Recently I made marmalade for the first time ever and it was easy, but took quite a bit longer than berry jam. I used the recipe for the citrus marmalade from an awesome cookbook -- Food in Jars.
Of course, it would have been even easier if the power didn't go out just as I was about to start the canning part of the marmalade making. Canning by candlelight was a bit stressful, but made me feel all old-timey. And the marmalade came out fine in the end with all the jars sealing properly.
I have to say that it is delicious on chocolate chip scones and I thought it was quite tasty on the jam thumbprint cookies I made this week.
Maddie is 12 this year, and so is our artificial tree. As you can imagine, it's looking a little scraggly. I didn't really want to get another artificial tree -- they get kind of musty after a few years in the attic or basement and I don't really like the perfect look of them.
We bought our tree at Bengston's Tree Farm -- a local-ish small farm which I am happy to support. And from what I understand, a real tree is better for the enviroment (if only marginally).
It was a lot of fun to walk around and look at all the trees, and cutting the tree down was a breeze as the saw they provided was well sharpened. At the farm we visited, you cut the tree and they come around with a truck to pick it up and bring it back to your car for you after they shake it (to get out loose needles and any debris) and bail it.
The nearly 9 ft. tall tree actually fit in my Honda FIT (love my car!!), so we didn't have to worry about securing it to the roof.
I suppose we could have kept it in a bucket of water in the vestibule, which is unheated, until the next day, but we forged ahead.
Oops! A little too tall, but I figured that top bit would have to come off. This is a Caanan Fir, which is tall, somewhat narrow and more open -- perfect for hanging ornaments.
After some lights, ornaments and old fashioned tinsel...
I have a list -- a list of festive holiday things -- and this week, since Pete is off work, we are planning on checking off a few of the items. One item we checked off was homemade Irish Cream!
Pete and I both enjoy having a glass of Bailey's at the holidays, so I thought it might be fun to make some from scratch. I found out that it was super easy and ridiculously delicious. So much yummier than the premade stuff!
There are a bunch of recipes out there, but they are mostly all about the same. Here's a recipe I cobbled together to create my own version:
Holiday Irish Cream Recipe
1 cup Jameson's Irish Whiskey
1 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Tbsp. good quality Chocolate Syrup
2 tsp. Espresso Powder (I get mine from King Arthur Flour)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Blend everything except the whipping cream in a blender for about a minute. Add the whipping cream and blend until combined (only a few seconds).
Pour into a pretty bottle or jar and refrigerate. Shake before using. Should keep for about 3-4 weeks.