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Archive for November 4th, 2011

My kitchen island was in need of serious replacement.  I wanted something heavy, durable, with storage room, a place for my daughter to sit while I was busy in kitchen, and most of all…inexpensive.  When I came upon this at the local Goodwill store on one of my trips I was certain it would work well. It was heavy, sturdy, had plenty of storage space and a place for a child to sit  and with a price tag of $20.00 the deal was sealed.

The left side has three shelves, perfect for holding my baking supplies while the right side has three drawer bins for storing fresh fruits, onions and potatoes.  The sweet part of this all is the top of the three seconds are counter-top material so I don’t need to worry about replacing that.

I had to put on new knobs, reattach the center drawer front panel and replace a slider for a drawer…oh and remove about a year of dust and grime thus the mess on the floor and dust cloth.  I was just so excited when all put back together and clean  I couldn’t wait to snap the picture.  I promise, the floor is all clean now…though still ugly. I truly do not like that flooring and it’s on my list to be rid of.

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Sound delicious? They are!  In addition they are incredibly easy to make.

2 cups pancake mix (homemade OR your favorite store brand.)

1 1/2 cups coffee mate vanilla-caramel creamer (liquid usually found with milks).

1 egg

2 tsp butter, melted

2 tbsp sugar

1 jar red raspberry jam (or strawberry, peach)

Cupcake/Muffin pan and liners.

Add your pancake batter to bowl, add egg, creamer, butter, sugar and mix well.  If it seems to thick, add a little regular milk to thin, you want pancake batter consistency.

Fill your muffin liners 1/2 full,  add a tbsp of preserve to center and cover with remaining batter until liners are 3/4 fill.

Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean.

That’s it…and they are sooo delicious.

 

 

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One nice thing Mother Nature provided with moving here is a thicket of wild persimmon trees. These little golden gifts have been a tasty blessing to food preserves ever since.  Though I will admit, the older I’m getting the more difficult the climb to gather the fruits is becoming, I need to rig up a new method.

I’ve made persimmon jelly and preserves, persimmon pudding, dried them and put them in muffins and cakes, yet there is one element of persimmons wild or not which is often forgotten.  The large seeds of these little fruits can be roasted, ground and used as a caffeine free coffee substitute.  Just one more reason for me to look forward to the fall of the year and the ripening of the persimmons in the thicket, I savor the bold, robust taste of persimmon “coffee”.

After cooking down the pulp to make you jams or puddings, remove the seeds from the  scrap and wash well.  Place them on a cookie sheet in oven at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes to roast.  Stir a few times during this process and test them occasionally. You want them still “tender in center”.  Remove and grind as you would coffee beans.  I find a food processor works well for this process.

Use as you would any traditional coffee grounds.

Just one more piece of lore about the persimmon seed.  According to the old-timers. Persimmon seeds can predict the severity of winter.  By cutting the persimmon into two pieces, the seeds inside display one of three symbols.  A knife indicates cold, wind cutting like knife, icy winter.  A fork shape shows a mild winter and a spoon shape is said to show the shovel needed to dig out of the abundant snow.

If all those I cut were right, those down here in the south better bundle up.

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