Heritage turkey, hand-harvested and wood-parched wild rice, and winter squash were greatly enjoyed last evening.
All that business being through, today is the day to avoid car crashes near mall entrances, and instead stay home and work on the holiday plum pudding (a/k/a "famous flaming booze cake"). I am now soaking dried organic raisins and cherries in sherry in the fridge, and making some candied peel (since we didn't have the called-for citron).
Candied peel is easy to do, and you might enjoy having some around to snack on (or to give) this month, so give it a try!
I had homemade ginger syrup left over from this fantastic cocktail recipe, (danger, Will Robinson!) so I'm using that on the lemon and orange peels. I think it will add great flavor.
I also found that old recipe we used for liqueur for gifts. It's from a very old issue of Victoria magazine. This might be nice to make now and have on hand for Valentine's Day.
I would suggest you consider using organic fruit for anything calling for peel...
I made some caramels the other day, and they were delicious. Definitely a new favorite recipe. It's from the latest issue of MaryJane's Farm Magazine; it's a nice publication about organic living, "making do," crafting, cooking, and farmgirl attitude in the oughts. You may be able to find it at your local bookstore (Borders carries it here) or you can subscribe (or give a gift subscription!) online. If you'd like this holiday issue, you'd better give them a call before they're out of it.
All this cooking, and no time for fiberarts? I was determined to spend some time in my little hideaway today, as Miss Emma Dobermint encouraged me to do.
Some lovely new yarns arrived today, and I've swatching to do.
The pic below is Dream In Colors "Starry" from The Loopy Ewe. They sent a gift of a Loopy stitchmarker with my small order - how nice!
I saw an ad for this Sunday Knits scarf on Ravelry, and learned that it was made from "leftovers" from a mitten pattern Carol Sunday has in the current (Winter '08) Interweave Knits magazine. She offers the mitten yarns kitted up, with the scarf pattern included for a small extra charge. I love the colors and both designs, and have read good reviews of her yarns, so I made a little splurge. The kit arrived very quickly, beautifully wrapped, and was inside a free tote bag - cool!
I am this far on the February Lady Sweater:
Just trying to work the bodice long enough before I begin the lace pattern of the body. It's going well; the KnitPicks Swish worsted is splitty, though.
I was going to start my Drops shawl today, at Dixie's prompting, but just as I went to photograph it for you, I discovered that one of the five ungrateful wretches of our feline freeloaders had absconded with the silver Garnstudio Glitter which I'd wanted to strand along through this project. Blast!
Chef Jeff and I have hunted high and low for it, to no avail. It's probably been dropped through one of the air returns, or is buried in lint behind a piece of furniture. Oh well, good excuse to go in to town to Yellow Dog Knitting and pick up another spool... not that I need an excuse to visit and see what new goodies have recently arrived!
Miss Emma has grown tired of waiting for me to stop looking for that spool and just sit down to knit or spin.
Chef Jeff took Nellie (tractor) and Smelly (manure spreader) over to the neighbor's to help them clean out their sheep shed this afternoon.
I have to say, after just two years of farming (if you can call our inept attempts at keeping pet livestock "farming"), it is kind of nice to be called upon to assist with birthing a goat or a tractor task. We don't feel like such neophytes now. Of course, we're not so naive as to tell other farmers that our tractor actually has a name...
One very nice thing about this community is that when there is someone in need of assistance, there are always folks available to help out. Our neighbors helped us with the first goat birth here at Tuppinz Farm (when we couldn't even tell a buckling from a doeling yet!), and we'll forever be in their debt for helping us to keep alive those little kids born in the middle of a very cold January (Tulip's Samson and Delilah).
The neighbors are very different from us, and we don't see each other that often, but it's really nice to look across the fields on a dark night and see their safety light on; we know they're just a phone call away if there's any trouble. I hope they know they can count on us as well.
I'm Listening To...
...my favorite favorite winter music - consider downloading "The Holly and the Ivy" - especially if you have visions of Dickens and plum pudding floating around in your head at this time of year. It is my personal favorite rendition of a holiday carol!
Please remember to enter my CD drawing from yesterday's post - I'll pick a winner Sunday night! You can comment on either post.