Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grandma Clara's Peppermint Dessert

I am being proactive this year and working on several of my Thanksgiving dishes ahead of time. One particular dish, a tasty and minty dessert, is one from my childhood. It was a recipe my grandmother made and was something I looked forward to every year. It may not be the most "foodie" recipe, but eating brings me back to being 8 years old at my grandma's house surrounded by lots of relatives.

Here is the recipe:

Grandma Clara's Peppermint Dessert

Recipe by Clara Newman


8-16 oz. peppermint candies (use as much as you like)

1 pint heavy cream

1 tbsp vanilla

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 to 1/2 cup whole milk

8 oz large marshmallows

Graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


1. Pour the whole milk into a large microwave-safe bowl. Add the marshmallows. Microwave for 1-2 minutes until marshmallows are puffy. Set aside to cool.

2. Place peppermints in blender or food processor. Run until the mints are a fine dust. Set aside.

3. Pour the cream into a bowl. Add sugar and vanilla. Whip cream until cream holds peaks.

4. Fold the peppermint dust into the whipped cream.

5. Fold minted cream into marshmallow mixture and incorporate. Mix in walnuts.

6. Fill the bottom of an 8x8 inch pan with graham cracker crumbs - patting down to create a solid "crust".

7. Pour mixture into the pan. Cover with aluminum foil.

8. Freeze pan (ensuring it is level).

9. When ready to serve, cut into squares and serve frozen.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Yes, I have severely broken my New Year's resolution and had a complete lapse in my blog posting. What do they say about New Year's resolutions - most are broken halfway through the year? At least I did well through August!

Today's post won't have a lot of pretty pictures. Sorry, it is a boring word-only post.

Ok, ok, you don't care. You just want to know what I have been up to for the last 3 months or so. Right? I know you do!

We did a lot of eating from the garden. We got a nice crop of butternut squash this year as well as several pumpkins.

Our Swedish Blue ducks went for "finishing". Our friend took several of them and turned them into duck breast proscuitto and duck leg confit. Both are seriously tasty. We are really spoiled to have such a talented and sharing friend. A thin slice of the proscuitto is this wonderful combination of salt, funk and sweetness. I am in no mood to share it with anyone.

We had our 2nd annual Fall Festival on the Farm. This year we did goat instead of pig. We got the goats from Dancing Wind Farm, which is about 20 minutes from our place. We made a couple of curries with some of the goat meat (as well as a vegan butternut squash curry) and roasted a whole goat over a fire pit. Our friends and family turned out with some outstanding side dishes and the weather cooperated with sun and warmth. We are looking forward to next year.

Hubby and I attended a Women's Environmental Institute (WEI) training weekend north of the Twin Cities. It was done in conjunction with Growing Power, Inc. We got to meet Will Allen and spent the weekend building hoop houses, aquaponics units, worm composting bins and 10 foot-high compost piles. We met some really great people and had a lot of fun, despite the cold and rain (and vehicles getting stuck in mud).

While Hubby went up for deer opener, I went to a Slow Food MN event at Hells Kitchen in Minneapolis. I was a complete and total food geek by bringing our copy of Damn Good Food and having Mitch Omer sign it. He and his wife were so wonderful - very happy that we were there and graciously answering all sorts of questions. They also gave us some insight into the balancing act restaurants must do - complicated by adding local food sourcing. They would love to get local eggs, but their volume is huge. Most small, local egg producers just can't provide them with enough eggs. Hmmm....maybe Hubby and I should increase our flock...

So, that is a quick overview of what has gone on over the last 3 months. I will endeavor to be more consistent in my posting. After all, we do have that Mother-of-all food events coming up: Thanksgiving.