Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shhhh!

videoThis week, I skipped going to Norris to weave so I could turn the back bedroom back into a library.  When I wrote about doing it last week, Tina reminded me that this room has had many incarnations:  library, Mom's room, AVL home, office/sewing room and now back to the library.  It's just the kind of grown up room I needed!
The room has gone from chaos to sublime, the hallway from narrow and well-read to wide enough for two to walk abreast.  I can't help but wonder why the hallway is so wide, but a friend last night said, "Well, they didn't use the space for closets!" Which is oh, so true in my house!
  I can't make the video rotate, so lean your heads to the left to watch it!



Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sweet News



Another busy month at the Farm, even though the beginning of the year is typically quite slow for us. My team only had to suffer through a few weeks of three days off a week, and now we're back to everyone going full steam.  
  We had the Knoxville Museum of Art fundraiser last weekend, L'Amor du Vin, and I made blue cheese cheesecake with fresh jam and a slice of our blue cheese.  Colleen Cruze from Cruze Farm Dairy was our official photographer, and a big help all night long.  
Milk chocolate crunch bar with Chai granita
  






And then it was back to the farm, inventing new desserts.  I fell in love with the bottom layer of the Valentine's Day desserts, the milk chocolate with feuilletine folded in, so I created a dessert around it.  It's simply that layer, milk chocolate mousse and a thin slab of tempered milk chocolate on top.  The Chai granita is really yummy, and really simple.  I used a French press to make the chai, then added simple syrup--equal parts golden cane sugar and water brought to a boil--and froze it, stirring it with a fork every 30 minutes.  It's sitting on a spoon made of fondant, glucose and milk chocolate with cocoa nibs, and under that is rosemary cream.  I put rosemary and sugar in the food processor and ground it all up until the rosemary was tiny bits, then strained out the bigger bits and added 1/4 cup to 2 cups of heavy cream.  I wasn't sure the combination would work but it  did.  Thumbs up from every taster.
  Every night, when the guests are leaving the dining room, we give them a little bag of something sweet, and I got the bright idea a couple of weeks ago of making Friday's take away treat some meringue cookies.  Of course, it immediately started raining every Friday, making it impossible to get the meringues dry enough!  So, last Friday, I switched to biscotti.  Heck, you bake  them twice!  How can they not be dry enough?  And I found this yummy chocolate biscotti recipe on Joy of Baking's website.  I liked the way the miles of biscotti looked, so you get to enjoy it, too.  
  This week's flavor was cherry-pine nut, from another online recipe.  I've got to find my old makes-a-million biscotti recipe I used to use for banquets in Detroit, because it never came out as wet as the recipes I've been finding.  
  This weekend is relatively slow, under 100, a good weekend for the time change.  I gave myself a head start, setting back the clocks last night, but Bella thought I needed a little more encouragement than that, and asked to go outside at 3:30, which was actually 2:30!  I hope I have enough caffeine to make it through the day!