Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rummy Christmas (there's still time)

Alright, so after the rant about last year's gift-giving downer I am showing you what handmade things I've given this year to great success - booze! I made several liqueurs, but today we're talking about Rum Cream.

After a trip to Belize, we got hooked on this unicorn in a bottle. After my husband figured out this recipe, we don't buy Irish Cream anymore... this is much, much better.

While "formatting" my D: (whatever that means) I apparently deleted my artful photos that showed how fancy the gifts were presented. So... no pictures. They weren't that interesting, anyway. :)

Recipe makes 5 Cups/1.2 L/40 fl oz.

1 1/2
Cup
Spiced Rum (We use Admiral Nelson's, but Meyers is even better!)
1
Cup
Heavy cream
2
Tsp
Instant coffee (Folgers is fine)
1 (14oz)
Can
Sweetened condensed milk
Scant 1/2
 Cup
Liquid Eggs  (don't worry, the citric acid is a good thing in it, contrary to intuition!)
1
Tsp
Vanilla extract (use the good stuff)


Instructions:

-Melt coffee crystals into simmering cream
-Remove from heat
-Blend all ingredients except Rum
-Add rum and pulse in blender to mix
-Refrigerate and use within 6 months

Additional tips (learned through trial and error):
-Add no less than 1 1/2 Tsp coffee
-Can also add very small pinch of spice (try pumpkin pie, nutmeg or cardamom!), chocolate powder, or small amount of extract (try peppermint).

**This is most delicious between 2 weeks and 6 months, but it's still good the day of.

Put in coffee and cocoa, pour over ice cream or make a White Russian!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

When your handmade gift is underappreciated...


I would like to send a plea out to all you folks who say you want something handmade: mean it. 


Something thrills me about coming up with fun homemade gifts - but the flip side can be really discouraging.

I make things for people that I would love to receive, but unfortunately there are few people in my life who appreciate the awesomeness. Like last year... a person asked for a basket after she had seen my weaving. So I carefully chose one that she should find useful. I tucked other things into it like candy and lip balm, and included it in the bag o' gifts. She pulled it out of the bag, ooh-ed and ahh-ed over each filler item inside the basket, placed the unnoticed basket on the floor and proceeded to go through the other gifts in the bag. I held my tongue and waited until later to tell her why the basket was special. I was interrupted because she wanted me to go to her garage for some unremembered reason.

I let my little-kid ego feel hurt, then decided that the basket (and my efforts, time and money) deserved better than to be shoved in her garage or worse, tossed out later. I mustered all the courage I had and asked for the basket back if she didn't want it. There was no protest, but she tried to pass it off as it being an item "that meant so much" to me. It was amazingly liberating to drive home with a gift that was unappreciated by the intended recipient. On the ride home I was giddy with my assertiveness and felt really badass. I was quite cheeky  to everyone I encountered for the rest of the day!

I am pretty sure my action saved her from guilt (I know her quite well... she is my mother after all). At the time, I offered to make her a custom one to her better liking - "just tell me specifics of what you want, I'll happily make it!" She has yet to take me up on the offer.

So, folks - sometimes it happens. Our super amazing efforts and love and brilliant ideas aren't accepted on our terms, and it sucks. I suggest that we take control of the situation by reclaiming our amazing gift! And next time just give them something with a Starbucks logo on it.

Next post: What gifts I'm making this year! :) 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Meet my grandparents. They'd explain a lot, if you knew me.

There are several things that make me sad about going to my grandparents' garage sale recently. One is that many of my grandma's clothes were too small for me, which is still a little confusing. Apparently my brain is expanding at a slower rate than my waist since I've gone back to school.

Another is that I didn't even get a family discount even though I drove 45 minutes to their house. Yes, I paid full asking price for tchotchkes and granny clothes.

One more sad thing? I had to write a check. I wrote a check for $25 to my grandparents for their old crap they told me (later) that they were just going to haul everything to the dump that they didn't sell. FYI, the dump charges you to bring your stuff there. I'm regretting that I didn't make a note in the memo that read: you'd better leave me the house.

By the way, they spent most of the time I was there attempting to guilt me into visiting them more often. I'm working on snappy comebacks in my head that I'll never really share with them.

I'm not sure if all this beats the Christmas my grandma gave a 14 year old girl a garage sale Dynasty blazer with some used bras tucked into the inside pocket.

Sigh.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Koala

This needs no intro.


Photo taken by my husband at the zoo a few years ago.





Saturday, April 30, 2011