Tag Archives: fruit

It never happened. 

26 Nov

Picking a recipe from Grandma, I mean. I didn’t have pie crust, I didn’t want to thaw any fruit, and I just didn’t want to spend forever in the kitchen. 

So, I opted for a fruit salad with homemade vanilla whipped cream and a honey simple syrup. The plan is to let the kids (and older “kids”) use waffle cones for cornucopia sand fill them with fruit, whipped cream, and/or vanilla pudding. 

I also wanted to make sangria. No particular reason, I just wanted to. It’s a SUPER simple recipe and I used an info graphic from Wine Enthusiast to guide me. Yeah, sure, sangria is basically a wine Hunch Punch, but I am a fairly snobby person when it comes to the red concoction. I tried to find the link to the graphic, but could only find it on Pinterest. 

 
  

I’m not above buying premade Sangria either! Why try to make something that’s already been perfected?! Needless to say, those were my ingredients: $5 Argentinian red wine, $4 sparkling peach wine, $5 Brandy, and $3.98 peach schnapps. I also added pears, apples, oranges and lemon juice, along with a 1/4 cup of OJ. Let’s just say that it smelled much better this morning after it being in the fridge all night.  
Anyway, we are now en route with the least amount of food I’ve ever had to take to someone’s house for a holiday…ever! Whoop! 
Amber’s notes: Be thankful all year, not just during this season. Give generously, love unconditionally, and never be afraid to dance in the rain. 

Thank you, thankyouverymuch

26 Sep

I tried to type that in my best Elvis accent.

 

I finally got off my keister and made the canned goods I planned to make!  My two recipes yielded 4 jars of Pickled Squash and 5 of Pear Honey.  If you remember, the pear honey made it into the county fair back in 2012 and sold for $70.  Not Texas State Fair worthy, mind you, but a start for someone who had only been canning/preserving for less than a month!

Anyway, it’s been one of the most popular amongst my friends and was a natural choice when deciding what I wanted to give away as thank you gifts.  The second choice seemed the least time-intensive of most of the pickle recipes and I had yet to conquer the pickle realm.

 

And so, I give you…my goods!

photo(5)Yeah, I know, not the best photo…but it will have to do.  The squash was surprisingly easy to make and I did it first since it took the longest.  You can find the pear honey post here.  I’ll share the pickles recipe because I think canning/preserving is a lost art (though there are many who still do it) and it it easy to do.  You need no special canning equipment other than pots and pans!

 

Pickled Squash

  • 8 Cups sliced squash (think pickle chips)
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 bell peppers (green or red give the best colors)
  • 2 tsp mustard seed

Sprinkle squash with salt and let stand one hour.  Except for the squash, mix everything else and bring to a boil.  Drain water off squash; add to boiling liquid.  Bring to boil again and cook an additional minute.  Then put in jars and seal.  Yield: 5 pints.

Grandma’s Notes: 10/1/99- 52 degrees at 8:45; walked to Lance’s driveway and back.  The four-o’clocks are so pretty since the rain.  10/3/99- Zach came; visited and talked about some of his future plans.  Crocheted, read, and picked up pecans.  I BRING MY LIFE TO YOU LORD BECAUSE I KNOW WHATEVER IS WRONG IN IT, YOU CAN FIX IT, AND I WILL BE WHOLE AGAIN.

 

I just realized that the above journal entries are almost right back where I needed them for the time of year.  I guess I planned that just right.

When life hands you lemons…

27 Jul

…you make lemonade, or margaritas, or take shots of tequila.  However, when you don’t have lemons but your son wants to help you bake something, you improvise.  In order for me to get back into the swing of making things, I needed something simple- something that didn’t require me getting back into my car and going to the store in the 10000000% humidity that is a Florida summer.

Enter Lemon Bread.  This recipe could easily be made into lemon-poppy-seed, lemon-nut (which is what this one called for but I had no nuts), or even a Lemon-Berry…think: Sonic Lemon-berry slush in bread form…oooh!  But I digress.  This recipe was relatively quick to prepare, but did take a solid 80 minutes to bake through.

Lemon Bread

  • 3/4 cup margarine
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2.25 cups sifted flour (I didn’t sift and I only had 2 cups, the last 1/4 I used whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 tsp soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Grated rind of one lemon 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts I didn’t have any, and hubs doesn’t like citrus or nuts.  So I figured it was one or the other for him to even try it
  • For the Glaze: Juice of two lemons 2 TBSP lemon juice in 3/4 cup sugar (dissolved)

Preheat oven to 325* and grease and flour a corningware glass ceramic loaf dish 9x5x3 (2-qt size). I only have a metal loaf pan, it worked fine.  Cream margarine and sugar; beat in eggs.  Sift dry ingredients together and add to batter, alternating with milk.  Mix well.  Stir in lemon extract (and nuts here).  Pout into prepared dish and bake at 325* for 1 hr 20 min, or until cake tester (aka toothpick in our house) inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 15 minutes in dish.  Remove from dish and cool completely on wire rack.  Pierce in many places and spoon glaze over it.

The little corner cut out was for the boy.  Now, this glaze that was supposed to be all glazy and everything, was not a glaze at all.  It ended up being more like sugar mixed in lemon juice.  I’m not really sure how you would be able to dissolve 3/4 cup of sugar in the juice of 2 lemons.  From what I remember regarding juicing fruits, you never get as much juice as you want.  So, I figured using 2 TBSP of lemon juice from the fridge would help…it didn’t.  Now don’t get me wrong, though, the taste is amazing!  Just not so glazy.  And, when I went to cut a slice this morning, the sugar had formed a sort of crystallized force-field on top of the bread (kind of like a royal icing on a cookie).  It’s crunchy, but not hard, and the lemon flavor is spot-on.

 

Grandma’s Notes: 7/25/93- Meeting Frank in Van.  April is coming to visit.  Enjoyed visiting with Frank’s family.  Sunday, April sang “Do Lord” and a little worship chorus at church.  In the evening service Ashley and April sang “In the Garden.”  I THANK YOU LORD, YOU ARE THE ONE AND ONLY GOD; HELP ME IN MY COMMITMENT TO YOU.

 

 

I want candy

7 Apr

I have always been impressed with those who are able to make candied anything: nuts, fruit, hard, soft, etc., etc.  I have been successful in making melted chocolate candies and even made a few batches of marshmallows one Christmas.  So, when I saw this recipe, I jumped on it, hoping that I would find another candy I could easily make with few ingredients and no need to heat sugar to a particular temperature.

One thing I did not really think about was the average relative humidity in Florida…a MILLION %.  Okay, not really, but it is anywhere from 10-20% higher in the Orlando area compared to Dallas.  BUT, the oddest thing is my grandmother’s home in East Texas is very close to Shreveport, LA.  In doing a bit of research, I did find that the relative humidity of that area is very similar to ours.  So, in theory, the only thing that would make much of a difference in recipes would be out altitude.  To make a long story longer, this recipe did not really turn out all that great in the end.

If you live in a northern or western state where it’s commonly dry, then this should be a good recipe for you!

Before I begin, this is a very time consuming process.  It requires boiling, boiling, cooking down, and then letting everything cool and dry.

Candied Citrus Peel

  • 2 medium oranges
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 1 medium grapefruit
  • Boiling water (2 @ 8 cups each)- boil peel in this
  • another 1.5 cups water (use in recipe)
  • 1.75 cups sugar (plus another 1-2 cups for later)
  • 1/2 cup lite corn syrup
  • 1 pkg (3oz) lemon flavor gelatin

With a sharp knife, score and peel fruits into quarters; pull away from pulp (save fruit for another day’s salad). *side note: oranges are very pithy…peel as much of it away as you can*  With the sharp knife, cut peel into long, thin strips.  Heat peels and 8 cups of water in a large kettle over high heat to boiling; boil for 15 minutes; drain peels in colander and rinse.  With 8 more cups of hot water, boil peels 15 minutes (again); drain.  In same kettle over high heat, add 1.5 cups water, sugar, and corn syrup; heat until boiling and sugar dissolves, stir frequently.  Gently stir in peels.  Reduce heat to med-low and cook until most of syrup has been absorbed, about 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; gently stir in gelatin until dissolved; cool 10 minutes.  Mixture will be thick and sticky.  Onto wax paper, place 1 cup of sugar; lightly roll a few pieces in sugar.  Continue and add more sugar if necessary.  Place the sugar coated peels in a single layer on wire racks overnight or about 12 hours.  Store in tightly covered container up to two weeks.

Mine looked like this after they dried.  My son really liked the lemon peels, I think because I hadn’t really trimmed enough of the pith from the oranges.  I also forgot to use a grapefruit.  These would have made it to work with my husband except that I left the container on top of the stove and there is a vent from the oven that made all of the peels get all melty and drippy (if those are actually terms).  So, I ended up having to toss them.

I think I would also add limes to the mix in the future.

Grandma’s Notes: 4/3/99- Made strawberry pie for April (1st one I ever made); also made a chocolate pie.  We had a birthday party for April.  She got so many nice gifts.  Today, a lot of wind and rain.  THANK YOU LORD FOR LOVING ME WITH ALL MY IMPERFECTIONS.  HELP ME TO IMPROVE.  PRAISE YOUR NAME, NO STORM HERE.

New Year, New Recipes, New Life…

1 Jan

Happy New Year!

While we did not spend last night partying (as a few of our neighbors), we did ring in the new year with sparklers and dancing.  Well, most of the dancing was the boy, but you get the picture.  He definitely enjoyed the fireworks.

Of course we stayed up way too late, but I blame Pintrest for that. *wink*  But anyway…on to the recipe of the day.

Fruit Salad

Now before you go and close the webpage and disregard the post all together, let me preface this by letting you know that this is NO ordinary fruit salad.  Before making it and trying it for myself, I thought, “Well, this is nice and easy, and a little different.”  We’ll talk about the different part in a moment.  The recipe really is easy as are most my grandmother’s recipes.  Some of them might be long, but they are relatively simple.  The list of ingredients in this one topped a whopping five!  There were also some optional additions, but I tried to stay as true to the original as possible.

Now, on to the extraordinary part.  When I gave a bite to the boy he spit out the mandarin orange (not extraordinary).  I then gave a bite to the hubs and he made a face (again, not extraordinary).  I asked him if anything was missing and he didn’t think so.  So, I then took a small bite…it was good, but not extraordinary.  I was perplexed.  I thought, “Could this be a ‘bad’ recipe from Grandma?”  Surely not.  As any good cook, I had to take another bite to make sure.

This time I made myself a small bowl and was certain there was a little bit of all the ingredients: mandarin oranges, bananas, cherries, pineapple, and the “unusual” ingredient (I’m getting to that).  Lo and behold, the concoction was good…no, it was amazing!  Every bite tasted different.  Pineapples with banana, then cherries and oranges, all mixed with the “glue” from the fifth ingredient..PIE FILLING.  You read that right, pie filling.  The recipe, from the woman who always made her own jams and jellies, canned and pickled anything that could be canned and pickled, and grew her own vegetables, called for store-bought pie filling.  Not just any pie filling either.  It was apricot.  So, here is where I deviated a bit.  The hubs doesn’t like apricot and I couldn’t find it at the grocer’s anyway, so I used peach.

So, as I enjoyed the few bites I had serve myself, I kept thinking about what I could add to it.  Grandma made mention that she also added strawberries and oranges sometimes.  I didn’t have any of those, but I didn’t think it needed any other fruit.  Rather, it needed a creamy component.  RediWhip? My favorite. Cool Whip?  A crowd-pleaser but I HATE that it’s made from TransFats.  Yes, hydrogenated oils (partially or fully) are trans fats.  Even though a true-to-manufacturer serving size has “zero trans fats,” who actually only consumes one serving of any whipped topping?!  But I digress..I still needed to figure out what to add for the cream.  Then hubs said, “Marshmallows.”  Why didn’t I think of that?

The salad is now chilling in the fridge, waiting to be taken with us to a party today.  A small bag of mini marshmallows sits high atop the bag as well.

 

Grandma’s notes for January 1st-

1/1/2000- AS I BEGIN THIS NEW CENTURY, GIVE ME STRENGTH TO BE FAITHFUL IN MY SERVICE FOR YOU LORD,  WHOM I LOVE WHOLEHEARTEDLY. Lance and Barbara Horton invited me to eat T-bone steak, cabbage, black-eyed peas, baked beans, salad, pie, etc., along with George, Judy, Anthony, Barry and Haley.

1/1/1991- Got black-eyed peas and cabbage ready; watched Rose Parade and a ball-game.  Lance and Marcus came by for a visit.  Cloudy and cold most all day.  PRAISE YOUR NAME- YOU DO NOT EXPECT PERFECTION