Good morning, I hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July! With the temperatures in the upper 90's, we stayed inside in the cool until late in the day and then went out for a moonlight boat ride. It's my favorite time to be out on the lake, sometimes we don't see a soul and it's very relaxing to just putt-putt-putt up the coves.
We head off before sunset, leaving Prairie Creek Cove and heading up the lake. Looking back West toward the house, the sun melts slowly into the water.
We leave a light on at the boat dock but after many rides we know our way around even in the dark.
Prairie Creek Marina looks like a little City, all aglow. The store and gas pumps are closed but you can still stop and have dinner at the floating cafe.
As much as we love lake living, there's a price we pay for being in the boondocks! Last Sunday night we were sitting in the living room watching TV, when out of the corner of my eye I see an itty bitty black spider run across the floor. We rarely see a bug indoors, but there are plenty outside in our woods. I was reading that the extreme heat and drought has caused ants, spiders and roaches to try to join us inside for some relief from the sweltering days. It only takes the smallest crack or crevice for them to gain entry, once inside they find a nice dark closet to take up housekeeping. If you find a little cobweb somewhere when you're cleaning... then you have a spider in the house!
If you're a gardener, you probably have seen these big spiders many times. I overcame my fear from seeing them so often in Grandma's garden. She would walk around the big web, leaving the spider to do her work... which was to devour the many bugs that were a nuisance. She was a welcome addition to the garden rather than a threat.
Most of us come across a spider or two every time we move something in the shed or garage. They choose someplace where they can be hidden to spin their web, catch tasty flies and other buggies that make the mistake of getting too close. Unfortunately, in Arkansas some of the commonly found spiders are not just a scary sight but also dangerous. The Brown Recluse and Black Widow spiders are non aggressive, but if threatened they will bite. The venom from either spider will cause a painful skin infection, wasting away of tissue and in extreme cases even death. Many bites come from clothing or a towel that's harboring the spider. Be sure and shake out clothing that's been stored or a beach towel that may have been hung on the deck railing to dry. I know I've accidentally carried in a spider that way and just happen to see it as I'm folding the towel. It goes unsaid that having clothes piled anywhere is not a good idea. Outside, make sure you cut back shrubs and bushes near the exterior of your house and have a scheduled time plan to spray for bugs. The Farmer's Co-op recommend BayerTempo, Bifen and Viper products. They also carry spider traps that work very well.
Every summer, it begins to get away from me... the days zip by and I just can't seem to fit it all in! If you still haven't planted anything, it's not too late. As long as you keep newly planted trees, shrubs and plants watered, now is a good time to get something growing! If you never plant that peach tree, you'll never know how good this cake would be with your own fresh peaches...
¼ cup butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ - 2 cups sliced, pitted and peeled peaches or frozen unsweetened peach slices, thawed and large slices cut in half lengthwise
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup milk
Place 1/4 cup butter in an 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Warm in a 350 degrees F oven about 5 minutes or until butter is melted. (Be sure to watch carefully to avoid overbrowning the butter). Remove pan from oven. Add brown sugar, stirring until sugar is completely moistened. Spread sugar mixture evenly in pan. Arrange peach slices evenly over brown sugar mixture. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar until well combined. Add egg and vanilla, beating until combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to beaten butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Spread batter evenly over the peaches in the pan.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of pan; invert onto a large serving plate. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes more. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings