So what happens after the detritus of boys is packed up and shipped off with them or sent to deep storage under the attic eaves? And you have a deadline for creating a guest room suitable for college pals? And you want to do it on a dime?
Apparently long-repressed girlyness and its accouterments come out of the closets and take over.
But never fear, with the removal of a few flowery accents we are still 100% boy friendly around here. Just give us fifteen minutes.
With just a little more advance notice we can have a full cookie jar on the counter and milk in the frig too.
So, thirty years ago a woman who was thrilled to see Mountain Ash trees in our yard gave us a recipe for rowan berry jelly. Long after we had moved from the rental house where those trees grew we came upon this lovely fruit and decided it was time to finally make that jelly.
We went looking for the recipe handwritten by our friend who had fond memories of rowan berry jelly from her native Norway.
We could picture the card in the recipe box, but where was it? Oh yes, we remembered, in a mini-fit of clearing-out we decided that we would NEVER make rowan berry jelly and threw it away. Isn't that how it always goes? And isn't that why we seldom can part with a thing?
Well thank goodness for the giant virtual recipe box that is the internet. Most of the recipes were from the UK where they enjoy this jelly with everything from wild game to scones and can only begin to compare it in taste to grapefruit as it is quite unique.
In the process of making 16 jars of this beautiful jelly we were never going to make we learned:
Rowan berries can make one ill unless they have been frozen first on the tree, or in the freezer.
An imperial pint is approximately equal to 1 1/4 US liquid pint.
Paint straining bags make great jelly straining bags. (We already knew this, but wanted you to know it too.)
It is possible to make jelly without purchased pectin if you follow the recipe faithfully and have a little faith in the power of natural pectin.
Jelly is so very good because it is simply fruity sugar!
The last blossoms from the last bouquet from the last farmers' market before the big frost.
Dedicated to our first neighborhood friend who is moving, retiring, having a big birthday, and who has always had a big, no, make that huge enough to nurture an entire community, heart.
The meaning of flowers tells us that dahlia brings the meaningful messages and blessings of enduring grace as well as symbolizing inner strength, creativity, and standing strong in sacred values.
This describes our dear friend perfectly.
All best wishes to her and congratulations to her new neighbors. Our loss is their gain.
We may just have to go on a road trip to make sure they are suitably appreciative. In any case that is the excuse we will use when we announce we are heading her way. Not that our bags are packed already or anything.
Love, love, love to you and yours until we meet again.
First, we will try some cooked plain. Perhaps a bit of butter and salt will be added, but we would like to see what "real" wild rice tastes like.
Second, soup will be made. Extensive research conducted in cooperation with the daughter-in-law found that wild rice soup recipes seldom, if ever, call for any seasoning other than a bit of S and P. The rice gives the soup its flavor.
And actually, a recipe is hardly needed. Cooked rice and a good chicken or vegetable stock are the basics. Add to that any combination of additional ingredients including, but not limited to onion, celery, carrot, potato, cream, and perhaps a bit of sherry if you are feeling fancy, and you have a wonderful pot of steamy wild rice goodness.
Some recipes call for canned soup as a base. And we are not above that occasional shortcut, but we can assure you that this wonderful hand-harvested delicacy will not be desecrated in that fashion.
The promise of really good soup is almost enough to make us wish for winter weather, but not quite. We are perfectly happy to enjoy it in the many mild autumn days we hope are still ahead before the big freeze.
Our family name translates as "cheese village" so it is no wonder that our fondness for kase is so strong and undeniable. Perhaps that urge is responsible for our gravitation to Wisconsin and why we have not strayed from it for 29 years.
And although we have not been able to suss out how the maternal and paternal grandparents got together perhaps it was the also draw of the cheese. Grandma's family was a family of bakers you see. Not the bakerei kind who make sturdy loaves and curly pretzels. The conditorei type who make the strudels and kuchens.
Here is the family recipe for kasekuchen written out by our cousin, a fourth generation baker who grew up and learned the craft in the same house in which our grandmother was born and raised.
On a visit to his home a few years ago he graciously gave us a lesson and tolerated us photographing each step of the process to turn out a heavenly heritage cheesecake.
The springform pan was greased (with real butter of course).
The previously prepared pastry was rolled out,
fit into the pan,
trimmed to fit.
Filling ingredients were assembled and weighed.
The Kitchenaid was employed for mixing.
The eggs, quark, pudding, vanilla sugar, milk and cream came together as a satiny smooth batter.
The final step. A generous sprinkle of zimt and then, into the oven it went.
In comfortable and colorful surroundings.
In good company.
Still not done, we strolled outdoors to wait some more,
while enjoying flaura we don't typically get to hang out with in our zone.
Back indoors the smells were becoming as alluring as the decor.
The glowing oven magically transformed high quality raw ingredients into a rich and lovely labor of cheesy love.
The only way to keep from immediately digging into the hot delicacy was to leave the house while it cooled.