I always found that when I had SOOO many walnuts in my yard that the winter would be soooo bad and snowy in Indiana. Oh my goodness that apple dumpling looks yummy. How do you get those cute graphics in there? That look like the dumpling is talking?
    Karen & the Hounds

  16. Hi Karen, I know that old time basket weavers make stain for their baskets. I remember something about drying the black walnuts out then putting them into an old cement mixer to break them down. So check around in basket weaving sites. Good luck and let us know what you find out. Your dumplings look sooo-o good. Debby

  17. I have read some of these wonderful books. I so enjoyed them. Blessings!

  18. Your apple dumplings are just awesome!! My mouth is watering. Thanks for sharing about the amish books, I love reading them, I will have to check out this series. Hugs, Lecia

  19. Karen~ Please I need an apple dumpling~ oh, my they look YUMMY!!
    Great idea with the Black Walnuts!!
    have a wonderful fall day~

  20. WOW Karen!!! Your apple dumplings look yummy!!!

    You sure have been busy. Don't you just love when you do things that the husband frowns upon! They just don't understand do they? LOL Looking forward to seeing your finished project.

    I really need to take some time to read.......those Amish books would be really interesting to me I'm sure!

    Hope to see you next Friday in York!

  21. Karen, the dumplings do look yummy! Makes me hungry looking at the photo :)

  22. Oh, Karen, your dumplings look so yummy! I must have that recipe, are you planning on sharing it?

  23. I don't know anyone that has a black walnut tree here. Is it a Yankee thing? Maybe they don't grow in the South but we have PLENTY of sweet gum balls if you need them!!

  24. Oh my goodness..I lost your link for a while (messed up and deleted all the links on my side bar) I never thought about using the black walnuts for stain..How do you keep the water from getting moldy? I would love any info you can give :)
    I Love primming almost everything I can get my hands on. I can pick them up (they are everywhere here) and put them in pillowcases and boil them but then what do I do with them???
    Hope to hear from you when you have time. You can email me if you want through my blog or my selling blog
    Have a great Sunday :)

  25. We've had some wonderfully beautiful weather here as well. How lovely it would be to have a screen room to sit in, you are so fortunate girl!

    YUM, those dumplings look delicious... especially after you added the vanilla sauce, hehe.

    Oh goodness, I used to hate walnuts growing up. We had trees all over and all us kids had to pick up walnuts every year. We took them by the truckloads to be hulled. It was not fun at all when you HAD to pick them up. That's probably why I still refuse to use walnuts as stain, lol! But I do eat them now so I have made some progress. Funny how things stay with you, lol. I know you use the walnut stain just like you would a tea or coffee stain but that's as far as I can help you. I hope you get the answers you are looking for.

    I sure don't wish my kids to grow up before my eyes but as soon as they start leaving the house and I have more time and $$ on my hands... I am going to dive into all these Amish series you always talk about. I know they are the type of books that I would love to spend my time on.

    Oh yes, I get on Pinterest when I'm cooking dinner, cutting out coupons, working on crafts... I just set my laptop wherever I am so I can keep checking it out. Hehe!

  26. walnut stain does stain , I've never made my own but always bought the crystals, pinterest is addicting, all I can think of is I need to get all of my "eyecandy" onto cd's before I lose it LOL LOL

  27. I collected some walnuts myself but I wanted the hulls to dry and wrinkle and look lumpy & black/gray.
    It has worked pretty well so far. They seem to be drying and turning black. I want to use them in a wood bowl for display. Now I am going back out and collect some to make stain with! I am going to research this for sure!
    Love your "fall".
    Been to Pintrest but can't find time for it. My daughter spends a lot of time there.

  28. Wow, this looks so yummy! This is the perfect time to snuggle in and bake. This book series sounds terrific too!

  29. Karen,
    The dumplings look so good! I love to read as well. I am looking forward to doing more of this in the winter I hope!? Things tend to slow down a bit anyway so here is hoping.....

  30. Thank you so much for the heads up on the book series. My mother just loves to read anything with amish story lines or history or biographies. I know what she's getting for x-mas.

    Did someone say walnut tree's? The horrors of it! I couldn't grow a thing in the front yard of my last house with 3 of them planted just outside the front door. The the walnuuts would start dropping - ON THE ROOF - it sounded like we were under siege. And then, the squirrels came. For some reason they thought they needed to strip them on my deck. What a mess! I chopped those bugars all down, LOL. But now what I wouldn't give to have a big bucket of that stain. :o)


So glad you came to visit - feel free to leave a comment.
I will try and answer as many as I can - maybe not immediately but I will get to you!