Funny Farm

A fearsome foray into my fiber follies. I talk about weaving, knitting, spinning and dyeing. Some chatter about the sheep, goats, pigs and chickens.

My Photo
Location: North-east PA, United States

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Balls and Soup

Make these now for Christmas:

Rum Balls

2 C vanilla wafer crumbs rolled fine
1 C finely chopped coconut or pecan meats
1 C confectioners sugar
2 T cocoa
2 T white corn syrup
1/3 C rum, brandy, cointreau or whiskey (bourbon or rye)

Mix well and shape a teaspoon's worth into firm balls. Roll in confectioners sugar, instant coffee or dry cocoa. Store in an airtight container. The longer these age the better they are.
Makes about 50

My daughter recalls a typical teenage memory. When she was about 15, she and her friend Karen snuck a can of these brandy balls into her bedroom, ate them all and thought they were drunk!

Last fall I was able to buy a case of artichokes for $4/case, so I bought 4. I made marinated hearts (buy them, it's easier), we steamed, put bows on 'em and gave them to anyone who passed by...then I froze the rest. Since Daughter Person is a vegetarian cooking for her in a house full of carnivores is always an adventure. I'd mentioned I was going to make artichoke bisque. I defrosted 4 frozen, previously parboiled, artichokes. Buy canned artichoke hearts to make this, Blog-sters. I gave the pigs the artichokes...too labor intensive when you have a million other things (fun things) to make for Thanksgiving. So, I made her the mushroom soup I promised to post.

Mr Princess grows shitake mushrooms so I have a fair amount dehydrated and frozen. You can use either fresh, canned or dried. If dried, take a handful for one recipe, soak in 1 C of cold water and refrigerate for 20 minutes to rehydrate. Save the liquor for the soup.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

melt in a 2 qt. pan 3T butter and add 1 T finely chopped onion, 1/2 pound coarsely chopped
mushrooms and cook slowly 15 minutes.

stir in 1 T flour and slowly add 1/2 C white wine, 2 C of chicken or vegetable broth or 1 C of either broth plus the 1 cup of reserved mushroom liquor. Bring to the boiling point and cook slowly 20 minutes. Add 1/2-1C cream, half and half or milk and heat to just under boiling point. Add salt and pepper.

This is enough for Bob and myself as a meal, with perhaps 1 cup left for a snack. If used as a first course, it's probably enough for 4.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My Evil Spawns

Brandon and Sugar Bear. I didn't name the dog.

My sons, which includes Mr Couch Potato, awaiting the turkey to make His Debut.

Lovely background for the new shawl, no? Actually, it was the only place I could find where the photographed colors are true. My daughter.

There is always comic relief.....presenting

Brian with my dogs

Brian and Goobie.

Brandon and Sugar Bear on the couch...protected with sheets due to muddy, swimming Pond Dogs.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Shawl

It's done! Fringe is beaded and twisted, shawl is washed and pressed and I am done, done, done!

I'm taking a break right now. I just mixed up three double batches of cookies and I'm mixing up the brine for the turkey. The turkey met his Maker today. He is the first aggressive turkey we've ever raised and I say "good riddance" to his sorry *ss.
Ten chickens also crossed the Rainbow Bridge with another 7 or so to go. The Funny Farm has been bustin' with activity.

Tomorrow I'll make the Spanokopita and maybe the pies. Wednesday I'll clean the first floor. I've already cleaned the 2nd and the 3rd floors. Now the kids and their kidlets can come to a clean home. It's amazing the Health Dept has not been pounding on my door.

Maybe I can get my daughter to model the shawl, or maybe my sons. Unlimited models will be arriving Wednesday night.

I made a killer Cream of Mushroom Soup the other night and if I have a chance, will post that tomorrow or next week. I have the Artichoke Bisque recipe out on the counter with the requisite artichokes defrosted. Now to make it......................

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Thanksgiving recipe

This is wonderful! Use either as a "dipping sauce" for your meat or, as we do, as a salad dressing.

Cranberry Horseradish Dressing
2 C cranberries
1 small onion
grind together in food processor

add: 1/2 C sugar
3/4 C sour cream
2 T horseradish whiz in the processor

Put into a freezer container and freeze. Move container to the refrigerator
Thanksgiving Day

Monday, November 13, 2006

Newest project

I painted the warp this past summer. I believe there is a picture of it in one of the summer months archive. I'm quite pleased with it. It's 6/2 cotton set at 18 epi.

I'm sleep deprived. For the past three nights, two Creatures from the Wild have decided to visit the farm and get the dogs going. Whatever they are they have a god awful speaking voice. They sound like a squeaky cat fight. No, not bobcats. They scream. Perhaps goofy raccoons? Any ideas? I can only see their yellow eyes that are set widely apart. It's dark out folks. That's all that is visible. Any and all ideas are welcome.

Corned Beef and Cabbage/Potatoes tomorrow night. Put the CB in the CP (crockpot) and pour enough water to cover it. If the corned beef has a package of seasoning, add it. Let it cook all day. Boil potatoes about 45 minutes before serving. I put some of the broth from the crock pot into the potato water. When the potatoes are almost done I add the cabbage and cook until slightly tender. I like crunchy cabbage. Serve with crusty dark bread that you baked freshly that day. Or bought at the store.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Unrelated thoughts

I didn't cook anything of note this week. I made ham and bean soup for Sunday. Oh, and some biscuits. Not brain surgery.

I warped both looms this weekend. I finished one rug for a friend. She bought chenille many years ago specifically for weaving a rug. She asked if I'd weave it for her. I loved weaving with the chenille and hope I can find the same weight. I used the McMorran Balance and it calculates this chenille to be around 275 a pound. R&M Yarns comes the closest to that weight, but no cigar. Once the warp is woven off there will be more rug pictures.

I used Leigh's technique for warping the 4 shaft loom. See her sidebar under the heading of warp tension. I love the results. I had only two jugs, but on a narrow 18" warp it worked out fine. I warp F2B and the front beam was the support for the warp and the dangling jugs so I didn't have any issues with tipping piano benches! Now to gather up some more 1/2 gallon jugs for the wider warps. I need to weave this warp off quickly and throw on at least two more warps for potential Christmas gifts. Crunch time begins now.

adopt your own virtual pet!