party dress

Unexpectedly, I had a Christmas party to go to.  It was held out of town and at a place called Vaudeville.  The boyos sell their knives there so it is great for networking.  Though the after after parties do feel more like going to a Mardi Gras party!

I was already planning to make a new dress for Christmas dinner at my parents.  I had a lovely thrifted piece of silk that I was planning to make up into an A-line dress.  Very simple, pretty, comfortable.  Party and celebrations but not having to worry about how much you are going to eat.  Or, in the case this week, how much you are going to dance.

I moved the plan up and put together this party dress.  Black in any form always works at Vaudeville but sequins were really the trend of the evening.  Not for me though.  The comment was made that I looked lovely and warm.  The temperature dropped into the twenties and part of the party is always outside.  It is just a crazy party.

So, my dress for Christmas dinner is done.  It feels nice on and is pretty.  Though the pictures of me in it are not the best.  I did try.  

Now, let me see if I can figure out how to get everything else done I need to get done.  The out of town Christmas party did make all my plans and timings change.  It is going to be interesting.



The craziest thing happened yesterday.  It snowed.

In Houston.

Before Christmas.

It is actually much more common for this area to get hit with ice instead of snow.  That usually takes place in January or February.  December is early.

It did not stop the morning walk.  I just put on the right gear.  It was actually supposedly colder this morning the yesterday but I was much more unzipped this morning.  It was not as damp.

The snow made me smile.  I did not have to drive in it so that was lovely.  Everyone on the walk seemed to be in a much better state of mind then usual.  Some, because it was a snow day.  One small boy had a birthday was walking to get sprinkle doughnuts with his Dad and Captain America.  Dogs were bouncing.  If we had snow too long or too deep, this would not have been the case for long.  But the snow was gone by 10 am.  It was just pretty.  It is making me watch the weather a little bit closer though.  I admit.


roasted apple bread

I had this stray thought that I decided to write down.  How would my cranberry walnut bread taste if I kneaded in roasted apples instead of cranberries and walnuts?  The bread itself is not very sweet.  It has an earthy nutty flavor when I use whole wheat flour.  Something that would go really well with apples.  The roasted apples would add a bit of sweet but not be too sweet.  

I like sweet.  But lately I have been wanting less sweet.  The cinnamon rolls I made this week were almost too sweet.  This is more what my taste buds have been wishing for.  The silly thing was that as soon as the loaf was gone, I was told more was needed.  I have not gotten there yet.  I am waiting on a flour order.  I do not really wish to run to the grocery store for flour when I have 65 pounds of flour coming.  Maybe this weekend this bread will get made again.

I do have one simple problem with this recipe.  I roasted four apples for it, following my own recipe but keeping the sugar the same amount (or less) then I would use for two apples.  One of the boyos kept coming through and taking spoonfuls.  I finally told him he could eat up to half of the original amount.  I am not sure he did.  Therefore, I am not sure how many apples I really used but I would start with four again.

roasted apple bread

Note:  This is a yeasted bread.

four apples

2 tablespoons butter

1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon, or to your taste

1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, or to your taste

One recipe cranberry walnut bread without the cranberries and walnuts

Follow my recipe for roasted apples but use the ingredients I have above.

Follow the recipe for my cranberry walnut bread, but instead of folding in the cranberries and walnuts, fold in the roasted apples.  I would suggest that they be cooled or the sugars are going to burn your hands and kill the yeastie beasties.

I baked the loaf for the same amount of time as the original loaf.  If I had all four apples, I probably would have wanted another fifteen minutes.

It was an awfully yummy loaf.  It was really good as toast with cream cheese spread on top.

I will be making more when the flour arrives.



I have been playing with indigo recently.  I actually think it has been the easiest plant dye I have used becasue it is the fastest.

Within a couple hours of work, this is what I had drying on the line.  It is gorgeous.  One of the boyos thought I should sell it as is.

I actually tore it into four bits.  This piece I washed and hung up again to dry.  It became ribbons in my Etsy shop. 

I took a piece and have it soaking in iron water.  I am curious to see how that will turn out but I am now in the process of waiting.  I will take that piece out of the iron water sometime this weekend.  The other two pieces are being over dyed with another plant.  I am hoping for a blue green but we will see.

Indigo is fast.  The other plants, not so much.


apple vinegar

I made apple vinegar.  I am so impressed myself.  I can even see the mother!  This was very exciting.  Apples and water and I have vinegar.  I did not realize it was that simple. 

I pulled some off and the only negative is that it is going to need to settle a bit to make it less funky before I use it.  It is like a bottle of dandelion mead I got years ago, it tasted lovely as long as the sediment was at the bottom.  Getting the apples out of the jar mixed it all up.

I got this crazy idea to make roasted apple bread.  I did not wish to waste the peels and cores.  So I took about a pint of vinegar out of my jar and all the nine month old apples.  The mother broke up a bit but I do not think that will be much of a problem in the long run.

Into the jar went the cores and peels with about a pint of water.  I roasted the apples for the bread.  The bread was obviously a success because I was told it was almost gone this morning and more would be appreciated.  The apple vinegar is bubbling and frothing again so the yeastie beasties are happy. 

More apple bread, tarts, pies, or plain roasted apples to be made and I will add the peels and cores here again.  There is always a need for vinegar in this house and this means less food waste.  There are so many fermentation experiments going on.  I really need to make more mustard but it will not be ready before I need it.  That is my life.