Monday, December 21, 2009

Here we go a wassailing, among the leaves so green...

1 gallon apple cider or apple juice
1/2 gallon pineapple juice
Juice of four oranges
2-4 cinnamon sticks to taste
Honey to sweeten the brew if you have a very sweet tooth
2 more oranges, prepared according to the directions below
More cinnamon sticks to use as straws (kids love this)

Mix the first five ingredients in a large saucepan and warm slowly over low heat until good and hot (but not boiling). Cut the top, bottom, and most of the rind off the remaining oranges, ending up with a roughly hexagonal shape. (In my case, a catastrophe.) Squeeze the oranges very gently over the pot to extract some of the juice, then slice them. Just before serving, float the slices in the wassail as decoration. My sloppy slices didn't qualify as decorative in any sense of the word, but the wassail tasted lovely. If you don't mind a little bitterness from the rind, you might try using thin slices with the rind on. It's much tidier and (if you're a klutz like me) prettier that way.

Wassail the trees, that they may bear
You many a plum and many a pear;
For more or less fruit they will bring,
As you do give them wassailing.
                                 --- Robert Herrick


Mrs. Beeton's very nice plum cake:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Teensy weensy Christmas ornaments

Friday, December 11, 2009

New dog, cherry slice, and the only cats who would let us take their picture.
Here is our new dog:

Isn't he sweet? Jane, the cat, is pissed off and being very unsociable right now. Fortunately, New Dog (no name so far) is a laid back sort of pooch, so I don't think there will be a long term problem. Since Jane isn't available for a photo, here are two more cooperative cats instead:

And now for the recipe, from my grandmother by way of my mother:

Cherry Slice

½ cup soft butter and 1 cup flour.
Mix together. Spread over the bottom of an 8”x8” pan and bake at 400 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes.

2 beaten eggs
1½ cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ pound glace cherries, halved

Mix topping, spread over crust, and bake at 325 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Let cool overnight if possible before cutting into squares. It's not easy to cut, so next time I'm going to put it in the fridge to get really cold before cutting it.