Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas traditions

Over the years, I have tried to 'create' Christmas traditions. When I was growing up, I don't recall anything special about Christmas. Except dad getting liqueured. Some how I don't see that as a tradition. 

Part of the things that I do at Christmas I wouldn't consider a tradition.Until the other day that is. Cassierae was unpacking Christmas decorations, and decorating the tree and the house while she was here. She came across a set of Mr and Mrs Santa Claus green candlesticks. I had never burned them. My mom gave them to me probably 22 years ago. I do believe they were an Avon purchase. Those candlesticks have a hint of cinnamon, bayberry and something else. I haven't put them out for a few years now. Cass said those remind her of Christmas. All my kids said it isn't Christmas without Bony M singing Little Drummer Boy. They all have their own Christmas memories tied to a goodie, a song, a decoration, and even an event that we have done at Christmas.

This year, because I am feeling a little Scrooge about Christmas, I wasn't even going to make eggnog. Young Frank, a couple of days ago, kind of gave me heck. Apparently he really enjoys homemade eggnog, and doesn't care for the crap from the store. His words. I even cleaned it up a little. He also gently reminded me that I haven't made my eggnog since we moved here. This will be our fifth Christmas at Deadwood. So here is the recipe along will photos. Maddie took the pics and she was having issues with the camera when it came to the part of adding the milk. So no pics on that. No worries. We all know how to pour milk.


You will need:

~ 6 eggs separated
~ 1/3 cup honey
~ 5 cups cold milk
~ 2 tablespoons of rum extract
~ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ 1 cup whipped cream
~ nutmeg for garnish

~ beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

~ add the egg yolks and the honey.
~ continue beating.
~ slowly add the milk, run and vanilla extracts, and beat until blended. ( I mixed these all into the same measuring cup)
~ chill. (if you plan on drinking this right away, like we did, there is no need to chill)

~ just before serving, fold in the whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.


note: since I haven't made this in a few years, and because I suffer from iforgotagainitis I couldn't remember if I am suppose to beat the cream. So I didn't. I am not that mean of a cook. And it still tasted good. Maybe next batch I will beat the cream. Just because.

This is a ps.....when young Frank got home from work this evening he commented on the eggnog. He said,  ' Mom, it tastes good, but why is it runny?'  Now, I know. Whip the damn cream!

Since I kind of gave away my punch bowl set to the kid, I poured my eggnog into a juice jug. Hey it works. Nothing fancy around here.

Now for those of you who like your eggnog with a little bit of a kick, Spiced Captain Morgan goes good with this. As always, drink responsibly this  holiday season.

I like this recipe for the amount of eggs, milk and cream I can use up out of the fridge!
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bring on the snow

measuring on top of the deck railing
One, of the two reasons why I like winter is the snow. The other is the hoar-frost. I don't do any of the winter sports, nor do we own a ski doo. Much to the dismay of a certain son. One day.

The snow makes for a shitty drive to town for groceries, or feeding livestock. But it is much needed for that important spring run-off.

We use the dugout by the house for the cattle waterers, and the hydrant by the garden.  Frank also made a few smaller dugouts out in the pastures for the cattle. We also have another dugout in another area of the land.The only way that any of these dugouts can fill up is either by spring runoff or by the rain. And since we didn't have much of the latter over the past couple of summers, we really need the snow.

The first winter here we had close to ten feet of snow. I am hoping we get that again this year. I know, I must be a sick person.

Since November, we have had two feet of snow.
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water usage

While I was having my shower this morning, in a very cold bathroom ( we heat by wood), I was thinking how much I despise  winter. Not so much the snow, but the temperatures. We having been sitting at -25 all week, and it doesn't look like we will be warming up for another week.

Where we are currently residing, in northern Alberta, most people have either cisterns or a dugout for their water source. We have a dugout, but we have made its main purpose to serve the two cattle waterers, and the hydrant by the garden. We do not use the dugout water for the house.(another story for another time) Since we moved here almost five springs ago, we all have learned how important water is. Our old farm we were a tad spoiled. Our water well was about 350 feet deep,endless water supply. The most softest water ever. Boy do I miss it!!

turtle tank

July of 2006, hubby Frank, put a 250 gallon turtle tank under the house. We also have an identical one on the back of the ole green bomb. In the summer it is no problem to drive down the road a10 mile round trip,to the water station to get water. But in winter time, when the temperatures are so cold, the water freezes, the nozzle freezes, and the hubby's temperature goes up. So we get water only when we run out. We usually get water once a week. But if we have visitors or company for a few days, we go through more water.

Back to the water conservation. There are several 'little' things as individuals we can do every day to help conserve and/or cut back on their water usage.

When my twelve year old washing machine finally died, I ended up purchasing a top load, HE. A lot of water gets wasted in washing laundry. I always try to have a full load for the wash.We do not have a dishwasher. Nor do we flush the toilet after every use. I raised the kids from the time that they first started to brush their teeth, turn the water off. Since we get our drinking water from a different source, we don't run the water until it is cold for drinking.  Now with this said, I am having a hard time to convince one particular teen age daughter, to put the plug in the rinse sink when she does dishes. Lets just call it a work in progress.

I know there is more that I could do on a daily basis to save that precious resource. It takes awhile before the hot water tap in the kitchen gets hot, I could be saving that water in a juice jug to use for later in cooking. In the bathroom I could have a five gallon pail in the tub, while we are waiting for the shower water to get warmer, and than use that water to flush the toilet. I know it all seems mundane, but every little bit helps.

Have a look around your place, whether you live in a city or on the land, and find ways of saving some water.
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difficulties of horse back riding

On one of the 'warmer' recent days-in this case closer to minus twenty-the kids decided 'lets go horseback riding'. One of the challenges that face the kids when riding bare back, when you are layered to the nuts, is getting on the back of the horse. Frank tried leading Georgia to the chopping stump, but she would not cooperate with him. If you can't take the mountain to Mohammed, take Mohammed to the mountain! Frank ended up moving the stump to where a very stubborn mare was standing so he could mount up.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

a frosty November morning

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just a bit of Christmas baking to share


~ mix together:
    2 pounds (4 cups) tub soft margarine
    2 cups icing sugar
    1 cup cornstarch
    6 cups flour
~ whip it, whip it good!
 ~ whip until it looks like stiff whipped cream
~ lightly grease cookie sheet
~ drop by teaspoon
~ bake at 325 degrees til golden brown on bottom
~ watch carefully
~ you can sprinkle 'sprinkles' on or use chopped fruit.
~ add your decorations before baking.

These never last long around my household!
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new friends

Ben and Jynx
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