Dreams of Mandalay & Homemade Chunky Apple-Cranberry Butter...

Transform these...

Into this...

....and have FUN while doing it!

Here's our Secret Strategy.

"Last Night I Dreamed of Mandalay..."
these words, spoken by Joan Fontaine, in Alfred Hitchcock's classic film "Rebecca" (based on Daphne de Maurier's book) sent chills up my arms as I peeled yet another apple to include in my current batch of chunky apple-cranberry butter.

First, I gather all my supplies atop a large baking sheet (one with sides works nicely).

In order to keep the peeled apples from browning I squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on them.

Once peeled and cored, I cut the apples into my saucepan and add the remaining juice of my lemon (and sometimes a bit of the zest).

I also sprinkle in about a half-cup of fresh-frozen cranberries (to add a bit of tang).

Next, I allow the apples and cranberries to cook to a soft, but slightly chunky, texture (about thirty minutes, on a medium simmer, staying close by and stirring every few minutes or so).

When the apple-cranberry butter is ready, I pour it inside my French glasses.
They are then covered and refrigerated for later use atop flavor plain include in recipes... or to add to savory sauces for natural sweetness and flavor.
The "Movie Watching Technique" has been my long-time method for transforming sometimes tedious tasks into pleasant experiences that I often look forward to.

I cannot count how many dresses I've created, over the years, while watching
"Anne of Green Gables" , "Anne of Avonlea" & "Little Women"
(my favorite sewing videos/dvds)...


how many pie's and pie fillings I've prepared...or...

batches of cookies, cakes and cupcakes I've baked...

or how many batches of jam I've put up...

or... vegetables and fresh foods prepared and frozen for future meals.

Today, I often save our current Netflix movies for watching/listening to while I tackle an otherwise boring or dreaded task such as, cleaning out the refrigerator/freezer, painting, cooking and canning, folding laundry and the like.


Joys of the Pantry

Stocking the Pantry
"The very honey of all earthly joy."
--Abraham Cowley

Our kind friend Carol wrote a lovely post on how she manages to stock the pantry on a regular basis and thus keep a firm hold on her food budget. In it she writes:

"At our home, we firmly believe in having a well stocked pantry. We learnt a few years back that we needed one to survive when hubby was out of work. We knew 2 years ahead of time that his job was going to be gone. Once we found out, I began filling the pantry...we lived off it for one full year.

Now we stock our pantry because of the economy, where we live (we are one hour away from the city) and because of our winter weather. I've watched as grocery prices continue to rise even when shopping at Superstore.

We live in an old victorian home, over 100 years old. We have a partial basement, however it's very small. Hubby built me shelving so that I could store my preserves. Our freezer is down there, we store our potatoes down there isn't much room once we have the furnace and water tank...."

Please click the link below to finish reading Carol's post...


Joys of the Pantry

Excerpt from Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons by Tracey McBride

Unlike most arrogance, pride and joy in one's pantry are quite acceptable. The writer Laura Ingalls Wilder understood the sublime pleasure of the pantry and wrote about it quite freely. As a new bride, she savored the practical luxury of her own first pantry--a wedding gift, built for her by her young husband . She took joy in its many cubbyholes, drawers, and deep bins designed to store large quantities of cornmeal and graham flour.

Often thought to be the cornerstone of the home, the pantry is the kitchen's companion. I urge you to create a special place in which to house your pantry, regardless of the size of your home. While some homes are large enough to designate an entire room to this purpose, most of us feel blessed if we can manage a large cupboard to use as a pantry. If your pantry space is limited, you may wish to adopt a free-standing cupboard as your larder. We have a friend who has converted an inexpensive, unfinished pine armoire into a charming pantry where she stocks her dry and canned goods. She has lined the pale pine shelves with cream-colored scallop-edged paper. The result surprises the visitor with its simple elegance. When I was a child, my mother devised a variety of pantries in unlikely places: the coat closet and beneath her bed are just two that come to mine--she stored dry and canned goods inside deep wooden boxes that glided smoothly over the carpets.
However humble or grand the pantry, it is a simple functioning place for storing food. it is a simple functioning place for storing food. It imparts a sense of well-being and abundance to any household.