Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Cozy Day

Despite the fact that our weather has been "winter-y" for a few weeks already, today is the first day that I've actually felt like I'm settling in for the upcoming, delightful slower (please, please, please) months spent to a large part indoors enjoying my home and all that goes with it.

I'm sure this "nesting" has a lot to do with the 3+" of snowfall we got over night and early this morning.


The raised garden beds have pulled their winter blankets up to their chinny-chin-chins.


Ooops, never did get the deck furniture stored away.  Must get that done pronto.

No question I'm into the winter baking/cooking mode and have welcomed it as I know Papa Pea did when he got a dinner last night of meat loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy and baked acorn squash.  (Okay, he's never been too thrilled about the appearance of squash on his plate, but add enough butter, salt and pepper and it's passable.  Besides, a couple slices of meat loaf make up for most anything else in his book.)

I'm baking our first batch of holiday fruitcake as we speak.  Wonderful aroma wafting throughout the house!  Our fruitcake doesn't have any resemblance to what one normally thinks of as a tasteless batter containing chemically produced chunks of artificially dyed fruit and other questionable ingredients fruitcake.  (Not prejudiced at all, am I?)


Ours is made with a treasured recipe of my mother's containing honey, molasses, butter and other organic ingredients in the batter and organic dried raisins, craisins, sour cherries, dates, apricots and, of course, nuts folded in.

We've each been trying to eat a raw apple a day now.  Of all the varieties we grew here on the homestead, the ones we've voted to have the best flavor are ones from our crab apple tree, a Chestnut variety.  I've always thought of crab apples as so sour tangy that they were good for nothing but crab apple jelly.


Besides their flavor, look at the size of these little, red gems.  A good two inches across which is large for a crab apple.  We're really enjoying them.

I've been searching out new Christmas cookies to try for this season.  Like all of you, I'm sure, there are those traditional, tried-and-true goodies that would cause a family revolt if they didn't turn up at holiday time.  But as with my everyday cooking, I find myself yearning for something new and different to tempt my taste buds.  (Did I just intimate I needed urging to eat more holiday goodies?  Uh-oh.)

We had thought of making a trip to the big city today, but for a couple of reasons we made the decision last night not to do so.  And, boy howdy, am I happy with that decision.  'Tis a simply delightful day to be home.
 

26 comments:

Faith said...

We are buttoned up here as well, it's way to cold (ahem global warming) for this time of year, in the teens at night, it's icy and bitterly cold. Takes a body a moment to get used to it, do we ever? Fruitcake sounds lovely. I'm the only one here who likes it. So I buy it. Yours looks like it will be delicious. Stuffed cabbage for dinner tonight, breaking in the new stove :) Moving my hook and enjoying this slower, quieter season. Love me some meatloaf too, mmm good.

Michelle said...

So is your mother's treasured fruitcake recipe one you are willing to share? Sounds like one I'd be willing to EAT, unlike the stereotypical holiday version.

Mama Pea said...

Faith - Keep that hook movin'! Soon as I pay a couple of bills here at my desk, I'm gonna mosey on back to my quilt room until dinner time.

Jennifer Jo said...

Mmm, Christmas baking. I'm beginning to get the first bubbles of inspiration...!

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - I've shared the recipe before (a couple of times!) so if you go over to my right hand side bar and scroll down to the Search box and type in "My Mom's Fruitcake" a couple of posts with the recipe will pop up. The first one is dated Nov. 20, 2009 and to my horror(!) I've noticed I FORGOT TO INCLUDE THE ONE EGG in the recipe. It's only one egg for the three loaves, but still! Arrrgh. The second post is dated Dec. 6, 2015 and does include the one egg. Also I've realized in reading over the two posts that I've increased the amount of dried fruit added, which we like better, and it still bakes up fine. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. (Oh, I cannot believe I left that egg out in the first recipe! Dumb, dumb, dumb.)

Mama Pea said...

JJ - Never hurts to have some things stashed away in the freezer (under lock and key, of course) way before needed at the holidays! :o)

Sam I Am...... said...

I know...I love staying home! Your garden beds do look like they have blankets pulled up. Your dinner sounded great! Your fruitcake sounds much better than the one with the terrible reputation! LOL! Stay warm and enjoy your cozy home.

Mama Pea said...

Sam I Am - Don't know around your area but here the commercial fruitcakes are sometimes referred to as "door stops." Hee-hee. I've always admired the fact that it's evident you enjoy being home and revel in all that entails. :o)

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Sounds like a great time to relax and enjoy your winter. No more garden, all buried....

Hill Top Post said...

Your stay-at-home day sounds like a perfect one to me. I always welcome this time of year for the same reasons you do. Of course, by mid-February I begin to get the urge to get out and dig in the dirt again. My hubby loves fruitcake, so I will have to look your mom's recipe up, too!

Mama Pea said...

Nancy - There was a time when I thought I wanted a (heated) greenhouse where I could grow fresh food for us in the winter. As of now, even as much as I love gardening, I relish the months when I can have a rest from gardening . . . and think about other things! Stay tuned, though, as I may someday go back to that original winter greenhouse wish! Ya never know . . .

Hill Top Post - I think you could call my fruitcake recipe more of a dense, moist, sweet bread (but not too sweet!) type of concoction, but if you do try it, I hope it meets your expectations!

February is still very much a winter month for us with no dirt in sight (!), but by March I find myself noting how much snow has melted off the garden each day!

Kris said...

I love crabapple trees and have many here. Is the name of your 2" fruited beauty actually called "Chestnut" crabapple. I simply must find one for my own! That said, your fruitcake sounds like something I would actually try! LOL Kris

Mama Pea said...

Kris - Yes, our crab apple tree is "Chestnut" and this is the first year it's had fruit for us . . . was planted year before last. We're so impressed by it. It's crisp as you would expect a crab apple fruit to be and juicy! If you get a chance to try the fruitcake recipe, I hope you like it as much as we do.

Cockeyed Jo said...

Not fair! I shared my great grandmother's recipe with my tweaks and how-tos in my postings for three weeks! But, no snow here, just cold (19 at night)and winds that will cut through you. We only go out for the animals and wood. So we are already into our winter mode of spinning, crocheting, and knitting. I wish I could quilt but I neither can do it one handed nor have the room for my quilting frame. Sigh!

wisps of words said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh.... -happy sigh- You are settling into hibernation mode, and all the cozy, warm things, which go with it.

It does my heart good, my Dear! To read this. -smile-

And you are not the only one, in Pretty Blog Land, to be doing this.

🍬🎂🍬

Rain said...

We got snow here too, it's very pretty! When I read about your meat loaf with mashed potatoes, I suddenly wanted some!

Lynne said...

Speaking of snow, we had two and a half inches of the white stuff night before last. It came in super cold for us at this time of the year. Wind chill was at five above zero. The wind was 45 to 50 miles an hour. It was bitter cold. I know how you feel about your wood stove. We were very comfortable with the Pellet Stove. Your mother's recipe is very similar to the one my Mom use to make. Back then every thing was fresh from the land. There was a place we would go to pick the fresh cranberries. WE had wild berries all over our property. Mom would buy the dates and raisins and walnuts. Hope your socks are coming along. You and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving! xo

The Wykeham Observer said...

Pretty apples. I also do the apple a day thing. It does keep things going, if you know what I mean, but also just helps the general sense of well-being. I agree about the Christmas cake. If I have only dark and light raisins, I am happy. But adding the apricots makes it special. Phil/Eagle Bend

Mama Pea said...

J.L. Murphey - Spinning, crocheting and knitting . . . what wonderful handwork occupations during these upcoming cold winter months. And just think of the beautiful products you'll produce!

wisps of words - Well, as they say, 'tis the season. For lots of coziness inside! (Just gotta watch the intake of all the good food that seems so desirable in the cold weather!) ;o]

Rain - You have so much more snow than we do right now . . . and probably will have all winter!

Lynne - Thanks for your usual sweet note. Of course, I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving, but then so soon after that Christmas (yikes!) will be here and then it seems there's not much restful, cozy, inside relaxing (!) time left before busy summer time hits. (Did I just zoom us right through several months?!)

Phil - Yep, those fresh apples each day contain lots good enzymes for help our bodies with so many functions! Sure a lot better for us than a candy bar (!) or something full of more sugar than we need. :o)

Katie C. said...

That Apple looks good! You cook dry some apple slices for stocking stuffer gifts ...

Mama Pea said...

Katie C. - That is one darn good idea! Thank you!

Cockeyed Jo said...

I spin to feed our yarn addiction for the needles. LOL

Mama Pea said...

J.L. Murphey - What more could I ask! ;o)

Taran singh said...

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Double Money

Lisa said...

Your mother's fruitcake sounds delicious, as I also do not like what most folks think of as 'traditional' fruitcake. And that crabapple! Wow! That is a good size for a crab apple. Am also trying to eat a fresh apple a day..... an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right?! As always..... love, love, love photos of your beautiful gardens, even in their snowy blankets. Hope you get some quilt time today!!! Hugs!!! :)

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Even though I'd pick a slice of apple pie over a fresh apple a day (hee-hee), I know we're better off consuming the fresh apple! Keep it up and I'll try to do so, too! As always, Lisa, thanks for your up-beat, encouraging comments. Hugs back to you, my friend.