It has been unseasonably moderate this fall and what tomorrow is; the first official day of winter. We have sunbathed in short sleeves far more days than not. To be fair we have had a number of hard frosts but none to kill the cold weather crops yet.
The garden has continued to heap upon us a bounty of produce – enough to put fresh veggies on the table daily. Lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, kale, leeks, choy, late peas, loads of cilantro, parsley and other herbs have all graced our fall and warm winter table. Between the fresh produce and summer stash we are fairly well fed!
We watch the weather report all day long (who needs social media when the weather forecast changes as often as it does?) because it seems to change almost hourly. This morning we were greeted with a predicted low of -2 degrees F for New Years Eve along with 6 out of 7 days being snowy. By this afternoon all those low temps had melted away and the snow prediction is down to 2 days. Really. I only know what it will do in the next hour and only plan on what to do for the next day or so.
We will continue to leave everything heavily mulched and without row cover but if it really does look like temps in the teens or lower I will cut the rest of the brocoli and cover the cabbage a little better, put the dry leaves and buckets back over the parsleys and cover the lettuce.
In the meantime we have made spontaneous plans to run down south and pick up a big box of satsumas and some pecans. Who knows what else. Then we’ll dash back home in time to hunker down over our Christmas days and what may come of the cold snowy prediction. We will have to light an imaginary Yule log while sailing down the road.
Also in the meantime I made a batch of this yummy Coconut Pecan Candy – the original recipe to follow. Once again I apologize for forgetting the source of said recipe. Some day I’ll get better at that!
No Bake Coconut Pecan Praline Cookies
2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter – melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine coconut and pecans; set aside.
2. In a heavy saucepan over medium high heat, stir sugar, evaporated milk, corn syrup and butter. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a full rolling boil — let boil and stir for 3 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut/pecan mixture. Stir off the heat for about 4 minutes, until mixture starts to cool and thicken. Drop by large spoonfuls on wax paper. Let harden completely — about an hour to an hour and a half — before serving.
I made some minor adjustments. For some reason I forgot the milk! Once it had boiled for three minutes I quickly stirred in the vanilla and coconut/pecan mixture and it was quite thick so I immediately scooped it into paper lined mini muffin pans and it made exactly 4 dozen with a couple bites left over. Yea. Yum.
The candy turned out solid enough and with a crumbly texture which was exactly what I was hoping for. So happiness! These are somewhere between a praline style no bake cookie and a real praline. Only very easy.
Last but certainly not least the gift Gene and I gifted ourselves with this year.
Supporting a local artist seems to us the best way to go so we chose this beautiful uniquely created and designed stained glass to hang in the kitchen window.
Thank you Mary Patrick for the lovely piece of work!
Whatever holiday you are celebrating, have a happy and safe one! And whether your garden is resting up over the winter or working hard to keep feeding you – it’s a wonderment either way.