Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bottling Wine during Holiday Break

We tried to use our time off wisely - visiting friends and relatives...and bottling wine.  It has been terribly windy the last two days, so doing "inside" work was a great alternative.  We bottled a batch of Elderberry Wine, Asian Pear Wine and Sour Cherry Wine.  Jeff had to put another wine rack together, to hold the bottles, which also involved rearranging some of the kitchen furniture, as there is not enough space for bottle storage in the cellar.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas at the Long Shot Farm

Following German tradition, we share presents on Christmas Eve, after days of baking cookies, making Christmas candy and deserts and finally, on the 24th, preparing a big dinner and spending the evening with family.  All of the preparation is team work, with everyone pitching in!  Our holiday cookies for 2010 included:
  • peanut butter cookies
  • peanut blossom cookies
  • oatmeal (with coconut, walnuts, and raisins)
  • Italian Christmas cookies (with ricotta cheese and icing)
  • lemon stars
  • ginger snaps
  • apricot turnovers
  • nut tarts
  • pinwheels (with dates)
  • cut out butter cookies - decorated with icing
Candies included chocolate truffles and marzipan/apricot delights.  Other deserts included lemon bars, peach pie, blackberry pie, custard pie and spice cake. 
Everyone, including Tina's parents, arrived by lunchtime on Christmas eve - by that time the turkey had been stuffed and put in the oven, and all side dishes had been "prepped".  Basically, we did a re-run on Thanksgiving dinner, since you can't beat a good turkey :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Racoon Hats for Christmas Presents

Anja and Duff as well as Zach, Rachel and Toben arrived on Monday before Christmas - which gave us several days together to prepare for the holidays.  Jeff really wanted to have someone get excited about his tanned hides and he managed to talk Anja into trying to make hats out of the tanned raccoon furs.  After doing some research on the internet and coming up with a pattern, the two of them spent 2 days with Tina's sewing machine and managed to produce 7 raccoon hats of various designs.  Each of the hats took two hides and all of them were lined with flannel.  Since two hides were used per hat, they ended up with extra tails - which resulted in some rather unique hats.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Parsnip Harvest Officially Ends Season at the Long Shot Farm

Jeff dug out the last of the parsnips earlier this week, peeled and boiled them, and froze most of them.  That was the last of our vegetable garden for this year.  The only thing we are still harvesting are some of the hardier herbs - parsley and sage are still going pretty strong as they are on a protected side of the house.

Our next project will be bottling some more of last year's wine to empty out some of the carboys and get them ready for our currently fermenting batch of apple wine.  So bottle washing it is for between Christmas preparations.