Wednesday, November 25, 2009

a sneak preview~ i have so much to be thankful for!

last week i had the forethought to buy my turkey, instead of waiting to the last minute. (as I'm prone to do) i bought the biggest turkey i could find, which turned out to be just a little bit bigger than my pot. but with some determined stuffing and cramming i managed to make it fit in there!

i decided to roast the gigantic bird today, to alleviate the rush and stress in the kitchen tomorrow. A and B were excited to peek in the oven to see how it was doing.

and here we have it~ roasted to perfection! yum, yum! our thanksgiving table will be groaning with bounty tomorrow~ turkey, stuffing (old family recipe), peas and corn, cranberry jello (another family tradition), buns, apple pie and pumpkin pie (G's request, rather than pumpkin whoopie pies) and mashed potatoes.

i have so much to be thankful for~ not just tommorw, but every day of the year. on the top of that list is my loving husband and houseful of children.

life is good.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

spreading the love...

last week i finally managed to get the 5 bushels of apples on our front porch canned for the winter. usually we put up as many as 10 bushels, often trying to get that done in one crazy long day of canning.

but that was back in the days of having 4 helpers. this year it was just G and i, and i procrastinated for longer than usual, feeling rather trepiditious about tackling that many apples with just one helper.

i must be getting wimpy in my old age!


i just wanted to share with you the recipes that we use to preserve our apples for winter- applesauce (of course), apple butter and new to this year's line up: apple pie filling.

Gramma Jean's Applesauce

(makes 13 quarts)
Add to your finished applesauce:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup honey
1 t. salt
4 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
½ t. cloves
if very bland can add 1 T lemon juice

mix together, and hot water bath quarts 20 minutes

Apple Butter

5 quarts prepared PLAIN applesauce
10 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. cloves

combine and mix well in crock pot. cook on low until thickened to desired consistency. stir regularly. ( i cooked mine for a long time; the butter reduced to 7 pints!) hot water bath pints 10 minutes.

Dave and the girls like this on their morning toast. it's the new favorite.

Apple Pie Filling

8 quarts sliced apples (do not use a soft apple!)
3 ½ cups cold water
14 T cornstarch
5 ½ cups sugar (not so much if apples are sweet)
4 t. cinnamon
7 t. lemon juice
1½ t. nutmeg

mix all but apples, and bring to a boil; gently add apples and fold together. pack into jars and hot water bath 20 minutes for quarts.

this recipe is fairly easy (it just takes forever to slice all those apples yourself!) and it makes the task of making apple pie super easy! i bought some pie crusts on sale (for shame!) and making a fresh apple pie for dessert is not a hassle at all.

crumb topping
½ cup flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
1 stick butter

combine and sprinkle over the pie before baking

finally, with the completion of apple preservation i can finally say that I'm done canning and preserving for this year! after i make sure that my kitchen notebook is accurate, I'll be removing the putting stuff up list from my side bar.

it's been a long and busy season, and we're thankful for the abundance of fruits and vegetables that God has provided! we'll be eating well all winter long~ and we have lots of extra to share with friends!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

look both ways before crossing the street!

if you're one of my regular readers, you may have noticed that the traffic is a bit busier than normal today. that's because I'm "hosting" a stocking giveaway over at weareTHATfamily. Kristen has written a flattering post about my quilts and stockings, encouraging all her readers to come on over and have a look.

if you haven't stopped in at the Quilt Gallery lately, please do! i finally finished moving around the furniture and unpacking all the boxes, and the quilts are all hanging up for display. there are a few new quilts, as well as some more coming soon.

and of course, be sure to stop in at Kristen's blog for your own chance to win the set of Christmas stockings.

it's sure to be a busy and exciting day; i'm so glad you stopped by. if you're new here, consider coming back again~ it's been nice to have all of you!

Friday, November 06, 2009

if at first you don't suceed... try, try again!

another month has sped right by, and it's the first Friday of the month. as in First Friday celebrations and general frivolity downtown in our little town. that means that it's time for the town bake off again, and this months' theme was pumpkin.

so after obsessively licking my wounds and nursing my pride from last month's disappointing results, i gathered up my courage (and my pumpkins) and decided to try again.

and no offense to Pioneer Woman, but this month i decided to go with my new favorite foody blogger, Bridget. she makes the most awesome cookies~ absolutely incredible! most of her cookies look too wonderful to eat. but don't worry, they are the best ever roll out sugar cookies I've ever made. (even if they don't look anything like hers! but that's another post for another time...)

moving right along...

after much agonizing, pondering and far more indecision than I'm normally given to, i decided to make Bridget's pumpkin whoopie pies, which she adapted from a Martha Stewart cookbook.

and can i just say? that was probably the best decision i made all week.

meaning~ i won the town's pumpkin bake off contest.

would it be bragging if i said it again?

I won the town pumpkin bake off contest!

*insert blogger's little happy dance here*

so the moral of the story is: Martha really knows what she's doing when it comes to stuff like flour, sugar, eggs and butter. just run the other way if she starts talking about the stock market!


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