Posts Tagged ‘House and Farm’

We Like it Smokey

January 15th, 2012 by zoe No Comments

It has been a weekend filled with winter snow, hearty meals, cross-country skiing, music and…

black smoke catastrophes!

The first two smoke outs where kitchen blunders. A lovely set of fire singed charcoal meatballs slated for a potluck provided the whole house with a lovely aroma akin to burn hair. Only the chickens where excited about the whole thing.

Next up to bat was a lemon blueberry bread. “I think we should bake more”, where my exact words as I slid the loaf with the last of our summer blueberries into the oven.

Perhaps an oven timer is in order????

Next up, a good old fashion bedroom smoke out.

Last night it was epic cold, like 70 below zero or something. We decided sometime around midnight to make a fire in the wood stove upstairs. Unfortunately, we completely forgot that we had not lit a fire up there since putting stove polish on it last spring. Stove polish which filled the bedroom with thick black smoke that smelled nothing at all like fresh cut roses.

Black Smoke seems to be the theme song over here this weekend!!

 

Making Merry With Chocolate

December 18th, 2011 by zoe 6 Comments

Today we made my Grandmother’s Walnut Roca – nothing says celebration like melting chocolate!

I love you Grandma Zena, and I forever LOVE your Walnut Roca!

For those who asked here is the recipe!

Zena’s Walnut Roca

Ingredients

1 Pound butter

2 Cups White Granulated Sugar

Candy thermometer

4 Large 7 oz Hersey Bars or 28 oz of Fancy Dancy Chocolate of your choice

Walnuts — at least a pound.

Large Cookie Sheet

 

Take 1/2 cup of walnuts and chop them very fine, set aside.

Put butter and sugar in a sauce pan over a medium heat and sir like mad

(do not stop stirring this will take at least 10 minutes!).

Stir till it turns a caramel color and reads 300 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Note: as it gets close watch very carefully that it does not burn!

Add finely chopped nuts to toffee and mix thoroughly, spread the mixture onto a large cookie sheet in a very thin layer. Let fully cool.

While toffee sets up chop the remaining nuts finely.

Now rig up a double boiler and melt about 14 oz or half of your chocolate.

Spread one side of toffee sheet completely with chocolate, sprinkle heavily with half of your chopped nuts. With your hands lightly press nuts into chocolate.

Allow to cool completely. We set our outside in the winter air to speed this along.

When your chocolate is completely firm flip the toffee sheet over and repeat process on other side -

melt 14 oz of chocolate, spread melted chocolate onto toffee, add nuts and fully cool.

Now the hard part. This takes some strength! Snap off pieces of Walnut Roca – my mother scores hers before layer with chocolate to make this part easier. I just snap away!

Store in an airtight container.

Warning

This is the best candy you have EVER had and it is highly addictive!

I recommend gifting it quickly or you will eat it ALL.

Tree Time

December 12th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

I love having a fresh cut tree strung with bright lights in the house. It’s dark at 4pm these days so just about anything with cheery twinkling lights and lush greenery is top notch!

We all bundle up and  head down the road to a local tree farm. The tree farm we frequent has an interesting style, they don’t cut the whole tree down but instead top them so a new tree grows from the same trunk. It’s a maze of evergreens and quirky stumps on a steep hillside and I love to hike to the top and take in the view. In search of winter cheer we embrace all the green and light we can this time of year as we head into the cold of winter.


Making Woodsy Wreaths

December 6th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

On Sunday we went for a family walk. We gathered a big bag of Princess Pine from the forest floor. The children ran here and there excited to find a new patch, plucking it up and adding it to their bags.

Yesterday I used the metal hoops salvaged from a broken old lampshade and some thin wire to make a hand wrapped holiday wreath.

We bathed some pinecones in glitter too but they are still drying!

I think it came out swell and I love that we were able to gather it from our back yard!

Sewing for Sanity

December 4th, 2011 by zoe 5 Comments

I like to keep my boy’s room pretty organized – for the sake of my sanity. Everything has a home and it can all be put back together in a super human tornado speed clean.

After dreaming about it for months I managed to make a pattern & sew up some toy storage containers. My idea was that they would fit perfectly into our cubbies.

This one was a bit big so — here is round two.

With felt cars stitched on the front because that’s where the cars go!

Thanks to Marsha for the quilted lilac polka dot fabric — circa 1982?

The Great Turkey Chase

November 24th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

 

This morning we woke to a fairy land, ice bounced rays of sunshine wildly across the hills. I took a deep breath of cold morning air – thankful. Always.

And then we began cooking…. In truth, I am a bit of a Thanksgiving curmudgeon. Do we ALL really have to cook the same exact meal??

Yesterday as I ran from store to store trying to procure all the traditional ingredients of the holiday I found myself laughing at the grocery cart gridlock. I watched folks chucking frozen turkeys into their carts that would take a week to defrost! Here we cooked and cooked until the wee prep cooks took up arms.

Thanksgiving economics

7 Hours of cooking,

20 minutes of eating,

2 hours clean up!!

Next year how about we just have PIE?