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.

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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.

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