braddishlife

A little bit about everything


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Freezing peaches

I’m not even going to begin to explain why I haven’t written since, ah, February and I’m not even sure what brought me here this evening but I’m going to give it another shot.  You can’t even imagine how many pictures I have taken for “my blog”.  Anyway her we go.

I can say  that  it is still peach season because I still see Ontario peaches in the stores.  So I thought that I was still safe to be writing this post about how I bag peaches every fall.  Well I actually haven’t been doing it that long, just a few now.  A very nice woman in my life shared with me how she has been doing it for years and how come winter it will be so nice to take a bag out of the freezer for my grandchildren.  I am going to share it with you and if it’s not to late, maybe you will be freezing some peaches also.

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First I start by making a simple syrup, 8 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar, bring to a boil and let cool.  I actually made it the night before and put it in the fridge until I was ready the next day for pealing, cutting and bagging.

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Next day when I was ready to stand on my feet I pealed the peaches and cut them in sections around the pit.  You don’t want to do too many at a time because then they sit in a bowl getting all squished and mushy.  I like to just peel a bit at a time.  Then for one cup of syrup you stir in 1 tsp of ascorbic acid, this keeps the peaches from turning brown.

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Then scoop about 1 sometimes 2 cups of peaches into simple baggies and cover with some syrup.  You want the peaches to be covered.

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I then twist tie them and stand them up into a casserole dish so that they are nice and tight in there so they don’t fall over and leak.  I put them in the freezer until frozen.

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When that is done I remove them and run the dish under some hot water long enough for them to release from the dish.  I put a few bags into a bigger zip lock and put them back into the freezer to be enjoyed through the winter.  That’s it!

Now I know some of you will not like the baggy idea but if it’s not for you you can do the same thing into containers of your choosing.

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Hanging of the ice wreathes

Well I’m back with the pictures.  They are not the best, daylight was leaving quicker than I thought, but here they are.

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I had such a different picture in my head of what these would look like with the sun shining through.  Oh well, if they are still up on the weekend I’ll try taking some more pictures and we’ll see what they look like.

I see a photography course in my near future. ha

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Something similar I made that I wanted to share with you.  I made these a few years ago to place outside the door with a candle in the centre.  With these I used a bucket, filling it with a little water, then add a smaller item filling it with rocks that are heavy enough to keep that item from floating.  I then added the berries and greenery.  I left the buckets outside over night.  The next day I brought them in the house ran a bit of hot water over it until it releases and out they pop.  Place outside with a candle and you can light up your walkway for Christmas.

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Ice wreathes

I love the way these ice wreathes catch the ray of the sun making them sparkle.  With the days getting longer  I thought I could make a couple and still get to enjoy them each night out my two kitchen windows.  The next time my two little angels are here for a sleepover we will have to make a couple more.  Besides waiting for them to freeze, twice,  they are super easy and great fun for the kids.

First I started with two bundt pans filing them with water about 1/3 of the way.  I then placed them outside.  It was super cold and probably would be for the week.  I really wanted to pick up some frozen cranberries.  Well the week past, the days got warm and I kept forgetting to get my cranberries.

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Today I am finishing them no-matter-what even if my frozen wreaths are melting by the minute. I cut a few pieces from my Christmas wreath, yes it’s still looks great!

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I then cut up a couple of lemons I had.  I love the look of lemons, so bright and cheery.

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I then added a few blueberries.

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Then someone else got involved and added some cranberries and some cherries!  Top up with some more water.  With mine melting my ice gave a way and started floating to the top, I hope they turn out and look as pretty as they do now.   With the warm day they went into the freezer this time.

You’ll have to come back to see what they look like hung up outside.  Do you make any ice wreathes?  I would love to see them.

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Sandwich Cookies and Tea

A small note first, my eldest granddaughter has a dairy allergy so I have never made these with butter I have used Soy Margarine.  Everyone loves them!

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup finely ground almonds

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup butter softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam or strawberry

Confectioners sugar

In a small bowl, combine flour , almonds and cinnamon; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla; mix well.  Add flour mixture and mix only until incorporated.

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Divide dough into 2 and press into small disks about 1 inch think.  Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 350F.  On floured surface, roll out one disc of dough to 1/8″ thick (keep other disk in the fridge)  I have to say here that I did take some great pictures of each step and for some reason they did not get transferred to my computer and I deleted the pictures off the camera.  Ugh!

Cut half of the dough using a round cutter.  I happened to have one that made the ridge design.  Cut an equal number of rounds using the same cutter and then using your small heart cutter cut out the centre.  I also decided to save some of the heart cut outs rather than rolling it back into the dough.

Transfer the cookies to parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Dough scraps can be formed back into a disk and chilled again for 30 min.

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Bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.  This all depends on your oven and baking sheets.  I had to bake mine a little longer and the first set I did on an air bake sheet that took longer, the second on a dark cookie sheet, both still on the parchment paper but these ones cooked much faster, getting a little darker than I would have liked.

Cool the cookies completely and then spread the bottoms with the jam.  I  spooned my jam into a bowl and mixed it well with a spoon to warm it up a little and make it a little more spreadable.

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Dust the tops with the confectioners sugar (icing sugar) and then sandwich them together.

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Then have a tea party!

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” Be Mine” “Hug Me” and “Forever”

On Valentines day if I am buying a gift for someone special it has to be Valentine related.  I just can’t buy some random gift.  It has to fall into one of the following categories; it has to be red or pink,  chocolate or flowers, if it’s a book, it has to be about love or Valentine Princesses and if it’s clothes it has to be red or pink or just be Valentine related.  You get my point…..maybe.

It can’t just be some random gift that you would buy say for a birthday.  That’s just my thing.  So putting together the girls gifts for Valentines this year I decided to make them pillow cases.

I only had two choices at the fabric store, the sweet hearts pattern with the cute sayings on them like  “Be Mine”  “Hug Me” and “Forever

Bonus for me was, one included the colour pink and the other orange.  Each of them their favourite colour.

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Also included were these lovely homemade cookies with seedless strawberry jam.   Today we visited them for a little tea party and I gave them their Valentine bag early.  I had included  a book each about Valentines and wanted them to enjoy it leading up to the special day.  It also included some chocolates and some tissues with pink hearts.

Tomorrow I will post a little tutorial on how to make a pillow case.  It’s pretty easy actually and the little ones will just love them.

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My simple Peppermint Wreath…saved for Valentines Day

One of the blogs I follow is Shaunna over at Perfectly Imperfect, if you want to be inspired check her blog out.

Back in December she posted a Simple Peppermint Wreath and it just caught my eye.  I sent it to my girlfriend and we decided it would be our craft item we would do together.  We usually do something that involves painting so this would be a nice change.  I’m not sure if I have said this before but I am not a creator, I am a copier.  More on that another day.

I headed out to buy my supplies, should be easy enough, I recognize those bags from Walmart (a True Value) I can pick up the wreath at Michaels,  red hots, should be easy enough to find a box of those…right?  Wrong on all counts.  First I went to Michaels,  this is 9 days before Christmas when everyone and their sister has been crafting so shelves are empty.  However it wouldn’t have mattered if there were  lots of wreaths, seems we don’t carry round white wreaths in Canada.  There were half wreaths and square ones.  The clerk suggested I buy the square one and sand it using a paper bag, the paper bag so that it does’nt  make a big hole in the wreath like sand paper might.   This is what I chose to do.  Off to Walmart to get the peppermints.  Up and down every isle….NONE!  Box of Redhots….NONE!  Next stop, Bulkbarn….NONE!  I don’t get it, I’ve seen these peppermints, I just can’t remember where.

This is what I found,  I must say I love it but I don’t find it has the same WOW factor as the one Shaunna made but it was fun anyway and hangs in my kitchen window.

My Redhots are actually hearts, again from bulk barn.

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Here it hung in my kitchen window for Christmas.

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My Granddaughter asked me the other day why I still had my Christmas decorations up, ( I love her) I told that I thought the red would go well with Valentines.  To be honest I’m not sure what I am going to do with it, seems a shame to throw it out.  So here it still hangs.  Also I was disappointed with myself for not getting it into the blog at Christmas time, since it’s red and my “red hots” are “red hearts”……Valentine appropriate it is.

Scouting Pinterest for some Valentine craft ideas I came across this one.  Made from toilet paper rolls and these ones were red!  Not mine but the ones on Pinterest.  Can you believe it? Inside and out!

I had to paint mine and I did that with my Anne Sloan Chalk Paint in Emperor’s Silk.  I thought it was a bit crazy to use my chalk paint when I have lots of regular craft paint but I really like the red of the Emperor’s Silk.   After letting them dry I then pressed them a little  but not to crease them.  I then measured 1/2″ pieces and cut them up, after that shape them into hearts, it’s super easy.  I decided to go through the beads I had rather than go out and buy new ones.  I didn’t have any red but found these nice white ones.

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Using some fishing line I ran it through the bead twice and then up through the bottom of the heart and through the top.

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I did about one roll per string.  I was originally going to hang them in the kitchen window but we have a doorway in the kitchen that we blocked off going into the living room with half (homemade wall) and hanging them there allows me to enjoy them from both the living room and the kitchen.

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On my mantel I painted a couple of wooden hearts and the scrabble tray with the same Emperor’s Silk, adding the scrabble words “Be Mine”    The word love is my own little creation, now I’m sure it’s out there somewhere, all I’m saying is I didn’t see it on Pinterest, I actually just decided to do it on my own with pipe cleaners.  OK, no biggie …..

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I love the little white Ikea frames, for adding just about anything.  Here I added a piece of scrap booking paper and it added a little valentine pop.  Then a little vintage kiss and a hug.

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….and there it is,  my Valentine is early.


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Joy from Pinterest

An item I posted to my Christmas Pinterest board last year was this Joy sign.  As soon as I figure out how to do links I’ll add one to this picture.

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I knew from the moment I saw it I was making it for my girlfriend Pat.  It would suite her place perfectly.   In the summer I picked up two perfect pieces of wood from Habitat for Humanity.  I don’t have step by step pictures but I will be able to explain it fairly well.

First let me just say “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”  I love all things rustic!  This helps a lot when creating. But I’ve always been this way as far as I can remember.

The first thing I did was sand the board.  It had a lot of ruffness to it and I didn’t want to sand it all out but enough to take out the chance of any splinters.  Next I added the stain, a good coat all over the board on both sides.  I let that dry and then painted it with my craft paints in Buttermilk.  Probably a good two coats.  Then I took the sander to it and removed the paint from the areas that I wanted the stain to show through.  After this step you will find that a lot of your stain comes off with sanding so I just add a bit more not worrying about touching the paint, when it does that it just makes the paint look older adding more character.  Then I hand draw, with a pencil, the word Joy.  Now this is where if you did like things to be perfect you would probably get out the ruler and measure out the size you wanted each letter to be, the distance  apart, the size of your board etc…and maybe this is why I like things rustic, I can’t be bothered with all of that.  I gave the word Joy 3 coats of Barn Red, it’s a colour I use often.

Sometimes on other signs I will then sand the words a little but this sign I new would be on a porch and would need to be seen from a distance so sanding the letters would not be a good idea.  I added a little extra touch to this one, the holly at the top.  Finishing it off with a good coat of wax to give it a little lustre.   She loved it and here it is on her porch.

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