My Advent Starts Today!

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It’s finally here! I’ve got 25 days of highlights for you for my digital advent calendar. I know this is a little different than my normal content, but I think it’s a fun way to stay interactive while the holidays approach. You also get to see a side of me that I don’t get to show much on here (how materialistic I am, haha).

If you want to sign up for my newsletter, you can do so here. Each morning, I’ll send out the next advent. Or you can follow along at your leisure in the link above.

And now off to Seattle for our little “mini-moon”!

My Interview with WoolOvers

Earlier this month, I was asked by my friends at WoolOvers to talk a bit about what life is like on my farm. You can find my interview here

I was also given three items to style myself. Find some of those looks below! 

Little Holiday Cakes: Parkin + Fruitcake + Donut

Mini Parkin Fruit Cake

Happily, I’m taking another year off from any work on Thanksgiving. But, I am still itching to bake lately. A warm oven (cracked slightly to heat the house a bit), a sink of dishes, a shared spoon of batter between Nolan and me. That’s the kind of night I enjoy most.

This recipe started out as a practice parkin. I had seen the golden and brown cake on instagram from Alice Naylor-Leyland with her husband Tom. They were hosting a dinner to promote the Yorkshire town of Malton at Claridge’s (Vogue covered it here). I thought, considering I had the ingredients, I’d give it a go.

Baked in cast iron, I found the recipe too sticky. So I adapted it. Forced the parkin into a baked donut mold of a recipe. And added golden raisins for good measure. Thus, these cakes were born. A perfect little pick-me-up that’s treacly enough to sweeten your tooth, while light enough to keep room for turkey.

Holiday Cakes

Makes roughly 6-8 cakes / Prep: 10 minutes ; Bake: 25 minutes

Mini Parkin Fruit Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup AP flour

  • 1/3 cup quick oats

  • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 large egg + 1 yolk

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 2 TB light corn syrup (or honey)

  • 3 TB vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup strong coffee

  • 1/3 cup golden raisins, candied ginger, or any other dried or preserved fruit

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F

  2. Grease your pan (I used a Lodge Mini Cake Pan, but you could easily use a muffin tin!)

  3. In a large bowl, use a fork and mix together all dry ingredients (except your preserved fruits)

  4. In a measuring cup, whisk together all wet ingredients until it’s a deep caramel color)

  5. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients

  6. Use a rubber spatula and mix in wet ingredients into dry

  7. Divide into your prepared pans

  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden and slightly cracked

  9. Allow to cool and enjoy. Can keep for up to a week in an airtight container (and tastes better that way!)

Mini Parkin Fruit Cake
Mini Parkin Fruit Cake
Mini Parkin Fruit Cake

The New Normal: Winter’s Here

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I’m told the Farmers Almanac calls for a bad season this year. I believe it. 

We get groceries delivered and they had to cancel, too cold to finish the harvest, they said. No potatoes. No celery. No soup to warm our bones tonight. 

The walks to the chickens are doable in the frigid mornings, but only because I’m distracted by the beauty of our farm. The cardinal-colored shack that’s broken and stark in the patch of trees. The burn pit that spreads motes of ash to the whispering and broken creek bed. The one lone goose who trails behind. The gravel that shatters around my stomping feet.

The icicles that form on the grill of the old Ford we left neglected all Summer. The battery dead and the paint peeling off the door handle.

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