Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year

I took down the tree and Christmas decorations today because I had the time to do it.  I'll miss the pretty tree lights in the evening though, and the pine smell.  Moved the furniture around a little different.  Have to have room for the toys and extra furniture for a while yet.  I have my spinning wheel back in the living room so I can spin the wool for Elaine better now.  I hope I get it done by the next time we meet. 

Friday, December 28, 2007

third major snow storm in progress

The name of the snowstorm begins with C but I forgot what it was, some girls name I guess.

Broke my glasses and had to go get new frames, luckily they had ones that fit the lenses.

Kids are very tired, came from Mom's without any naps or lunch...fell asleep on the floor watching Ben10.

I'm rather sick today, but it may be just the barometric pressure drop with this snowstorm...hope so.

Had some good stew for supper...Owen...Grandma daddy made me eat that stew!  So I gave him some gingerbread cookies and milk.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A few Christmas pictures

We had fun this Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Just dropping in a minute to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  A little hectic around here, cleaning, baking, wrapping...a few more things to get done this year with the kids here.  It's fun though...except for the five and a half inches of blowing snow we got yesterday.  Lots of birds at the feeder have to go fill them again and get some of the snow off the paths.

I'm looking forward to a nice warm cup of tea when I get back in the house...oh, and can you believe I lost two pounds this week even with all the junk food around.  I have a couple good books to read and some nice music to listen too also.

Merry Christmas


Friday, December 21, 2007

Winter Solstice

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
December 25, 1927 Presidential Message, Calvin Coolidge (1872 - 1933)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Vintage Windows

I just had my little camera along at the museum...30 second videos...but it gives you a little glimpse of the windows from long ago that were in Prange's Department Store windows at Christmas and are now located at the museum along with Santa and helper and Bruce the Spruce.



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Poem

Sunny, still and cold

Found, on the gravel road I walked this morning.
one beer can, part full of frozen tobacco juice
that when I shook it came apart like chunks of amber,
and a quarter-sized piece from a fluted china plate,
with a soft pink rose the size of a pencil eraser
and a curl of flying ,pale blue ribbon. In a nearby tree,
five noisy crows who had seen me snooping there
were busy creating a plausible story.

Ted Kooser
Winter Morning Walks

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

There's Something About Fruitcake...

Earleen's Masterpiece Fruitcake

2 cups sugar;  1 cup butter;  2 1/2 cups applesauce;  2 beaten eggs; 2 cups raisons;  2 cups chopped walnuts;  4 cups flour; 1 tsp. salt; 1 tsp soda;  1 tsp baking powder;  1 tsp cloves; 1 tsp nutmeg;  2 tsp. cinnamon;  2 pounds candied dried fruit;  1 1/2 cups chopped dates.

Cream sugar and butter.  Add beaten eggs and applesauce.  Mix flour, salt, spices, soda, and baking powder, then gradually add to other ingredients.  Mix well.  Blend in candied fruit, dates, raisins, and nuts.  Mixture will be stiff.  Bake in 325 degree oven in two loaf pans for one hour.

Cool and remove fruitcake from pans.  Cut a piece of cheesecloth to fit and soak in 1/2 cuprum or brandy.  Pour any remaining alcohol over the fruitcake.  Wrap fruitcake in cheesecloth and then cellophane, followed by aluminum foil.  Store in refrigerator for up to three months.


Sophie McKay's Chocolate Fruitcake

Make 3 weeks in advance.  Store in refrigerator.

Place into large bowl:

2 cups maraschino cherries, sliced in half;  2 cups chopped dates;  2 cups pineapple tidbits, well drained;  1 cup coconut;  2 cups walnuts;  2 cups pecan halves; 2  12 ounce packages semisweet chocolate chips.

Beat the following ingredients on low for thirty seconds, then on high for three minutes:

3 cups flour;  1 1/2 cups sugar;  1 TB baking powder;  1/2 tsp salt;  3/4 cup shortening;  3/4 cup butter;  2/3 cup creme de cacao;  1/2 cup cocoa powder;  9 eggs

Pour batter over fruit and nut mixture.  Pour into two well-greased loaf pans.  Bake at 275 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  After two hours, check with a toothpick every fifteen minutes.  When cool, set each loaf on a large piece of plastic wrap and pour a jigger of creme de cacao over them.  Wrap tightly and place inside a ziploc bag and keep refrigerated for 3-4 weeks.

Peggy Lucas's No-Bake Fruitcake with Marshmallows

1 cup raisins (dark or golden);  2 cups dates;  2 cups mixed candied fruit;  4 cups chopped nuts (you can reduce this to three cups if desired);  3/4 cup evaporated milk;  2 cups marshmallows;  2 cups very finely crushed graham crackers.

Mix raisins, dates, dandied fruit and chopped nuts in a large bowl.  In a saucepan (or in a bowl in the microwave) bring evaporated milk to a boil, add marshmallows and stir until thoroughly combined and marshmallows are melted.  Grind the graham crackers in the food processor (one package at a time) until they are very finely ground (like flour).  You can also use packaged graham cracker crumbs.  Stir the graham crackers into the fruit and nut mixture.  Add the marshmallow mixture.  With wet hands, mix all ingredients.  Rinse hands, wet them again and press the mixture into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan lined with wax paper.  Press it down well and refrigerate for 2 days until set.

Note:  If you use 1/2 cup candied fruit, 1/2 cup flaked coconut and 1 cup candied pineapple instead of 2 cups candied fruit, the cake has a topical taste.  If mixture seems to dry, add a little orange juice or strawberry jam.  Don't worry if it seems too wet, because as it sets the graham cracker crumbs will absorb the liquid.

These are the three recipes that are in There's Something About Christmas by Debbie McComber

Monday, December 3, 2007

Kids are here

Hali doing some Packer cheers...or not.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Snow Day

We got about six inches of snow overnight.  It was the slushy kind and kept plugging up the snow blower but it was good for playing in.  Luckily I didn't have to drive in it as the snow plows were slow getting around.