Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas projects and cooking underway

Ahhh, I love getting ready for the holidays. I have an eternal list of projects I'm working on that may indeed never get finished. At this point, I'm working on 6 embroidered t-shirts. I just love them. Can't get enough! I also hope to sew two bathrobes for the boys and finish up some pjs I started for Carl when he was a baby, didn't finish for Gus, but now Louise can wear them, with a little bit of girl-ification. Nothing that a a little bit of pink embroidery floss can't fix.

The other thing I hope to do is get my granola made. This year for the neighbors and friends, I want to make a jumbo-batch of granola and package it in cute little handmade bags from a vintage sheet I have in my stash. The granola recipe was found in Bon Apetitit magazine, a request from some coffee shop in Colorado, I think. The boys go crazy for it, requesting it over sweets for snacks. Bring on the granola, I say!

I've been documenting cooking projects we've been doing with the kids. I blog in my head most days, mentally typing what I should be typing at the computer. Here's the rustic cranberry apple tart from a dinner party a few weeks ago. The crust had 3 (yes, three!) sticks of butter in it. Mmmmm.

The pizza was a "what's for dinner that is fun" kind of invention. I decided I might get the boys to be more adventurous with pizza toppings if they could help prepare it themselves. They loved the process. The more cheese, the merrier.

(how do I turn this???)

Here are the highlights from our applesauce-fest this fall. We drove to the farm to harvest the apples before they froze. Too bad we didn't wait longer... the mosquitoes were TERRIBLE! Check out the bites on Louise's and Gus' faces. They were outside the van for 6 minutes or less, fully covered except for their poor faces.

Later Carl and I dared get back out of the van to brave the elements (read, mosquitoes) and pick the easy to reach apples. Don't you just love the apple bushel baskets? A former co-worker found them at a garage sale and couldn't resist them when she heard about our farm purchase.Thanks, Melanie! To many more apple harvests.

The apple sauce adventure was fun, but more work than I bargained for. We had a few issues with the canning process... one jar that cracked while boiling, spilling the precious gold out into the boiling water creating a cloudy mess. The worst, however, was when I was trying to get the air bubbles out of the one jar of pink applesauce (the sweeter of the two kinds of apples we were using, and I left the skin on for the pink color). I jabbed too hard with the knife and the jar was hot with the hot sauce. Clink... and all of a sudden the luscious pinkness was slowly leaking out onto the counter. I couldn't rescue it either, as there were shards of glass in the oozing mess. What a waste. Lessons learned for next year. Note to self: only can when not distracted. Three little kids in a kitchen while using a canner is not a good idea.