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Showing posts from December, 2012

Last-Minute Details

  Today's to-do list: -cut out and count Box Tops that expire this month. -work on that one last gift, even though it will never get done in time. -don't eat all the chocolate cookies; after all, I told the boys they still need sprinkles! -watch some Poirot while working on the previous three items.  -iron blouse for church tonight.  It's red, of course!  Merry Christmas to all my friends and loved ones, near and far!

Vanilla Sugar

No, that's not dirty snow!   After pouring some little jars of vanilla extract, we had some vanilla beans ready for re-purposing.   I threw them in the food processor with a cup of sugar and blended it up.  The big chunks of vanilla were sifted out and processed with a second cup of sugar, and then repeated this with a third cup of sugar.  You can see in the picture how the sugar on the right has more brown bits than the middle, and the sugar on the left has the least.  We actually did a fourth pass with just a half a cup of sugar because I didn't know how much more would fit in the jar.  We mixed it all together and put it back in one of the quart jars that we used to make the vanilla extract.  Vanilla sugar!  Time to make some cookies...!

12 : 12 : 12

  More than halfway through the day, I realized it was 12-12-12, and that was on my list of things to shoot for the 112 in 2012 photo group .  I didn't have anything 12-12-12-worthy to shoot and it was almost dark.  Then I realized, it's just like any other day:  the magic is there, I just have to stop and look for it.

Christmastime is Here

Personally, I enjoyed the cool morning, with my newly finished, hand knit sweater, and a stack of packages waiting to be sifted through, presents waiting to be wrapped.  We usually make some of our preserves into smaller jars to give as gifts at Christmastime.  It is the perfect gift for a teacher or neighbor - consumable, not expensive enough to warrant any strong obligations, and yet very personal; not something we just ran out and got.  In addition to the preserves, this year I was inspired by this post to try my hand with vanilla extract.  In May, I purchased a pound of organic vanilla beans and split them with a friend (I think they came out to about fifty cents a piece), and bought some vodka.  Then some more, then some more.  I filled up five quart jars with Fleischmann's Royal Vodka, chopped the ends off of eight beans (per jar), split them lengthwise, and put them in the jars.  We gave the jars a little tip or shake every day for a month, and then continued to d

December Dawns

December dawns. We began this month with the anticipation of many great things, including the hunt for the perfect tree.  After a good night's sleep, my parents, my brother's family, and my own family headed out.  Despite the lack of snowy, or really any wintry weather, in northern Colorado, and being surrounded on all sides by beetle kill and evidence of the fire , we all found perfect trees.  I'll post a picture of ours soon. Many more good things to come.  One that I relish, real mail:  hand addressed envelopes with notes from people I know!