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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hey. Two Posts in One Month (yawn...) with Raspberry Filling or Topping Recipe

One of my favorite subjects- Food. (laughing) I never posted the canning photo of all of the pumpkin I got last year. I processed them in small chunks. I have been adding a jar to soups or smashing like potatoes as a side dish. Quite tasty. I moved the squashes to the side of a slope that gets good morning sun and does not freeze like the previous area. We hope this works out. The slope is already covered in borage, calendula, mint, nasturtiums, soapwort and wildflowers. The squashes should do quite well there.

I had some fun with baking goodies, as normal. The first is a very blurry cell phone photo of a Boston Cream Pie. (I was torturing my daughter with the image by message.) Boston Cream Pies have always been my favorite cake. When I could no longer eat eggs, this was one item off my list because of the custard-cream filling. I can eat eggs for my girls, putting this back on my menu. The recipe is the old one from Betty Crocker Cookbook, circa 1960s.

The next cake is an adaption of various ideas for a Zinger cake. Yes, I used to love Hostess Zingers. I own a pan for making "twinkies" and another for making "ding-dongs". Made with real ingredients, they taste like they did when I was a child, not the tasteless garbage of today. I did not want anything made with commercial, non-organic ingredients. I used a basic butter cake recipe, though the one I found online for another southern butter cake is not my favorite. I have another to try later on. The raspberry part is the best. It uses fresh or frozen raspberries. Perfect.

I used a Coconut Cream Cheese Buttercream frosting and filling from a Southern Coconut Cake recipe. Delicious. I cannot find the original site with the Zinger-like cake raspberry filling or topping recipe. It is-

Raspberry Filling or Topping

24 oz. organic frozen raspberries, thawed
1 cup sugar
5-1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

Cook down raspberries. Push through a strainer if desired. Stir together arrowroot and sugar very well, then add to raspberries. Cook until thickened. Chill well before using.

Of course, like most of my goodies, they have to be kept in the refrigerator. I buy unsweetened coconut and toast before freezing for later use. I do the same thing with nuts. Toasted coconut is much tastier than untoasted. You could use a good sponge cake recipe, too. I wanted the denseness of a butter cake for the dessert. I am not fond of white cakes that tend to leave out the protein-rich yokes and nourishing, tasty butter in recipes. I made the cake in 3 layers instead of the normal slicing one does for multiple layer cakes. I put one-third of the cream cheese buttercream filling on a layer, topped with one-third of the raspberry filling, sprinkled a little coconut on top, topped with another cake layer and repeated. The top layer has the same treatment. I then covered the cake in the frosting part of the recipe, leaving a small ring of the raspberry filling showing, then sprinkled the coconut all over. The cell phone photo does not do the cake justice. It was absolutely delicious! This will stay in my file, but with a different butter cake recipe.

The latest recipe I tried was a German Chocolate Pie recipe from Allrecipes. I made the one that was a fudge-like filling, not the other one that was anemic in chocolate content. The one I used has 6 oz. of baking chocolates. I changed it up, using 2 oz bittersweet, and 4 oz of sweet. Semi-sweet would of been nice, too.

It has pecans in the filling. I did up the 1/4 cup of pecans in the frosting to 1/3 cup. Of course, the nuts were toasted first. I seriously think this is one of the reasons people find recipes like this bland. If they are not killer sweet, they do not like them either. This pie is so rich, I cut it in sixteenths! Any bigger, and it was too much. This pie would be great for company, I would think.

Today, I made hot dog buns. Last Fall (?), I think I posted the Armenian Peda Bread recipe? Anyway... It makes the best hamburger and hot dog buns. I cook the buns for 20 to 22 minutes. My family will be up next month. I made special hot dog buns for my 3-year-old grandson using the twinkie-like pan so he can have his size of bun. They are cute. Yeah, they look like bread twinkies. (grin) I will make half-size hamburger buns for him too. Those are also great of bologna or nut butter and jelly sammiches. The bologna is round, fitting round breads much nicer. We are lucky to have a meat market that makes real bologna and hot dogs, among other meaty things. I forgot how good bologna was until I tried our local source. The pink slimy stuff is not even worthy to give to the chickens.

Speaking of which...

A few days ago we did the major spring cleaning. Himself had already trapped 17 mice. There was one (we thought) left who did not go for anything we put into the trap. We did remove the chicken feeder at night. We put one side of the coop up on blocks and cleaned the area underneath well and pulled out the unneeded wire fencing under the cement blocks. With the yard being fenced, it only made raking the yard hard and had no use except for me to trip over on a daily basis. (We ARE still learning, ya know...) After resetting the blocks, we lifted the other side. The mouse dashed about, Himself was positioned to clobber the rodent, who still managed to dash outside of the yard area and go into a forested section on our property. Then a second one dashed out. One of the girls got it! I thought they were either lazy or not into fresh meat with feet. It turns out they were not quick enough. This mouse made a wrong turn and the hen was lucky. After getting the sides and most of the area cleaned and the blocks replaced, We had to put blocks under the corners so I could clean the middle spot and the block set there.

I lifted the block and screamed. I screamed like a little girl. I am not scared of mice, I was surprised to see a large nest of 5 more mice. I knew they used tunnels under the bricks to move around, but I figured the nest would be deeper or something. I was wrong. I dropped the brick. Himself stomped on it while laughing at me. Most were stunned or crushed. He then handed them out to the hens. Boy... They were happy. Elvis took one but did not eat it. He waited for his favorite-of-the-week to finish and presented it to that hen. She took it, though she knew that meant she would have to submit to him first before going to the perch that night. Elvis gives presents with strings. Or tails.

We never saw the first mouse come back or any indication of it returning. The girls now keep a tight eye to the bricks, looking for the mouse, too. No chicken poop with apparent mouse parts under the perch or in the yard. I was almost expecting it. I did watch one eat her treat. After carrying it around, other hens pecking at it, and it hanging there like a limp rag, they swallow them whole, like a snake. It was gross.

Dinner was late that night.

Oh! Photo of the redo of the beds, though there now stuff growing on them. A photo sometime down the road. Himself tilled the previous area out in the meadow. It freezes there first and things did not grow well out there. It gets a lot of wind, too. We fenced it and planted wheat. The lilacs and the willow bush took off, making a good windbreak. So far. it is doing well. I am slowly lining the fence with berry bushes. So far, blackberry and raspberry.

The area we used to have the spa, (we gave it away, it needed repairs we could not afford), is tilled and waiting its crop. I also made a deep bed of chicken litter and mulch from last winter on the area by a retaining wall, the one I slipped on last year and bruised my leg from ankle to crotch. That will get corn tomorrow. The redo of the garden beds now have fencing down the middles to plant everything that will grow upwards and for securing tomato plants to. I repositioned the beds across from our carport with one 3' x 12', one 3' x 9' and one 3' x 6' potato beds and two 3' x 12' cooler veggie beds. They have the cabbages and other brassicas, peas, lentils, spinach, lettuce... plants that do not mind a cooler part of the garden. I planted plants that do mind cooler spots on the slightly shaded side of the main area's beds, too. The strawberries were moved by the chicken yard, far enough from the fence so even the giraffe-chickens could not grab the plants. It makes it easy for Himself to toss the girls the ones that were missed and squishy or a bug got to it.

I splurged this month. I am trying to get all that old wool I dyed last summer processed so either spin or use for locker-hooked rugs. One burlap sack-full takes me a week or so to fluff and pick. It would take years to get it all done. My favorite person who has a picker service is over 1000 miles away and up to her eyeballs with her work. I remember seeing and reading about a family coming up with a Box Picker that is easy to use, safer for klutzes like me, and small enough to tuck under the bed or into a corner. I live in a house barely over 1000 sq. ft. in room and it is packed as it is. I needed compact.

I looked online and found some expensive copycats before I found the original Lil' Dynamo Wool Picker by the Kaydessas. ( Kaydessa's Wool Pickers ) They also have an Etsy shop. I prefer to go to the source for items I want or need. That is why I have the best spinning wheel in the world, an Alden Amos.Good, well-made tools are important. I dithered between the poplar wood and the oak. Himself said to go for the oak, being a good hardwood. It is heavier than the poplar. oof. the owner needs to charge more for the oak's shipping, I think. I coated it in liquid floor wax, which is not sticky when set to "seal" the wood, make brushing out the little bits easy and to preserve the look of the wood. It came out nice. I am afraid the photo, no matter what time of the day, was a booger to get. I could not find a place with the right lighting today.

I grabbed one burlap bag of various wools, the worst in the lot. I wanted a tough test to see if it would clean up enough for using in the rugs or end up being in a felting project. It worked nicely. It does not get out the little noils, or short-cut bits. Remember, this was a bag of junk wool. I can quickly get the little bit of all of it out in an evening, then card it for later rug making, it fluffed it so well. I am quite pleased. One batch had a long staple, another short and the rest about medium. The longer stuff had to go in smaller bits. This is a good buy for someone with similar needs or scared of the regular pickers that give me nightmares to even look at. (grin)

That is it. More... whenever. ;)

1 comment :

  1. way too much excitement but such fun! you all are doing great. my good friend on the cattle ranch across the way from me bought the same picker and loved it. look at all you have done you guys rock! enjoy the visit from the family.