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Archive for February 20th, 2017

Farm Crop

Feb
20

Since the Great Flood last summer, numerous items have turned up on the farm, washed up from the flood waters, to be harvested like a wild crop. One of my favorites is this vintage Royal Crown Cola bottle.

I did some research on the bottle. Like many manufacturers, RC used different bottle styles during different periods of time, which helps to date the bottle.

This bottle style is from the 1960s.

I cleaned it up really good, being careful not to disturb the remaining part of the label. The glass itself is in amazing condition–no chips or cracks–and it blows my mind to think of it surviving 50 or more years in after some 1960s soda drinker tossed it aside somewhere in the woods and hills of the farm to not wash back up into the sunlight and be found until decades later.

I have it for sale in my Etsy shop, though I’m not trying real hard to sell it. I keep thinking how awesome it’s going to look with wildflowers in it on my windowsill….

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Vanilla Toffee Cookies

Feb
20


Those look good, don’t they?

There was this time, years ago, that I made fun of Alton Brown for weighing cake batter (to make perfectly even cake layers).

Yeah.

So I admit that I weigh cake batter, cookie dough, bread dough, all kinds of things now. But I have an excuse! It’s because I started selling these items and when you promise, for example, a certain number of cookies and a certain weight, then you start going all Alton Brown about it. And I have to admit also that if everything you put in the oven together is the same size then everything bakes properly in the same amount of time.

I’m a weird combination of total perfectionism and very non-anal retentive, so there’s part of me that likes this and part of me that’s, like, how ridiculous. If I’m just baking for myself, I don’t even like to measure ingredients! I don’t like to give people a recipe (beforehand) when I’m teaching breadbaking. Me: “I want you to get a feel for the dough. Just pour some yeast into your hand, some sugar, start adding the flour, get to know how your dough should feel.” Though I always give them a recipe afterward.

Anyway! Here’s an ACTUAL recipe, with measurements, though you don’t really have to weigh the cookie dough, honest! (If you want to weigh them, an ounce is a good size. But you can forget I said that if you want.)

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How to make Vanilla Toffee Cookies:

1 cup butter (or margarine if you insist)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla (or a dollop, you know)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
1 12-ounce package vanilla baking chips
1/2 cup toffee bit (Heath Bar bits)

Mix together butter and sugar; add the eggs, vanilla, and baking soda, then stir in the flour a cup at a time until you’ve got it all mixed well. Gently stir in the vanilla chips and toffee bits.

Chill the dough for at least an hour–it’s so much easier to work with cold. Shape dough into balls then roll in sugar. (Because. We always need more sugar. You can skip this step if you want.)

Chill again, at least one hour, more is better. If you’re in a hurry, put the cookie balls in the freezer for about half an hour. Cold dough holds shape better in the oven.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes about 3 dozen, depending on size.

This cookie is a uniquely different and delicious twist on the average chocolate chip cookie (it’s a chocolate chip cookie-based type dough), and all I can say is that these went FAST around here!

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.
See All My Recipes
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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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