Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
And,here it is, still in my original binder from my home ec class in 9th grade. Click on the photo to read the recipe!
It's easier than pie and more fun than kneading dough - well kinda.
The dough should be a consistency you can handle without it sticking to your hands. And a little hint - start with less milk and add as needed and always have a little extra 10x (powdered) sugar available in case it becomes sticky.
After you've made the dough, break off chunks to a size of your liking an roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. After you have your ball, start to roll like a snake, then just before it becomes a log shape, flatten into an egg shape.
After you've rolled out all your eggs, let the dough rest in the frig for at least a couple of hours or even better yet, overnight. The idea is you want the dough cold.
For dipping, I typically use 1/2 unsweetened and 1/2 semi or bittersweet chocolate. To give you an idea, the batch above was a double batch (2lbs of 10x) so I wound up melting 8 squares of unsweetened and 8 squares of semi-sweet for the coating.
I now melt everything in the microwave - it only takes a couple of minutes. Beats the old double boiler method! I microwave in 30 second increments to keep a better handle on the melt. The square don't have to be totally melted - they will continue to melt - just keep stirring to keep the consistency blended and smooth.
Now comes the most boring - and I mean boring- part. Dipping the eggs. I use two forks.
Drop an egg in the chocolate, roll it over with one fork onto the other then lift out of the chocolate. Let the excess drip back into the bowl and as it's dripping, use your free fork to scrape the excess of the bottom off the fork holding the egg. When most has finished dripping, set on a tray covered with wax paper. Continue dipping until all your eggs are coated. Pop the tray in the fridge until set. You can then wrap each egg individually into little squares of plastic wrap. These do best if kept refrigerated, but, they do okay at room temperature.
If you are avoiding sugar, chocolate, or tooth decay you may want to stay clear of these. They are pure non-nutritional heaven.
* I do not use margarine in this recipe. I use butter for the entire amount*
Saturday, March 27, 2010
This is a 4' x 28' bed that is sectioned into three 8' lengths and one 4'. I see lots of Roma's in this bed for sauces and salsa.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
In the meantime, the cycle of life goes on and shares its' beauty.
What has this girl all stretched out????
Maybe she got a glance at this!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
The concertina. Developed in England and Germany, most likely independent of each other. In Irish tradition, the anglo concertina is played and is a hybrid of the english and german concertina's. It was found in Irish homes beginning somewhere around the 1830's and is typically the instrument that was played on the cuaird.
The uilleann (pronounced ill-yun) pipes or elbow pipes. Though not truly represented in the tradition until the early 20th century, next to the harp, it is the instrument one relates to when naming traditional Irish music. Hauntingly beautiful is the sound of the pipes unless in the wrong hands. Then it just sound like someone squeezing a goose too hard.
After the folk revival in the late 50's and 60's, other instruments made their way into the playing of traditional music. The Irish bouzouki, tenor banjo, guitar, mandolin, and cittern all fall into this category. Pictured above is the bouzouki.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I will give you some more trad players tomorrow and a little about dancing at the crossroads. Until then, have a very safe day in wearing of the green.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday's after mass, in the West of Ireland , are the times when the country folk would go on the cuaird. The cuaird comes from the Irish gaelic word cuiart which in short means "to visit". Similar to "visitin" down through the Appalachian areas.
No invitations are sent - it something that has been done since the small villages and towns came about. The kitchen door was left open and an empty chair sits next to the door. Neighbors from surrounding farms would start to drift in to the home, savouring the smell of brown bread, scones, and cakes. A pot of tea would be waiting for all those who came. The families would gather in the kitchen, the heart of the home. Soon, the reason for the cuaird would become apparent. News. News of the village - who was getting married, who was having a baby, how the turf and hay was getting on for the year. Women exchanged recipes while the men talked farm business. The cuaird was the lifeline to these small farmers.
As the night wore on, the conversations turned more casual and stories would begin to unfold. Stories would lead to songs, songs to prodding the lady of the house to play some tunes on the concertina. The music would begin and toes would start tapping. Tapping toes led to dancing the sets. Yes, they danced right there in the kitchen. As the dancer's spun 'round the room, they lilted the tune out loud. There was much laughter and joy, pots of sweet tea consumed, and over there in the corner, the gents would break out a jug of poitin (homemade whiskey). The dancing, songs, and stories would go late into the night.
The cuaird is a tradition that I'm not sure if it's even still carried on in today's present Ireland. But, out of the cuaird came house sessions and dances which still go on today.
Below I've linked you to a Youtube video that talks about house dances. I hope you enjoy it.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
My seed organization tray. I told you I wasn't very methodical! But, I look at it this way, I know where everything is!
This year I bought seeds from Johnny's, Seeds of Change, and Baker Creek. I also picked up some Ferry Morse organic at the local homestore, too. I have to be honest, I haven't looked into whether or not the Ferry Morse organic seed has any doings with Monsanto. I feel a bit guilty about not doing so before I bought them.
I've told myself I need to be a better seed consumer. I'm slowly educating myself and scaring myself a bit along the way too. This just gives me an incentive to save my own seeds and to research more heirloom seeds and seed exchanges that are available.
When I started my lettuce table experiment I wasn't sure what I was going to put all the pots in if I used pots or whether I wanted to make soil blocks myself and put them in old trays.
As you can see, I went with peat pots with a good starting mix and then found an old plastic shallow bin in the garage to put them all in. It fit perfectly on the old mail table and under the lights. Sometimes things do fall into place - even if they aren't quite planned thoroughly. Okay, I just got lucky...
Lettuce and sage transplants. They always look a little rough right after you do it, but, they were quite perky this morning.
Friday, March 12, 2010
*view of the peat fields from Diamond Hill, Connemara National Park*
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Others just go about their daily chores as if nothing strange is going on in the henhouse.
Others try to look dignified - like it could never happen to them. And sometimes, they are successful and don't melt.
Speaking of things melting, we're making progress here. I don't think I'll be hosting any parties here on the decks anytime soon, but, at least I can see the furniture!