Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow Day Confections

I have never done a lot of confection making, and normally draw the line with any recipe that requires a candy thermometer.  We haven't had a lot of luck using thermometers either for candy or oil in the past, so I just avoid the recipes that require them.  A friend of mine posted on facebook, that if we ended up with a snow day she was going to make marshmallows with the kids, and snow day we had with 12+" on the ground and more falling. Now that sounded like a fun project and a perfect break from snowball fights and snowman making.  She texted me the recipe and I was ready to tackle it.

mixing

It started out shaky because the recipe also included another nemesis of mine, gelatin.  I haven't had a lot of luck using that successfully in my jam making, but I have come to attribute that to not adding the ridiculous amounts of sugar necessary, so what the hay, lets try it.  I was able to find the instructions to test the molten sugar the old fashioned way, without the candy thermometer, and it was a breeze!  Once the water (1/2 C.), sugar (1/2 C.) and corn syrup (3/4 C.) reach the right temperature (250 degrees), then you just pour it into the water and gelatin mixture that has been sitting in the Kitchenaid just waiting to be embellished and mix it for a good 10-15 minutes on high, adding 1 tsp. of vanilla part way through.  It will become a snowy white and glossy.

marshmallows set

What's next? Just pour the gooey goodness into a greased square dish, either plain, or sprinkled with toasted coconut.  If you are using coconut, then sprinkle the remaining toasted coconut on top (1 C. Total) and let it set for at least twelve hours.

kitchen shear confections

This morning, I loosened the edges and dumped it out onto a cutting board. Then I lightly greased my kitchen shears and cut them into lovely marshmallow chunks.

  marshmallows

I have gotta say, that not only am I not intimidated by confections any longer, but I am not so sure I can ever go back to store bought marshmallows again....so good!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sighting!


We were running a few last minute pre-snow errands during lunch today and when we pulled up back at home the little buck-thorn tree was alive with birds.  There were at least thirty of them, and when I looked closer the majority of them were robins!  We may be expecting a heavy wet snow this afternoon and evening, but this first true sign of spring just sprung!


Normally when we see these little cedar waxwings they are chasing and dive bombing the robins, today they are all after the berries with wild abandon catching their fill before the storm.  Looks like March is headed our way like a lion!

**Update 1 hour later..the snow just started and it's blowing like crazy!  These little birds won't leave a solid meal!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oasis


As February meanders into March, my eyes ache a little for some green.  I so love each season for what it has to offer us.  Today, I have the best of both worlds.  I am watching a few light flurries settle onto a new blanket of snow, while enjoying Sidney's new cactus plant, its own little oasis.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Six Word Wednesday

I was listening to an interview today about creativity. The guest, who is a teacher, mentioned that when she begins with a new set of students, she has them write a six word memoir to introduce themselves to the class. Mine came to me rather quickly. As I researched it a little further, I found that an online storytelling magazine called Smith took a cue from a legend about Ernest Hemingway's creating a six word short story, and challenged others to come up with six word snippets of their lives. I thought it would be a fun challenge to do a weekly segment of six words. What came to my mind today when thinking about introducing myself?

Creative gardens focus on sustaining family.

What six words would you choose today?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Word Salad


 Last week Sidney and I began watching the Gilmore Girls from the beginning of the series. It has been so much fun, and we are completely hooked. An after school episode (or two) has now become a ritual for us. After one episode we were discussing a scene and she looked at me and said, well that was nothing but a word salad. I had not heard this term before, and she told me that it is something her teacher says if their writing is comprised of a bunch of random words that just don't make sense mixed up in a big bowl. Though, I think what I said was concise, the phrase put quite a picture in my head, and a smile on my face.

Word salad, I think that can also go to explain why my writing has been sparse of late. We are implementing some new and exciting things at work.   However, putting a plan for all of the different components in place, and then beginning to execute them is a little bit like trying to constantly solve a brain teaser. The process has left my thoughts for writing fragmented, and prompted me to spend a little more time in Stars Hollow.

My book club just began reading The 19th Wife. I am only eighty or so pages in and it is both fascinating and disturbing at the same time. I am enjoying how the story is written with both modern day and historical excerpts, and the alternation between the two chapter by chapter also fits into the fragmentation that seems to be a theme here.

Have you ever experience a word salad kind of week?



Friday, February 8, 2013

Finally!

snow webs Despite the afternoon/evening school pick up and work driving conditions being something akin to the x-games.  Regardless of the heavy, back wrenching shoveling, arduous snow blowing, and last minute gas can runs this morning.  The view, crisp air, and feeling of being cocooned in a snow wonderland is so worth it!! encapsulated orchard snow buried deck Finally 9 inches, some real snow to play in with the kids! My thoughts go out to those on the East coast who are going to be hit with this storm, even more kicked up today and tomorrow.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Timey Wimey


We finally have some real snow on the ground!  When I loaded these pictures, it left me wondering whether there wasn't a little timey wimey thing happening this cold snowy morning.... do you see the swirling portal in the tree by the barn too?

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big bowl of wibbly wobbly timey wimey... stuff"  The Doctor
 
Happy Weekend!

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