Monday, December 12, 2011

Making Brown Sugar

Did you know you can make your own brown sugar?  It's not necessarily cheaper, but when you need it and can't get to the store, it's handy to know this little trick.  We used to do this all the time when I was growing up as we lived in the country and a grocery store was a 20 min. or more trip into town.  I haven't made brown sugar in years, but the other day I was in the midst of making cookies and really didn't have the time to run to the store.  So, here's what I did - I don't have exact measurements, but you can eyeball it.

First get a good pile of sugar in a large bowl.

Then pour a small amount of molasses into it.  I tend to use less rather than more because if you get too much molasses, you end up having to keep adding sugar to get the right consistency and sometimes it can go on forever!

Toward the end you may still have little balls of molasses.  Keep mashing it (I used the back of spoon) until it is completely worked into the sugar.  It takes some patience, but keep working at it.
I imagine you can also do this in the food processor, but I'm not sure if it would eliminate the small balls of molasses.  You may still need to do some mashing by hand.

Voila!  Beautiful, golden, brown sugar.

Another trick I learned, from my Uncle's sweet, southern mother, for any brown sugar is to place a piece of  bread on top of the sugar in the canister you're storing it in.  The bread absorbs the moisture and turns hard instead of your sugar.  Therefore, leaving you with fluffy brown sugar every time!

Boeuf Bourguignon becomes Venaison Bourguignon

We were given a deer this year. After Dad and Jeremy prepared it I decided to try my hand at making Julia Child's famous Boeuf Bourguignon with it.  Therefore, the name becomes Venaison Bourguignon.  I followed all the same steps only making it with venison rather than beef.

I grew up on venison, but sadly over the last decade I lost my taste for it.  I think because I had it from people who prepared it wrong.  It MUST be cooked for a good, long time to lose the wild game taste to it.  Because this recipe is so rich and has so many flavors packed into it, I knew it would be good.  It doesn't taste exactly the same, but it got me eating venison again, so I would consider it a success!

I used the recipe here from and made egg noodles to pour the stew over.  Here are some pics of the process!

The Butchers

Browning the venison in my awesome cast iron dutch oven.

Ready to go in the pot and in the oven!

Several hours later...

Browning the onions and mushrooms

Egg Noodles

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ice Cube Tutorial by Angelina

I just ran across this video I took Sept. 2010 of Angelina telling us how to make ice cubes.  It's so cute!