Archive: December 2011

It’s the last day of December, and therefore the last day of 2011. That reindeer hat was for the last day of school before vacation, the staff had an ugly sweater contest and this was as far as I was willing to go.

Read more on 2011 Wrap Up…

I had a surprisingly good crafting year. In my head I’ve been thinking all through 2011 that I haven’t been nearly as crafty as 2010, but I’ve actually made more quilts this year. Fewer small projects, but that’s because quilts take longer. Plus, let’s not kid ourselves. Pregnancy wore me out, I spent most of the summer asleep. So all in all, it’s been a pretty darn good year.

Read more on 2011 in Craftiness…

This quilt was Adam’s big Christmas present this year, and I am so thrilled with it. It’s been 2 Christmases in the making, and I was nervous to deliver it after so much buildup in my head. He’s been asking me for a couch quilt of his own forever, and I really wanted to make him something special. So here it is:

The front is a Union Jack I pieced with Kona solids in white, red, and royal.

The back is a custom-printed 1 piece of the London tube map.

Read more on The British Quilt…

Okay, this experiment was (apparently) deliciously successful and fuel for years of pregnant lady anecdotal material.

Martha Stewart’s special holiday issue this year had a recipe to make homemade limoncello, the intensely strong, super lemony Italian liquer. I thought this was the perfect gift for a few choice people on my list, so I decided to make it. Now, remember that I couldn’t actually taste test it all. So I have no idea how it came out flavorwise, except what Adam and friends have told me. They said it was great.

The first thing it required was 160-proof vodka or grain alcohol. Adam took to the interwebs to do some research and discovered how difficult it is to find 160-proof anything. Most sensible booze tops out at about 140, and the next highest we could find was 190-proof Everclear. It’s actually illegal to sell in several US states, but NJ is not one of them. Our local liquor store had it. We decided to go big or go home with this one and go for the Everclear. This led to me waddling 6 months pregnant into the store for Everclear, sure they would never sell it to me. Not only did they sell it to me, but the nice young man working there helped me get the 2 bottles I needed since they were on the bottom shelf. Bending over is not my friend. So I left very pregnant and double-fisting something Guinness Book of World Records once declared “the most alcoholic beverage.”

But it was all going to a good cause. This is so easy to make but takes a good week to prepare, but apparently it’s worth it. And it’s a gorgeous yellow color. Martha’s original recipe is here, but I made several adjustments to it for strength and quantity of alcohol I used–more lemons, more water and sugar. Again, I haven’t actually tasted this, so you’ll have to poll my friends and family to get the truth about how it came out. Or ask me in a few months when I can try it myself. So here’s my version:

Homemade Limoncello (adapted from Martha Stewart)
This will produce 1.5 liters of limencello, which fit nicely into the bottles pictured above. I actually made 2 batches with 2 bottles of Everclear so we’d end up with about 3 liters total.

9 lemons, preferably organic
1 bottle (1/2 liter) of 190-proof Everclear
2.5 cups sugar
2.5 cups boiling water

Read more on Homemade Limoncello…

I have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas, but not a lot of pictures. It was a small and cozy holiday this year, with Adam and I sleeping in (till 9:15) and opening our presents while eating chocolate croissants and pumpkin muffins, with For Your Eyes Only on in the background. Perfection, we definitely embraced the idea that this is the last quiet holiday we’ll be having for many years. My mom came over at 2 for a roast chicken feast (note to self: 8 lb. chickens DO exist, and they take about 2 hours to roast at 375 with another 15 minutes at 450 for super crispy skin). Really crispy roast potatoes, sausage balls, cippolatas wrapped in bacon, peas. It was great!

Read more on It’s a Wonderful Life…

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