Knitting – Gift Idea – Jolly Old Elves
This is a really cute, free pattern I used last Christmas with less than a year’s experience in knitting. I had no problems and thought they turned out well – something a little different from the usual holiday decorations. Here is the link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jolly-old-elves
I used two difference sizes of yarn and needles to get two different sizes from the same pattern.
The larger elf (about 8 inches tall) was made with #4 worsted yarn and #5 circular needles.
The smaller elf (about 6 inches tall) was made with DK or sport weight yarn #3 and #3 circular needles.
I gave one to each of my daughters along with a gift card for a special Christmas morning gift.
Happy Holidays to All
My youngest grandson has been coming to my house to bake Christmas cookies since he was three years old. He loves the holiday traditions and even though he received his acceptance from Wright State (Dayton, Ohio) this week, he’s happy to cut out and decorate sugar cookies once more. He says it’s one of his favorite memories and that makes it one of my favorite memories.
Happy memories to everyone during this holiday season, whatever your celebration might be.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Delicious No-Bake Eggnog Pie
At this time of year, we usually have some straggling leftovers and I wanted to make something for Sunday dinner that would use up two cups of dairy eggnog. I remembered a pie I had made for Christmas in 1985 from an old 1978 Southern Sideboards cookbook. I adapted it a bit, including leaving out an extra two cups of whipped cream – I felt we had indulged enough over the holidays. It’s a good dessert with a crunchy graham cracker/almond crust and a smooth creamy filling. Make the day before serving so the pie can chill at least 6 hours or overnight.
DELICIOUS NO-BAKE EGGNOG PIE
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup chopped almonds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tblsp. cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 cups dairy eggnog
- 2 Tbsp. rum
- 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
- Freshly grated nutmeg for topping
TO MAKE THE CRUMB CRUST:
Combine graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup sugar, almonds, cinnamon and melted butter in a small bowl.
Press the mixture on the bottom and sides of a buttered 10-inch pie pan (deep).* Set aside.
TO MAKE THE FILLING:
In a cup, sprinkle gelatin over water to soften – set aside. Mix 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt in top of double boiler. Gradually stir in eggnog. Cook over hot, not boiling water, stirring constantly until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin until dissolved. Allow filling to cool …
…then fold in rum and whipped cream.
Pour mixture into the pie shell and sprinkle with nutmeg. Cover and let chill in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
*I had a 10-inch pie plate but apparently it wasn’t deep enough. I poured the leftover filling into two custard cups, covered and chilled for a nice light dessert after the pie is gone.
This has nothing to do with eggnog pie but I couldn’t resist showing you this picture. It’s not everyone who can look out the back door and see a St. Bernard dog in the snow. Our neighbor’s dog is usually looking for a shady spot or barking to get back in the house, but today he was in his glory in all that beautiful snow.
New Curtains for Christmas
Last summer, I took down the venetian blinds in the kitchen to give it a more open, airy look and repurposed some old lace panels to make curtains.
When fall came, I didn’t want to put the blinds up again but wanted a little more covering for the windows. I found some wonderful reproduction feedsack fabric while in Ohio Amish Country and made some curtains that looked great with the autumn, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations.
I really liked the curtains but I thought they might clash with all the bright reds and greens that go up at Christmas time, so once I again I made a set of curtains using white and red gingham. They were the first things to go up in the kitchen before I began my holiday decorating.
They’re so bright and cheerful that they might be up until Valentine’s Day and into spring.
Remembering Thanksgiving Traditions
Thanksgiving is so much about family traditions – like baking pies – two of the pie tins go back to the mid-1950s…
….getting out the 1952 wedding china….
…my oldest daughter embroidered the tablecloth in the 1960s…
….having the youngest kids check out the turkey.
This tradition began in the mid-1950s with my two pre-school children posing for the movie camera, gently poking the turkey with large forks to see if it was done. It continued with another son and daughter in the 1960s and 1970s and now the youngest grandchildren are somewhat bewildered looking at the turkey. Grandson is happily contemplating turkey breast, cranberry sauce and apple pie. Granddaughter doesn’t eat anything.
We had a good Thanksgiving.
My doll table magically held a full Thanksgiving dinner this morning, thanks to my daughter’s skill with clay. There are all of our favorites – a big turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, yeast rolls, pumpkin pie and apple pie. It would save me a lot of time if the meal could appear by magic today on my dining room table, but then I wouldn’t have the fun of getting everything together for my family once again (the 60th Thanksgiving dinner I’ve cooked).
Cranberry Cake and Brandy Sauce
This dessert was adapted from a recipe on AllRecipes.com. I first made it for Christmas dinner in 2004 and my daughter and I loved it. The original was for a large bundt cake and I cut the recipe in half to make this version which I bake in an antique 7-inch tube pan. It could also be baked in a 9-inch loaf pan.
CRANBERRY CAKE AND BRANDY SAUCE
- 3 Tblsp. butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
- 6 oz fresh cranberries
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 Tblsp. brandy
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease/flour 7-inch tube pan or 9-inch loaf pan.
To make the cake
In a large bowl cream butter and sugar. In a medium bowl mix together dry ingredients. Beat flour mixture into creamed mixture alternately with evaporated milk, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in cranberries.
Pour into prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes @ 325 degrees F until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (loaf pan may take longer).
Let cool in pan 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
To make the sauce:
In a small pan combine the butter, sugar and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat and let simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in brandy. Drizzle warm sauce over slices of cake.
The sauce is quite rich and this amount is just right for drizzling over 6 individual slices of cake.