December 2008 Archives

Too Much Jelly


I have spent much of this week in a jelly-making frenzy. We had this large bucket of quince left over from the annual quince harvest, you see, and it needed to be made into jelly. Or something.

So now I will give you a guided tour through the first stages of jelly-making.

What I Did All Weekend (and Today)


OK, so let's just admit that this blog has become less a regular thing and more a periodic thing. That's fine: I spend a lot of time and energy on the work on Casa Decrepit these days, which pretty much uses up my blogging energy. But I did some non-house things this weekend! Look!

For example, on Saturday we went to a big Open House and Holiday Gift Sale at The Crucible. The Crucible is awesome because a) it is right next door in Oakland, so it is convenient, as opposed to Techshop, which requires what can be a two hour commute and b) it has a ceramics studio. I got into a good conversation about slipcasting with one of their ceramics people; I'd like to be able to find a nice studio to work in since plaster mold making is pretty messy. We shall see what will come of it.

Open House and Sale at the Crucible

Also, despite the fact that it poured rain on us while we were hauling the tree and decorations out of the basement, we got the tree up and decorated. Yay, us. And on the pink Sunday of Advent, too, which is pretty good for not having really planned it.

Christmas tree up and decorated!

The only fly in the ointment is that we needed some replacement bulbs, and when we went to a few stores to try to find them, the places were practically cleared of Christmas stuff. That's right: I bet you didn't realize Christmas is over, and the clearance sales can begin. So now if you don't plan to have all your Christmas decorations up and running by Thanksgiving, give up; you will not be able to find replacement bulbs or even a few strands of tinsel garland. This is the same logic by which it is impossible to find a bathing suit in August, or a sweater in February. If you don't plan ahead, you don't get anything.

Anyway, the tree looks a little lopsided, and we are missing lots of bulbs from one strand of lights, but it's up. And look at my fun new ornament, purchased last weekend at a women's crafts fair:

Super fancy new ornament

I love how it's kind of creepy and weird and also awesome. It's a partridge in a pear tree, obviously, inside of a goose egg. If I'd had infinite money, I would have bought the set of twelve. But no infinite money, and just one goose egg ornament. I guess a partridge egg would have been impossible to come by.

So that was my weekend. To make up for a relatively unproductive weekend, this morning I did some cooking:

Experiments in Alcohol


This evening Noel and I made some quince ratafia. We used a recipe I found online, which is always a crapshoot. The idea is pretty simple: you shred some quince, stuff it in a quart mason jar, and add sugar and spices (we added cinnamon and ginger; the recipe called for mace but we didn't have any), cover with vodka or brandy and let it sit for a couple of months.

We tried a few variations on the recipe: with vodka, with brandy, one jar with both, and then finally a few jars with shredded quince and rum (leaving out the sugar and spices on the theory that rum has quite a nice flavour of its own to impart). The jars are now nestled in the fridge infusing away.

This is all in an attempt to use up the last of the quince, of course. We're really not very big drinkers, and when we do drink it's usually a glass of wine rather than hard liquor. So the fact that we have twelve quart jars full of liquor is kind of amusing.

When we got the quart jars, we also got some half-pints, so I'll be spending some time very soon making quince jelly, as well. Or anything to use up the rest of the quince, which have been sitting in a bucket in the dining room for months now.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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