Tag Archives: holidays

Snowball Cookies

This recipe is part of the Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap.  Be sure to check out all of the recipes in the side bar!

snowball-cookies-001

These are my absolute favorite cookies.  I love the powdered sugar and how they perfectly represent winter!  My mom used to always make these when we were little, and I remember being covered with white sugar.  Ed’s mom makes them, too, but I love this food processor recipe for them the best!

Snowball Cookies

  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioner sugar

Pulse pecans in a food processor until finely ground.  Add butter and process until smooth, about 1 minute.  Add sugar and vanilla, and pulse to combine.  Add flour and salt and pulse until a soft dough forms.  Turn dough out onto foil or plastic wrap and shape into a log, about 1 1/2 inches wide.  Wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Slice log into about 24 disks, then roll into balls.  Bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden.  Dump confectioner’s sugar into a pie plate.  Briefly cool cookies on a rack, then roll in confectioner’s sugar.  Return cookies to rack and cool completely.  Roll in confectioner’s sugar again.

8 Comments

Filed under Food, Recipes

Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap at Farmer’s Daughter!

cookie-swap

‘Tis the season to be baking! I’ve decided to hold a Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap here at Farmer’s Daughter.  We are all part of a wonderful blogging community, a wealth of information is available on all different topics, so when I was thinking about Christmas cookies, I started wondering about what kinds of cookies you all will be making.  Laura will probably make something elegant, Michelle a.k.a. Green Bean will probably get help from her boys, I imagine Joyce making angels or music notes, and I can see Jena‘s dogs sneaking bites of her cookies.

So, if you’d like to participate, just write a post that includes a cookie recipe any time between now and Christmas.  Leave me a comment and I’ll put your name and recipe in the side bar so we can all try it! You can post as many recipes as you’d like.  Please spread the word by adding the button to your side bar! If you don’t have a blog, you can still participate by emailing me your recipe, and I’ll post it here.  Don’t worry, I’ll give you credit for it!

I hope you all submit a lot of recipes so I can try them! I’ll post my first recipe tomorrow!

Oh, and to add even more to the spirit of the season, check out the extreme giveaway over at Musings of an Everyday Woman.

17 Comments

Filed under Food, Recipes

Christmas Pumpkins and Gourds

My pumpkins and gourds have lasted this long, serving as decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving.  They still looked so nice that I didn’t want to just toss them on the compost pile.  Instead, I painted them and now they can be a part of my Christmas decor as well.

christmas-gourds-001

Santa gourds inspired by some of Mom Marie’s ornaments.  I hope these gourds will dry instead of rot, but I can always try again next year if needed.

christmas-gourds-002

Barn red gourds with golden stars for the gourds that weren’t the right shape for Santas.

christmas-gourds-003

Jack-be-littles painted gold with red glitter become pretty enough to be Christmas decorations.  I love the long stems on these little pumpkins.

christmas-gourds-006

A festive bowl filled with gourds will make a great little display on the coffee table.  This hand-painted bowl was a wedding present, and on the rim it reads “Abigail and Ed were nestled all snug in their bed while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.  And they heard him exclaim ‘fore he drove out of sight “Happy Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight!”

dudley-farm-christmas-fair-020

Finally, the big pumpkin that sat beside our door for the past two months was too big and round to throw away.  I love “Cinderell’s coach” shaped pumpkins with thick green stems.  I painted a Santa face on him and popped a hat on top, and now he’ll be able to keep his spot on the porch.

What are some of your ideas for Christmas crafts?

5 Comments

Filed under Home, Local Agriculture, Sustainable Living

It’s Officially Thanksgiving…

… last night I burned my finger taking pies out of my oven and this morning the smoke alarm went off.  Not due to my cooking… some smoke got in the house from the wood stove, and the bad thing about good insulation in a new home is that the smoke stays in the house and sets off the alarm.

For the last two years, Thanksgiving has been incredibly low key for my family.  Up until then, we were always working at the farm.  We would bake pies all night long, and customers would start to line up before 6 a.m. to get them.  Apple and pumpkin were the favorites, of course, followed closely by Fruits of the Forest, which is a mixture of apples, strawberries, rhubarb, red raspberries and blackberries.  I remember as a child staying up late with my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, running in and out of the warm kitchen at the farm market and camping out in my grandmother’s office.  We’d help box pies, label the the boxes, wash trays, take out the trash.  One of the most fun parts was jumping in the cardboard dumpster to help make room for more.  We’d get to skip school on Tuesday and Wednesday, since they were the busiest days.  There are so many funny memories of those late nights baking, from falling asleep and burning a load of pies to our “Employee of the Year” nomination accompanied by a goofy picture.  In high school, I couldn’t miss school because of basketball try-outs, but I’d always end up at the stand afterwards, helping customers and then baking into the night.  In college, I’d again skip classes so I could bake all night, take a quick nap and then get up early to work on the cash register.  We’d spend endless hours counting pies and playing the guessing game that we’d baked enough of each kind, but not so much that there would be too many left.  When I started teaching, I’d rush out of school at 2:00 to head to the stand to relieve people who had been working all day, and then I’d stay and bake until 10 or 12 before heading home to get some sleep before going back to school.  It was stressful, and there was more than one customer that lacked the holiday spirit, but like most things in life, I remember the good parts.  The Thanksgiving rush, in my mind, is the perfect example of a farm family working together to make it.  Everyone, all generations, help out, doing whatever needs to be done.  From small children (although we’re all grown up now) to my grandmother and everyone in between, all had a role to play.  But, by the time Thursday came around, we were so exhasted and nobody wanted to eat pie.

Last year we decided to close and skip the Thanksgiving madness.  We’re still open from May to October, and lots of customers buy pies to freeze for Thanksgiving.  As we all grow up and work off the farm, it’s hard for everyone to find the time to help out, and my grandmother can only do so much.  Last year was the first year I actually got to relax and enjoy Thanksgiving, and I know a lot of my family feels the same way.  Instead of running around like crazy this week, I got to coach my school’s powderpuff football team.  Although we didn’t win the game, I was impressed by all the hard work that the girls did to get to that point, and I was extremely proud of the way that the girls represented their town.  It feels strange to not be rushing around, but it feels good to only have to bake three pies instead of thousands.  Last year we attended Ed’s family’s party at his aunt and uncle’s home in Rhode Island for the first time, and this year we’ll be eating dinner with my family.  It’s a new tradition and a new chapter in my life. 

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

2 Comments

Filed under Food, Home, Local Agriculture

There’s No Place like Home for the Holidays

This post is my contribution to the November APLS Blog Carnival, which will be posted on November 15 at the Green Phone Booth.  The topic is “buying local.”  In the spirit of the holidays, I have chosen to write about one thing that we always buy local: our Christmas tree.

jan-march-08-1371

We’re all bundled up and the air is chilly as we walk through the woods.  We can both smell that snow’s in the forecast, and Jonathan and I hope that we’ll get a day off school tomorrow.  It’s mid-December, one of our favorite times of year.  We walk down the driveway, through the apple orchard, past the pond.  The pond isn’t safe enough to skate on yet, but we know that soon I’ll be twirling on my skates and the boys will be playing pond hockey.  We walk into the wooded area by the pond, looking for it: our tree.  After walking around the woods with a little saw, we find our tree.  It’s a little bit taller than me, probably around 5 feet.  Jonathan cuts it down and we take turns dragging it back by the pond, through the orchard, and up the driveway.  When we get home, Dad trims the bottom and helps us get it into the stand, setting it up in the toy room.  Nathaniel was too little to help us get the tree, but we’ll let him help decorate.  We string on the colored, flashing lights, and then throw silver tinsel all over it.  It’s perfect in our gaudy, childhood style.  Mom hates colored lights and tinsel, so she has her own tree in the other room.  Mom’s tree is also beautiful, with white lights and apple ornaments, but it doesn’t compare to our tree.

When we were growing up, just the thought of a fake tree made us giggle.  We couldn’t understand why someone would want a tree that was plastic or metal.  Our family sold Christmas trees at our farm market.  We’d spend weekends helping customers select the perfect tree and tie it to their cars to bring home.  Our winter coats and gloves inevitably became sticky with sap and we smelled like evergreen.  To learn more about the Real vs. Fake Christmas Tree Debate, go here.

Many people now are focused on buying locally produced goods, with benefit to both the economy and the environment.  A wonderful starting point to localize your holidays is to buy local Christmas trees. Choosing, cutting, bringing home and decorating your tree will create treasured family memories.  Ed and I have continued this tradition in our own home.  My tastes have changed and I must admit that my tree now looks a lot like Mom’s. 

In addition to memories, real, locally produced Christmas trees are good for the environment.  It typically takes 7 years to grow a Christmas tree.  During that time, these trees are a part of the ecosystem.  They provide oxygen, clean the air, provide food and habitat to animals.  When the holidays are over, there are recycling programs or you can place your tree in the woods, where it will provide food and shelter for insects and other small wildlife.  To learn more about the environmental benefits of real trees and how to recycle them, go here.

But what if you’re a true tree hugger?  You don’t want to kill a tree to celebrate the holidays?  Here are some options for you!

  • Get a potted tree.  You can decorate it in your home and then plant it to enjoy for years to come.
  • Decorate your trees outside.  You can hang apples, orange slices, homemade birdfeeders made of Indian corn spread with peanut butter and coated with birdseed.  Your tree will be beautiful and your wildlife friends will love it, too.
  • Decorate other potted plants.  My mom has hibiscus, palms and other plants that can’t survive a cold Connecticut winter.  Bring them inside and string some lights and ornaments on them, then return to the outdoors when weather permits.

Whatever you do, be aware that the holidays don’t have to be environmentally unfriendly.  I look forward to reading through the other posts in the APLS Blog Carnival this month to learn more about buying local!

12 Comments

Filed under Home, Local Agriculture, Outside, Sustainable Living

It’s Pioneer Week!

Hitch \

As if Freezing my Buns weren’t enough, I’ve signed up for another one of Crunchy Chicken’s challenges.  This one, however, only lasts a week, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to do it!  CC asks us to be live as much like pioneers as possible in each of the following areas:

  1. Food
  2. Energy Usage
  3. Water Conservation
  4. Transportation
  5. Rethink your Entertainment
  6. Watch your Wallet

While it should be easy for me to cook from scratch, there are things that I’ll have to make which I normally don’t, like bread.  In terms of energy use, I have to drive to work and to my one class on Wednesday night, but I plan to stay home other than that.  The heat’s already down due to my other challenge, so that’s as far as I’m willing to go! I’ll have to lose the long, hot bath habit that reappeared after the Crunchy Domestic Goddess’s 5-minute Shower Challenge ended.  I’m also going to quit TV for the week.  That’s right! No TV!!! I can’t say the same for Ed, as I’m sure he’ll watch it.  And I just cannot give up the computer, but I’ll do my best to limit my use, since I use my computer all day at school.  Finally, in terms of watching my wallet, no problem! I can’t afford to buy anything anyway!

You may be wondering what I’ll be doing for fun if I can’t watch TV.  Well, I’m planning to work on making some of my Christmas presents.  No details… I don’t want to give them away! Let’s just say I’ll be knitting.  I’ll also be reading, grading papers, and hitting the hay early!

3 Comments

Filed under Sustainable Living