Friday, December 23, 2011

From Chaos to Cuteness

Last year some time I posted a need for fabric and sewing notions on our neighborhood yahoo group. I asked for anything folks might have left over from other projects. Some things were dropped off on our porch and I was happy. A few weeks later a neighbor contacted me to ask if a retiring teacher friend of hers could drop off a "few" items. I said, "Sure!". The teacher's husband arrived with a truck and proceeded to unpack box after box! It was great. I sorted out what we could use in our camps and donated the rest.

Well, this week we finally dove into the boxes of felt and had some fun. It was our annual 'Gift-making Camp' and the kids were ready to get to work. While trying to come up with some good ideas I stumbled upon and found the "Sock Owl" tutorial. I just showed the kids the picture of the owl and set out the materials and they ran with it!

Two owls and a cat later...

They were quite pleased with their work.

Thank you Whimsy Loft for a fun idea and thank you anonymous retired teacher for the great materials!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tis' the Season for Persimmons

Persimmons in the Winter here are like Zucchini in the Summer here. They are everywhere and no one knows what to do with all of them. You might come home to find a bag of them mysteriously deposited on your front porch (we do!). One neighbor simply sets up a flood light aimed up at the tree from the ground just to show the beauty of the bare tree full of bright orange fruit. It is a glorious sight indeed.

I've always let them get soft and then scoop out the pulp for use in puddings, breads and pies. I pre-measure 1-2 cups and freeze it in labeled zip-loc bags for future use. It's funny, I never think to use it until the Fall or Winter. Maybe it's the warm color of it when I'm feeling cold.

Our favorite Persimmon Pudding recipe is from Bradley Ogden's Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner- Savory American Fare for Contemporary Cooks. I also simply substitute persimmon pulp for pumpkin in pie and bread recipes. I'm about to try the "Chocolate Persimmon Muffins" in my new favorite cookbook Good to the Grain- Baking with Whole-Grain Flours.

Yesterday, with a kitchen full of bowls overflowing with Fuyu Persimmons I dried my first batch in the dehydrator. I have to confess here that I am not a fan of the fruit uncooked. It's just too sweet for me. I know LOTS of folks who love to eat Fuyu's like apples and others who love to scoop out the pulp of a very ripe Hachiya. Well, I'm now a fan of the dried fruit. To me it tastes like dried Mango. Yum!