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Up with apples: A cake recipe crowned with autumn's affable fruit
Is there a friendlier fruit than the apple? I was pondering this question recently while sliding an apple cake into my oven. There are more exotic fruits, to be sure, and certainly fruits that are more showy — the pineapple comes to mind, with its mast of green leaves and rind that looks stitched and quilted — but the more I thought about it, the more I realized the humble, hard-working apple has a special place in my heart.
My favorite memories of apples, in fact, usually involve being given an apple by someone else — handed to me by my grandfather, fresh-picked from one of his backyard apple trees and still warm from the sun, or pulled from a backpack after a long hike and savored bite by bite on a rocky perch with a friend. More »
In the water, up the hills, through the woods: Taming of the Slough Sept. 13
Last year organizers of the annual Taming of the Slough, River Action's popular and unique adventure race along the Mississippi River, had a hurdle to contend with as they put the event together.
Whereas in years past the bicycle portion of the race had taken place on Sylvan Island, structural problems with the bridge to the island had effectively closed the island to public use. Although the island was (and is) still accessible by... More »
To treat or not? Weighing your options for the future of your ash tree
Concerned about your ash tree since the arrival of emerald ash borer (EAB)? Sure, there are insecticides you can use to guard against the bright metallic green beetle, native to Asia and Eastern Russia, that decimates ash trees. But before you take that step, horticulturist and certified arborist Patty Petersen suggests you pause. After all, once you start, you'll be treating that tree for its entire life.
Petersen, who has been a... More »
Hey, Mr. Fix It! Insights from a lifetime working in appliance repair
Gary Pond of Gary Pond Appliances & Coin Laundry, Rock Island, learned his trade in the appliance business the old fashioned way: from his father and grandfather and by experience. As a youngster, Gary would tag along with his dad and grandfather back in the days when women washed clothing with a wringer washer and one or two rinse tubs. "On weekends we'd visit my grandfather in Kewanee, and he'd pay me to assemble the rinse tubs," says Pond.
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Night hike: Discover a new adventure as you hit the trail after dark
On a recent camping trip to Backbone State Park, my husband and I decided to try out something we had never done before — night hiking. I am an amateur hiker whose adventures usually take place in the bright sunshine. I was excited to experience the wild outdoors when it really comes to life: after the sun goes down.
Upon arrival at our campsite in the afternoon, we set off on a trail by our tent, since it is helpful when planning a... More »
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