Thursday, November 26, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekend Holiday Cookin'

Gentle friends, well, since it was "stir-up" Sunday , that's what I did, I stirred up my Christmas Cake.....  while I was creaming the butter and sugar - I prepared the spring-form pan...  double parchment layers on all sides, buttered and then two more layers tied around the outside....  this I think was that hardest part of the whole cake - tying that damn string - and it ain't pretty, but it held the parchment on!

... tied on a ready to go....... 

 ... the basic batter of butter, sugar, spice, eggs, flour, zest.....  all mixed together...

 ... alternately adding the nuts and "boozy" fruit by hand.....  the batter was getting really thick and hard to stir so I juiced the lemon and added the juice to the mix.......  I had read some recipes that called for juice others that didn't, but the addition of the juice made the stirring much easier...

 ....the batter was so very thick that it was basically a non-pouring batter .....  so.....  after "plopping" the batter into the pan and smoothing the top down it looked like this before going into the oven..... 

 ......  here is a snap after 3 1/2 hours and hot out of the oven ....  I tested it at 3 hour mark,  but it just wasn't there so I gave it another half hour and that did the trick.......

 ......  and here is the cake all cooled, I pulled the bottom paper off and wrapped the whole cake up in two layers of parchment and a double layer of foil and it now sits snuggle in a cake tin..... I had to let the cake sit out over night for it to get cold and I'll feed is a few teaspoons of rum tonight and then once a week until Christmas week.......  when I'll make my own marzipan to cover the cake - which has to dry a couple of days before decorating it with some home made fondant............

..... I also got a start on Thanksgiving.....  I made my cranberry sauce and got my Onion/Jalapeno cornbread made and it will be good and stale by Thursday!!

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!!  I've had a couple of emails and questions about my Christmas Cake Recipe, and yes, I will post it - but at the moment it is just notes and and I need to transcribe it into recipe form - which I hope to get to this week.

Take care,

Friday, November 20, 2015

Christmas Cakin'

Gentle Friends, I started on the "Christmas Cake" last night - I got my scale out - and the dried fruit and chopped up everything that needed chopping, hauled out the liquor and......

... a big wooden spoon then stir, stir, stir.......  now, I'll stir this once a day, every evening until Sunday ..... when I'll mix up the cake and bake that sucker.   

After reading numerous CC recipes there seemed to be no real consensus about how long to soak the fruit, from a month to a quick boil up the day you bake it.  I think three days will be sufficient.  There was also no consensus regarding the types and amounts of fruit to use, so I went shopping with this statement in my head...  "If I won't put it in my mouth I won't put it in my cake."  So my fruit medley consists of four type of raisins (Black, Flame and Golden) and Currents (another raisin BTW), candied Pineapple, Cranberries, Dates and some Prunes....  I was going to also include some apricots, but they didn't look appetizing at either store I went to so they were left out.  I also wavered between Bourbon and Rum, finally going with Rum.

That about wraps up the week, and now we're looking Thanksgiving square in the face.....  I've set my menu, and shopping list.  I'll start polishing silver and get a move on my cranberry sauce Sunday so it has time to "mature" before Thursday........  Have a super weekend and thanks for stopping by dos top again!!

Take care,.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A little Bakin'

Gentle Friends, I was in the mood to bake something really Fallish, and with my MIL and nieces visiting this weekend, I knew it was serendipitous that I make her wonderful "Apple Cake."  Just packed with apple flavour and Fall spices, it fit the bill and comes together so quickly!!

I've been making this cake a few times a year for about 5 years and it has been a hit every time.  I posted the recipe HERE back in 2010.  Since then I've tweaked it a bit.....

...  I usually mix up the apples to include some of everything available, each brings it's own deliciousness to the baked result.... and into this cake I tossed a double handful of roughly chopped cranberries, for colour and flavour, I really liked the additionally fruit!!!

I was asked a while back about how I send these baked treats on to work with Rico, so instead of the sexy shot of "Cake on Plate".... here's how I cut up and packed this cake....

sort of bite sized, I sprinkled the top with icing sugar.  In the snap you can see all the nuts, apples and cranberries.  With the additional fruit the cake was super moist.

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks again for stopping by do stop again. 

Take care,

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Little Stitchin'

Gentle Friends, I've stitched a bit more on AaHRH, here's where it stands at the moment...

... finished up the yard and started on the house... and like the fence posts moving, I moved a window to make everything a bit more even and balanced.......

We went out and gathered up all the fruits for the cake over the weekend.  I ended up having to go to two different stores to get what I wanted.......

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by!!

Take care,

Friday, November 13, 2015

An Exchange Arrives and a Little Thriftin'

Gentle Friends, I've been down with some kind of bug for the last couple of days and have not stitched or touched the computer....  now that I'm back at about 87% I thought I would wrap up the week with a post......

I saw on the HoE that my Autumnal Exchange had arrive at Rosa's...

....  it was a fun stitch and squirrels, nuts and leaves really say Fall for me ......

Last weekend I found a few things...

...  a pair of heavy old brass candlesticks, a great large older "Brown Betty", a sterling footed wheel cut bowl, a handful of sand dollars....  a travel book about Provence and a DVD of an excellent film....  "The Magdalene Sisters."

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by - have a super weekend and see you next week.  I will be out and about shopping for that Christmas cake this weekend!!

Take care,

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Getting Ready..........

Gentle Friends, I reserve Tuesdays for some sort of baking or cooking Post... and today I thought I'd post about my determination to create a Traditional Christmas Cake..... 

... as I cast my mind back into my murky past I do not remember ever really enjoying "manufactured" fruit cake (and Christmas cake is basically a fruit cake). I think the part of the cake is not the cake but a specific fruit..... that basically makes me gag....  it is the candied Citron, and you find it in a majority of American fruit cakes.  I did however adore my Granny's "fruit cake."  She made it once a year and it was a family tradition that passed when she did.  Here "fruit cake" was mostly cherries, pecans and whiskey with a little candied lemon and orange peel - without a hint of citron - so I figure if I left out that detestable citron - the cake I make would be safe.  I really enjoy a heavy cake, I also enjoy dried fruits, booze, nuts and spicy things so why not try my hand at this cake?

I didn't have a recipe for this cake and so I started looking for one on the web - and find that there seems to be dozens of variations to the recipe out there for these lovely cakes.   All different amounts of ingredients and all sorts of fruits....   I've pulled together some of the more interesting recipes and sort of made up my own  - and I've be tweaking it to include a wider variety of fruits and nuts - like cranberries, pineapple, pecans and walnuts.

So, with that in mind "Stir-up Sunday " is on the horizon ( 11/22),

......get those fruits soaking and spoons ready!!

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Little Stitchin'

Gentle Friends, a quick update on AaHRH...

... it's a bit hard to see, but I finished up the yellow and green check pasture the horses are in....  
now on to the yard, house and trees....

A quickie post today, thanks for stopping!!

Take care,

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Fun Fall Exchange

Gentle Friends, I took part in the HOE Autumn Exchange and received from my partner.....

 ... sweet Marie....  a really lovely Needle/Scissor Caddy.....

... the design is from a freebie at My Heartstring......  I will have to keep the piece I stitched and sent a secret a tad longer as it has not arrived to its new home yet.

That's wraps up the week sports fans, thanks stopping by do stop again!!  Have a super weekend!

Take care,

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thrifting Thursday

Gentle Friends.... it was slim pickins' last weekend but I was still able to find a couple of things......

...  I had seen the hand colored photo of Bridalveil Falls at the Goodwill a couple of weeks ago it was on the expensive side....  so when I noticed it had gone to 1/2 price I snapped that sucker up!!  In one of the consignment shops I found both the VMC "William & Mary" cipher trivet and the little  Russian lacquer box.  The book about V&A looked interesting and should be a fun read.

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks once again for stopping by - do stop again!!

Take care,

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

85 Years Ago Today

Gentle Friends...  today would have been my Grandparents 85th Wedding Anniversary..... I wanted to remember them with a little tribute and so last Sunday I had some flowers put in the Church for them....
.... as usual they floral designer did a wonderful job and they were really beautiful.....  here are some pictures you might enjoy.....

....  there are no wedding pictures, my grandparents eloped and without a camera in sight!!  These are the two earliest snaps I have of them with my dad as a baby, so it would have been the fall of 1931,  they were taken at my Great grandmothers farm in Decatur, Georgia...

... this is a snap my Dad kept in his wallet taken in the late 1950's...

..... this is a picture from Christmas 1965 in Oxford Mississippi...the kid with the book is me....

... one of my favorite pictures of my Granny and me also Christmas,1965...

....  1980, at their 50th Wedding Anniversary party....

.... 1982, when I graduated from High School.....

... from about 1988 for the Church Directory.....

That's about it for today sports fans, I hope enjoyed my little trip into the past.
Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Little Bakin'

Gentle friends, I was thinking about what to bake over the weekend last week and caught the tail end of "The Pioneer Woman" on the Food Network.  The host of the show is Ree Drummond - she was putting together a great sounding cake.... Grandma Iny's Prune Cake.  I do love prunes and it sounded so very old fashioned ... and... as it came together during the show I thought what a super Fall cake and so easy!!!  You can find the recipe HERE......  the link is to here Blog, 
The Pioneer Woman.

... the boiled icing poured over the warm cake just soaked in and made a nice sweet coating.  Let me tell you this was a total hit and so very delicious.  The only thing I did waswork over the spices, more nutmeg a little less cinnamon, a 1/2 teas ground clove a heaping 1/2 teas of ground ginger and 3/4 teas of my Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend I posted about last year.  The cake was super moist, both warmed up and cooled it was delicious, I'll be making this winner again!!!  
Thank you very much Grandma Iny and thank you Ree!!!

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks again for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Little Stitchin'..... and the "Bud's" has Arrived.......

Gentle Friends, I got a bit more done on the AaHRH......

...I've gotten all the green squares done and now it's on to the light gold silk to fill in the rest of the yard....

I couldn't believe that Bud's was already in the stores Saturday so of course I had to buy some.... 
a really delicious Egg Nog here in the Bay area.... 

... and I was still celebrating Hallowe'en since I used my Hallowe'en mug!!

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,