Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Banana Bread

It is Fall and you see pumpkins every where you go.  I decided to make something with canned pumpkin, but I didn't want to do the same old thing.

So I decided on ...

Pumpkin Banana Bread

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed, ripe bananas, about 2 bananas
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal, optional
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, cloves and allspice
1 or 2 Tablespoons chopped, candied ginger, optional

 

Heat the oven to 350°.  Spray a loaf pan with Pam.  Set aside.

The next part is best with a stand mixer.  Beat the butter until it is softened and a light yellow.  Add the sugar and continue beating.  Then add the eggs. 

 

After everything is mixed add the bananas, pumpkin and vanilla.

 

While things are mixing, sift together the flour, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices into a medium bowl.  The flaxseed did not sift well, so I just dumped it on top.  I added the flaxseed for the fiber.  It is optional for you.

 

I used 1 Tablespoon of the chopped candied ginger and really like the pop of heat, so I will use 2 Tablespoons next time.

 

Add the flour mixture in two batches and beat until just mixed. 

If you like nuts, you may add 1/2 cup of them, but I wanted to eat a few slices and then needed to slice it thinly the next day, so I left out the nuts.

 

Scrape into the prepared pan and bake for 55 to 65 minutes.  Test with a toothpick to make sure it is done.  Mine looked done long before it was.
 


Cool for about 5 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.  Cool at least another 15 minutes before slicing.

I liked this bread.  It was a little bit pumpkin and a little bit gingerbread with the moistness of banana bread.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Holding Off The Inevitable

We recently bought some new furniture.  The old furniture had been scratched by our cats one too many times...one THOUSAND too many times.

Our plan of using Sticky Paws and multiple scratching posts is working.  SO far...

 

But what about cat hair, you ask?  Are you able to wear black pants again?

 

Of course not.  But I did come up with a solution of sorts.  I found some cloth furniture covers that were not too hideous.

 


 

Yes. I do remember people that had plastic furniture covers and runners in their houses.

Hopefully these look OK.

 

The loveseat has double recliners and a console in the middle.  The seat cover would not fit and it would not be possible to recline on one side with the stationary middle.

 

My solution was to cut the cover up the middle and then do an overlock stitch to finish the cut edge.

 

Now we have covers for all three pieces.  It looks OK.  But the best part is that these covers are washable and it will be easy to whisk the covers away when we have guests and they will be able to sit on not-quite-as-hairy seats.

 

You know, for when the queen visits.  But, somehow, I think she will understand.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time For The Dining Room

Usually we serve the bed and breakfast guests on the screen porch.  But the mornings are getting colder.  We have been serving in the dining room on cold mornings.

 

I have blocked the dates where we can be booked for the B&B around Thanksgiving and Christmas, so that we can accommodate family.  I also blocked the first two months of the year.  I worry about guests trying to make it up the driveway on a snowy day.  And trying to keep the walkways clear.

 

So we only have a few more weeks where we will take guests this year and we will start up again in March.  Spring is gorgeous here.  And we can serve breakfast on the screen porch again.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Getting Ready

The last of the grass on our property has been cut for hay.  It hasn't all been baled, yet.  I expect it will be done soon. 

 

Lee cut the rest of the areas that we keep cleared, the narrow trails and the super steep parts.  He won't cut them again until Spring.

 

Then he switched out the bush hog for the scraper.

 

All ready for snow.

Yes, I know.  That might not happen for months.  But you don't want to wait for 30 degree weather to switch out equipment.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sad


 
Is this sad or pitiful?

Lee left for an errand.  He left RJ here.

 

I am up in the office on the computer and RJ is staring mournfully out the window.

Waiting for Lee. 

I do not count.  Lee left and I am here.  RJ stares out the window sadly until Lee returns.

 

What am I, chopped liver?  Oh, wait.  He would love it, and ME, if I was chopped liver.
  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall 2014

 
The trees are turning colors.

Some trees have lost all their leaves.  The last of the hay is getting cut and baled.

 

The days are getting colder.  It was 45 this morning when we got up.

 

But recent guests still managed to bundle up and enjoy the sunrise.  I admire their intrepid spirit.  From inside.  With the heater on.

 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cooking With Wood

We recently returned from a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. I must say, I spent more time enjoying the free things rather than the ones you have to pay to see.

That being said, I have a hard time going in to the shops and not buying something.  The shopkeepers are dressed in period clothes and try not to answer questions about cell phones and cars, that kind of thing.  They do take  a "letter of credit"  from Miss VISA, however!

I found a couple of wooden utensils that looked great. 

 

The lemon juicer was probably from China, but the pie server was from a nearby state.  It had a finish on it that disappeared when I got home and washed them.  They were sanded, but not as smooth as I wanted.

I got some 220 grit sand paper and sanded them a bit, paying particular attention to the handles.  I also spent some time on the pie server, thinking it might help thing slide off more easily.  I didn't even attempt to sand the ridges of the lemon juicer.

 

Next I put several coats of Mineral Oil on them.  I once again ignored the ridges of the lemon juicer.  The bottle of Mineral Oil suggested 3 or 4 coats.  I used a rag to rub in a liberal amount for each coat. Then I wiped it dry after 20 minutes.  I let it sit for several hours between each coat.  I kept recoating the pieces until they seemed  less interested in absorbing more oil...you know, they looked away and wanted to watch TV instead!

I gave them a final polish with a clean, dry rag and they are ready for my kitchen drawer.
 


I like the scoop on the pie server and intend to try it the next time I serve a frittata for my B&B guests.