Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Little Christmas Baking

A couple of weeks ago, I started marinating 6 cups dried fruit in brandy.  Instead of using the candied fruit sold for fruitcake, I used dried papaya, cranberries, cherries, dates, and raisins.  I poured enough brandy in to cover the fruit.  I rotated the bag everyday to get all the fruit soaked.

Today, I mixed up the batter.  For the cake, I used 1 cup unsalted butter, 2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons vanilla in my kitchenaid blender.  After it was all incorporated, scraping down the sides, I added 4 eggs, one at a time.

Stir in the 3 3/4 cups flour and 1 cup orange juice, alternating.

Drain fruit and stir in 2 cups nuts.

I prepared my pans with cooking spray and then lined with parchment paper.  What a chore that was.  I didn't line my 2 loaf pans.  We'll see how it turns out.  Fill each pan about 3/4 full and bake at 325 for 60 minutes.
Check with toothpick to see if the centers come out clean.  Place on cooling rack then remove from pans.  Brush with brandy.  Wrap and let rest at least 24 hours or up to a month, brushing with brany weekly,  I made this fruitcake last year and brushed with brandy every other day.  I was delicious,

This is the best fruitcake I've ever had.
I got this recipe from CJ who's blog in not working.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving is:

Thanksgiving is: Pumpkin pie for breakfast the next day.

Doug's off today, so we are enjoying each other.  No shopping, just watching the chickens and birds.  We have a fire built and just messing around today around the house and yard.

I hope you have a stress-free Black Friday.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Design Wall 11-19-2012

I have a couple days off during Thanksgiving and plan of getting my grandson's quilt quilted.  It's on the longarm and I've picked my thread.  That's the trouble, my tension isn't right.  I keep breaking the top thread.    It was late enough in the day Sunday to just quit and start up fresh maybe tomorrow.

This is a Color Palette Challenge  I did with Judy in May.  She named her's Sweet Tart and I'm calling  my Skittles.  It's also a stashbuster.  I didn't purchase a single fat quarter, remant or yard.  

I hope to get it done my Monday next.  Then I can handsew the binding at night while watching tv.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

One Homemade Christmas Gift Made

We don't do much for the holidays.  There is just my son, significant other and myself here.  So I cook Thanksgiving because I love to cook and bake.  Plus the leftovers are awesome.  Same with Christmas, just the three of us.  I usually only gift to my son, one neighbor, a co-worker of my man's and my maillady.  This year I decided to make Kahula, mainly for me but though my maillady would like some.

I start with 4 cups coffee (recipe says Yuban, which I used but I shopped for price) in a kettle with 1 1/2  quarts plus 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes.  Let cool and strain.  I strain mine twice so I don't get a lot of fine coffee grounds.  I strained through a double layer of cheesecloth.  Once strained, add 3 quarts water with 7 cups sugar and bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Completely cool.  Then add 2 ounces pure vanilla, 250 ml vodka and a fifth     Everclear or Clear Spring. ( I used Clear Spring).

cool completely

add vodka, vanilla and Clear Spring

add all of it

then pour into bottles.  Save those bottles.  You can use at least one from this batch (Clear Spring)

I ended up with 6 fifths plus a little in another bottle.  Hopefully I'll get my bottles back.  It took a while to accummulate these.

Store the bottle in a dark, cool spot for about 3 weeks.  Just in time for gifting. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Design Wall 11-12-2012

When my grandson was here this summer, I showed him his quilt.  

Then he saw this one "Skittles"

"Grandma, can I have this one instead?"  "Of course."   He picked the G.I.Joe material for the back and because I don't have enough, I am incorporating colors from the back to make the backing different.  Once the backing is pieced, it's going on the longarm.

This post is being linked to Judy's Design Wall.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I Can't Get Enough

I guess I didn't get enough canning done this year.  I feel needy still.  I love canning, baking, cooking, and quilting.  I can't get enough of any of them.  Today, I was reading Judy's blog and decided to try canning dried beans.  We love hammocks and bean soup.  I always have to plan for this meal.  Not any longer.  With canned beans in my pantry, I won't have to plan, soak or rinse.  This may not seem like a big deal and maybe it's not, but it's going to be a big timesaver.  Why not?  I have time today.

  I used Judy's recipe but added a bayleaf, garlic, salt and pepper.  Here's my recipe.

16 cups (5 pounds) of dried beans will produce about 16 quarts.  I had a couple of quarts not seal so I'm going to re-process them in pints with what is leftover.  So I got 14 quarts and 8 pints.  They're all in the pantry now just waiting for the day.

I hope you enjoy this.  Tell me if you tried this.

This post is being linked to Homestead Revival Barn Hop

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fall Storm

Yesterday I looked up and saw the rain pouring down.  I could hardly see the field next door.  I rushed in and grabbed my camera to get some shots.

The chickens were no where in site.  Some of them just hate the rain.  Others, when it's not a downpour come out and forage.  They look like drown rats but they get the worms.

This field is directly behind our house.  See the puddles?  Doug digs the ditches so they drain but lately he can't keep up.

Then it stopped and the sun came out.  There were still black clouds in the direction of the storm but a brief respite.  See the girls?  They run out on any break and see what they can find.

That was our day.