The other day we made maple sugar. Daddy did it because the syrup gets very very hot, up to 300 Â°F! We boiled it in a large pot because it some times boils over.Â We skim off the foam every so often. When the bubbles get small we know it is almost done so we watch better.
When it gets to 290Â°F, Daddy takes the sugar off the heat and stirs until his arm gets tired then he lets one of us stir.Â We stir until the moisture is gone and then we have sugar. We grind it small in a blender if needed or eat as candy.
It takes a lot of syrup to make sugar. We used three quartsÂ of syrup (which is about 30 gallons of sap) to makeÂ 1859 grams (1.8 kg) of sugar.
When you make maple sugar don’t forget to make maple butter. To make make maple butter, you boil the syrup to 230 degreesÂ F. It will take a loooooooong time. When it gets there you cool to 75 degrees F. or under then you whip and you whip and you whip until you get tired. Then you give it to a sibling, and they whip and they whip and they whip and they whip until they get tiredÂ then they give it to someone else…
You do that until the butter looks like peanut butter then you spread it on bread (or don’t bother) and enjoy! 🙂
On New Year’s Eve, we made this recipe.Â Daddy has a friend that he asked for a good Greek recipe.Â Mrs. Rankin says that her family makes a huge amount ofÂ Dolmades for Christmas Eve every year.
We had to hunt for ground lamb. It is hard to find where we live. We also had to find grape leaves, lemons and dried mint. We already had everything else atÂ home.
We mixed the lamb, dried mint, rice and spices in a big bowl. Then we made them into logs and wrapped them in grape leaves. When they were done, they looked like miniature green burritos.
Then we simmered them in chicken broth with a plate over the top. Then Daddy made a sauce out of the broth, lemon and egg yolk.Â To eat them, you put a few on your plate and pour the sauce over them if you want to. Sprinkle Feta cheese and black olives over them if you have them.
It was rather easy, but took a long time. It was good. We are divided on whether they were too lemony or not. I hope that we make it again.
We are learning about Greece ( Daddy says why didn’t we work on the car?).Â We made Greek soup.Â It is on Andrea’s blog.
We made Baklava because it is a Greek desert and Momma (and Andrea and I and…) like it.
(16 ounce) package phyllo dough
1 pound chopped nuts, we used walnuts.
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
It seemed like a LOT for 7 people, so half way through we decided to half this recipe. We still made a 9 x 13 inch pan, but made it thinner. We used most of the nuts though 🙂 Next time we will use a square pan. ( Or I would invite some friends over.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×13 inch pan.
Chop walnuts and stir in cinnamon. Set aside.
To keep phyllo dough from drying out, keep it wrapped once you take it out of the package. Cut to fit pan if needed. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter lightly, you don’t want to soak it, but just cover it. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered.Â Don’t bother making the sheets smooth, the more crinkles the better.
Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Add two sheets of dough, butter them, add more nuts, and continue untilÂ phyllo dough is almost gone. Make top layer about 6 – 8 sheets deep.
Cut into diamond or square shapes most of the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake for 50 minutes until lightly brown and crisp.
Start boiling sugar and waterÂ 20 minutes after Baklava is in oven. Boil until sugar is melted, then stir in vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove Baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool before devouring.Â Do NOT cover until completely cool or it might get soggy. Yuck! OR don’t bother saving any, just EAT IT ALL!!!!!!!!
For my birthday, the girls made Cow Chip Cookies. They are good. I think they would be really good dunked in chocolate. Here is the recipe.
Daddy made my cake look like a boot. Momma used the Cow chip cookies the girls made for the boot to walk on.
When we were in Colorado we had a chow chip throwing contest. We found the cow chips all over the ground! In case you do not know what cow chips are, look it up! 😉 The cow chip throwing contest was fun. I think that I won, but Audrey argues that. 🙂
We made Australian Bacon and Egg pie yesterday. It is good! They eat it for lunch or dinner.
We made it because we are learning about Australia in geography this month. If you make it, it is more like a sandwich then a pie, because it is not sweet. You can eat it with forks, but we used our fingers to finish it for lunch today.
I think it would have tasted better with some more spices.
If any one knows any good Australian recipes please let me know! Andrea made some cookies, and will have it on her blog soon! Check it out 🙂 Megan said they were YUMMY!
Serves our whole family plus extra for lunch (Serves 8-10)
2 sheets puff pastry (one package)
1 onion, diced
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and drained
Â¾ cup cheddar cheese
1 tomato cubed
6 – 8 eggs
Pepper to taste
Optional: Add favorite “omelet” ingredients if desired, delete others you don’t like.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a pie pan and line with one sheet of puff pastry. Don’t forget like we did, it might stick 🙂
Place onion and bacon over pastry, add tomatoes and cheese. Crack whole eggs over, keeping yolk intact if possible. Season with pepper (already salty enough with bacon and cheese!)
Cover with remaining sheet of pastry, trim edges. Cook in pre-heated oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Cut the trimmings into strips and bake till golden brown. They would be good with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top.
This morning we made German apple pancakes. They were GOOD!!!!!!!!! Here is the recipe if you are interested.
German Pancakes with Apples
4 large egg
1 Cup milk
1 Cup flour
3 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 peeled and cored apples, I used Yellow Delicious
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Dash nutmeg
1/3 Cup brown sugar
Thinly slice apples.
In large bowl whisk together beaten eggs, milk, flour, vanilla just until blended. Set aside to rest about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place rack in the middle of oven.
In an oven proof 12 inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over high heat. Add apples and spices and cook until apples are soft and slightly golden.
Add brown sugar and stir until apples caramelize and are very soft. Add remaining butter and stir.
Very quickly pour bater over apples. Place skillet in oven carefully and bake until pancake is golden brown and puffed. (About 15 minutes)
Serve immediately. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with maple syrup if you want.
Don’t you wish your mom would let you cook for school too?
P.S. Maple Sap Newsflash! We filled the 5 gallon container up today. We are working on filling a milk jug now. (Momma said the tree filled it up, not us 🙂 )