I just wanted to update my previous posts to say that my daughter's Raspberry Jam won a blue ribbon at the fair. But mostly, I'd like to brag a little and say that my Cinnamon Rolls won "Best of Show" with a great big orange ribbon and two oven mitts from Red Star Yeast! It was so much fun. Made up for having to sleep in a tent for three nights with my daughter while she babysat her horse. Oh, and I did get burnt to a crisp watch her riding all weekend. Now that it is December and freezing out, I'd give all my cinnamon rolls away to have a some of that summer heat!
After my cherry picking excursion, I decided I better pick a few raspberries at the U-pick farm. The county fair is coming up next month and my daughter signed up to enter raspberry jam.
One of the really nice benefits to living in the country is the trust factor. I was busy picking raspberries when the farm lady called over to me that she was going home and I could just weigh my berries and leave the money in the box. Not only did she trust me to leave payment, she also left plenty of money to make change with in the box. There are also a couple of other self-serve farms in the area where you can pick up frozen meat and milk. They just leave the meat and ice cream in the freezers and milk and cheese in the refrigerator for you to help yourself to. You drop the money in the box and write down what you bought. So simple, so trusting. Country living.
I picked enough berries for my daughter and I to make four pints of jam and I used four cups to make Mary Ostyn'sRaspberry-Buttermilk Cake. It turned out beautiful, but I have to admit to a terrible mistake. The recipe calls for the zest of two limes. I don't own a zester and never have much luck using a grater. I thought I could use a vegetable peeler and then chop it small with a knife. Don't try it! I think I peeled too thick and although the zesty taste was great, the chewy chunks were bad. Horrid. It didn't ruin the cake, per se, you just have to spit out the little pieces as you go. I won't serve it to guests this time around!
The jam turned out lovely anyway. She should get a blue ribbon for sure!
I, on the other hand, am entering Dilly Beans. Kind of boring, but someone gave me a generous bag of green beans last week that needed to be "put up" quick. I'm also going to enter cinnamon rolls. You only have to give them a plate of four, so we can eat the rest of them while we are camping out at the horse barn. Ugh! Another story for next month. Last year, my daughter made Angel Food Cake and we ate that while laying there looking up at the tent roof! It was well worth it.
It's haying season again! We've been up at the neighbor's farm helping bale hay and load up the barn the last couple of weeks. To be quite honest, the guys have been haying and my daughter and I help milk the sheep and babysit the new baby.
I was invited to pick all of the pie cherries I wanted before the birds got to them. I ended up with a small bucketful and I gave half to another neighbor friend. They were pretty small cherries, so you could just squeeze them and pop out the pits. After pitting about half of them, my daughter took pity on me and helped pit the rest. We made one beautiful pie and froze the rest for another pie later this year. I wanted to take a picture of the whole pie, but my husband left the camera at work and I only had one piece left to display for you. It was really, really tasty! I am a little scratched up from the underbrush and branches. At least I didn't fall off the ladder! I really dislike ladders.
Cherry pie is so easy to make. I used the Lattice Cherry Pie recipe in the red and white checkered BHG cookbook.
It's only taken me a year to finally get to this project. I bought a little horse print fabric last Christmas with the intention of making my daughter some curtains. I had way to many projects going, so it was put away for later. Well, much later, a whole Christmas later, I dug it out and made not only curtains, but also a matching quilt. So here are the after and the before pictures. You can see from the before pictures that my poor daughter's room was really suffering and it great need of a makeover.
Although her room is on the second floor, and although we live a good mile from our closest neighbor, my highly imaginative daughter thinks someone is looking in her window. She tacked up her old baby blanket with a pillow case taped onto the bottom. Enjoy the pictures!
When my kids were just little we decided to eliminate all food colorings and many food preservatives from our diet. We followed the guidelines of the Feingold Diet for about a year. Of course, it was impossible to be 100% compliant all the time, but we sure did try. Life was more peaceful and we cooked up a lot of new recipes. My daughters favorite treat at the time (age 6) was Puppy Chow for People. She still loves it at age 12. It definately has a lot of sugar in it, but it's a great snack. I didn't have any peanuts today, so you won't see them in the picture. Here's how to make it.
4 Tbsp butter 1 cup chocolate chips 3/4 cup peanut butter 8 cups Crispix cereal (or other chex cereal) 1 cup peanuts 2 cups powdered sugar
Melt the peanut butter, chocolate chips and butter together in small pan. Pour over the cereal and peanuts in large bowl and stir well. Pour the powdered sugar into a large paper bag and add the cereal. Fold the bag and shake well to coat evenly.
I usually just put the lid on the bowl and shake it up in there. You can store it in the messy bowl or pour it in a large ziplock bag. Enjoy!
If you eat something too often, it gets old and boring. About once a month I make Corndog Casserole for lunch. The kids love it and even I enjoy it. Sometimes I put mustard on mine, just like a corndog. You can make this with two boxes of Jiffy Cornbread mix, one cup of milk, 2 eggs, one tablespoon of brown sugar and a package of hot dogs, but I like to make it from scratch. I used canned evaporated milk in mine today. I'm still trying to use up the twenty-five cans given to me!
Here is the recipe adapted from the back of the Quaker corn meal box.
Mix together: 1 1/4 cup flour 3/4 cup corn meal 1/4 cup sugar 1 Tbsp brown sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup milk 1/4 cup veg. oil 2 eggs 1 pkg hot dogs, sliced into rounds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and pour mixture into pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until fork comes out clean.
Don't you just love stopping by and picking up fresh donuts from the donut shop. I would too, if there were one closer than 85 miles away. When we get a hankering for warm donuts, we have to make them ourselves. Yesterday was the day to do just that. We usually use cheap canned biscuits, but this time I used Mary Ostyn's recipe from her new book Family Feasts. You can use any basic yeast dough recipe, I'm sure. Just roll it out about a 1/2 inch thick and cut out with a glass. Then cut out the centers with a soda bottle lid or something of similar size. Next, at about medium, heat 2-3 cups of oil in a medium size pot. Drop one donut hole in the oil to check the temp. If it gets golden brown in about 1 minute, it's ready. Flip it over and give it about 30 seconds on the other side. Don't let the oil get too hot or the donuts will burn before the inside is done. Drain the donuts on a paper plates or whatever you have available. Finally, stir together about a cup of powdered sugar with a few tablespoons of milk and a couple drops of vanilla. Drizzle this glaze over the warm donuts and eat! Yummy. You can also frost them with chocolate frosting. Yesterday, we just added a little cocoa powder to the glaze. Not quite the same thing, but they were good nevertheless.