Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Monday, December 30, 2013

the cranberry conundrum (with vinaigrette recipe!)

It finally happened.  I truly didn't think it was possible.  But it came to pass this holiday season...

Too much cranberry sauce.

I know!  How?  How could it be?  Double and triple batches were always gobbled up with ease.  I even hoarded some of the homemade, ruby-red goodness and canned it for the larder.  But I found myself with half a bowl full after Christmas.

Truth be told, there were lots of leftovers and all I really wanted was a crisp, fresh salad.  Something green and living and vibrant after all that turkey and stuffing and potato and pumpkin and gravy.  I went out to the garden and grabbed some baby kale, some brilliant beet greens, some golden Swiss chard, and I added it all to a bowl of crisp Romaine.  Some sliced mushrooms and bite-sized chunks of cauliflower and I was ready to dive in... almost.

It need a little dressing.  Something sweet and tart and bright.  I opened the fridge.  Any vinaigrette from the pre-holiday salads was long gone.  But there was that half-bowl of cranberry sauce staring me in the face.

YES!  Cranberry Vinaigrette!  Of course!  I just tweaked my basic vinaigrette recipe and added my homemade (from fresh berries) cranberry sauce.  My cranberry sauce is a a half-crushed, half-whole berry mix of cranberries, fresh-squeezed orange juice, orange zest, and raw sugar (sometimes I add a bit of fresh-grated nutmeg or fresh-grated ginger).  Once the ingredients were added to a small container and whazzed with the immersion blender, the vinaigrette became this luscious, creamy, rosy-hued topping that was perfect on my "cure-for-too-many-feastings" salad.

Give it a try... or better yet, try swapping the cranberry sauce for a favorite jam or jelly sitting forlornly on your larder shelf.  You'll create something fresh and delicious, I'm sure!

Too Much Cranberry Sauce Vinaigrette

1/4 cup cranberry sauce 
2 Tablespoons sherry or white balsamic vinegar
1 - 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 clementine
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
1/3 cup light olive oil (don't use strongly flavored oil)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Add all the ingredients to a small bowl or container.  Whazz it up with an immersion blender, or whisk, whisk, whisk until smooth.  Store in the fridge and enjoy!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

a quiet Season...

It's here!  The time of all bustling and wrapping and baking and visiting!  I love the fun of the Christmas season.  But this year things have gone a bit quiet... a small bump in the road has left me cozily resting on our little plot of suburbia. 

Let me just share a few images from around Flannel Jammies Farm at Christmas time, and take this opportunity to wish you all a blessed and beautiful season as we celebrate the coming of the Christ child!

A peek inside the stable built by my uncle
the Christmas tree

the top of our jam and jelly cabinet

a blue Christmas vignette

the tea set my daughter and I made so many years ago

adding ornaments to light for each day's reading

our Christmas meditation

a wreath created from old hymnal pages

stockings are hung on the saw with care

and this little guy
...but the angel reassured them.  
“Don’t be afraid!” he said. 
“I bring you good news 
that will bring great joy to all people.  
 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—
has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
Luke 2:10-11