notes from maggie's farm
life be not so short but that there is always time for courtesy. ralph waldo emerson
Are you just a tad busy this season? Do you, like myself, have a calendar so full of tasks that just looking at the day ahead makes you want to crawl back in bed? Can you not imagine fitting one more party, gift, card, or errand into these weeks ahead?
It's less the large gestures, but rather the small graceful acts that endear us to others and warm hearts. Showing appreciation for a host or hostesses' invitation and hard work is one way to ensure you'll be invited again. It can be the offer of showing up early to help with final preparation, staying late to help with cleanup, bringing a little extra item to share with the crowd, or better yet, a gift for the host to enjoy later, when the hustle bustle is all but a distant memory and there is time to quietly savor your gift, and remember the warmth of company.
Nothing extravagant is necessary. If you are pressed for time or money, as is so often the case during the holidays, perhaps a small token, from the heart and the hands, is in order. I like to take an afternoon before the holidays begin to prepare a few goodies to tuck away, for just such an occasion. One of this year's simple projects is this Cranberry Infused Vodka. It takes about 15 minutes from start to finish, including the jaunty little bow or sprig of holly with which you choose to adorn the bottle. Below, also, find a recipe for a cranberry cocktail that you might enjoy yourself (I know I'll be keeping a bottle behind), or include a handwritten copy on a recipe card, perhaps tied to the bottle, for your recipient.
cranberry infused vodka
1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split (optional)
1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
Place cranberries, sugar and vanilla, if using, in a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium heat and stir. Simmer cranberry mixture until the berries just begin to burst, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove vanilla bean.
Allow the cranberry mixture to cool. Pour the cooled mixture into one large or individual glass bottles which have been sterilized. Cover tightly and set in a warm, light location for as little as 3 days to 3 weeks.
Strain liquor prior to mixing. Reserve fruit for a sophisticated crown for cake or ice cream. Store finished vodka in a cool, dark location.
(p.s. I have a batch of cranberry sage liqueur that's steeping. I'll let you what comes of it in a few weeks.)
|(c)from maggie's farm|
for more on simple syrup, including recipe, visit this link.
Tomorrow's a big day for us! We'll begin taking orders for our Annual Christmas Tamales. Check back for all the details, including delivery dates, and all the varieties on.....