Christmas in July…HO HO HO

I still moan and groan every year around this time when all the department and greeting card stores start their “Christmas in July Sales”.  As my friend Daffy Duck would say,  “THufferin’ THuccotash!”  Just can’t the retail business let us enjoy the rest of the summer at least,  before tying our stomachs in knots about getting those dang Christmas lists out and scouting out the bargains pre-Labor Day even?!!!

Every year I say the same thing, like a mantra…..I’m not getting caught up in this flurry of Christmas shopping madness, I’m not getting caught up in this flurry of Christmas shopping madness…etc.

And I mean it this time!

Instead , on July 25, (yes, that is exactly six months until shopping D-Day),  I plan to do many summer things, like heading to a pool, eating outdoors, making a huge pitcher of ice tea, using up all of my mint in the garden, picking some basil and making pesto to freeze for this winter, go to North Park and feed the ducks with my grandson Aiden, maybe even go on his slip n’ slide, who knows, and finally sit outside on my back deck in the evening and listen to the family of frogs that have decided to populate my little pond.

Delightful!  Can’t wait!  How do you like that?,  retailers and robbers of summer!

I sure hope everyone else plans to do likewise.

What are some of your favorite summer things to do?

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Published in: on JulyUTCbMon, 21 Jul 2008 13:10:00 +0000000000Mon, 21 Jul 2008 13:10:00 +0000pmMon, 21 Jul 2008 13:10:00 +000008 9, 2008 at 2:20 p07  Leave a Comment  
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Fresh Fruit Cobbler

Well, after the coin toss , the cobbler won.

I found three lonely nectarines in my fridge so they were quickly sliced and mingled with the fresh picked black raspberries, a marriage made in heaven!

As promised, here is the recipe for the biscuit dough placed over the fruit mixture, which is basically 5 to 6 cups of berries and/or other fruit plus grated zest and juice of lemon, a couple of pats of butter, and a dusting of granulated sugar, all placed in a shallow baking pan.

2 cups flour

1 teas. salt

1 tablesp. baking powder

1 tablesp. sugar

4 tablesp. chilled butter cut in small pieces

1 cup either heavy or light cream (you choose your calories)

Stir all dry ingred. together then rapidly blend butter into flour mixture using fingertips.  Gradually add cream, stirring with fork till dough holds together, forming a ball.  Do not overwork mixture!

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface until 1/4 inch thick.  Set aside.

Place fruit mixture in baking dish.  Scatter with lemon zest, lemon juice, butter sugar.  Lay rolled out dough over fruit so edges do not quite touch sides of dish.  Cut if necessary.  Also cut a few steam vents at least 1/4 inch wide.

In preheated 400 degree oven bake for 30 to 35 minutes, till dough is browned.  Set on rack to cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and spoon onto plates.  I can’t imagine eating a piece of cobbler without a huge dollop of whipped cream, but that’s just me.

Enjoy!!

Published in: on JulyUTCbThu, 10 Jul 2008 22:15:18 +0000000000Thu, 10 Jul 2008 22:15:18 +0000pmThu, 10 Jul 2008 22:15:18 +000008 9, 2008 at 2:20 p07  Comments (1)  
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Black Raspberries, Summer’s Best

Nothing shouts summer to me more than fresh picked, juicy, still warm from the sun berries.  Doesn’t matter what kind, strawberries, red raspberries, black raspberries, blueberries any kind of berry will do.  My neighbor, Marsha, same name–different spelling, called me yesterday to let me know her black raspberry bushes were ripe for the picken’.    So I dashed over right after my morning coffee with my empty basket ready to reap the harvest of her and her husband’s labor.  Such nice neighbors! !

I had to compete with about 100 buzzing bees, some irritating flies, and branches with very razor-sharp thorns that just attacked me out of nowhere.  Not to mention the rapidly climbing temperature of the already hot and humid morning.  I didn’t mind, all I could think of was the warm, tasty cobbler  that  I would be pulling out of my oven in a few short hours.

Well, I returned with my nearly full basket of glistening, deep purple gems and quite a few bloody scratches on my hands and arms.  I can’t decide on which I will make today,  the cobbler or a shortcake…..mmm, maybe both.   If you mouth is watering, so is mine.   I’m going to have to end now to get started.  I promise a recipe next post.

Published in: on JulyUTCbTue, 08 Jul 2008 15:56:52 +0000000000Tue, 08 Jul 2008 15:56:52 +0000pmTue, 08 Jul 2008 15:56:52 +000008 9, 2008 at 2:20 p07  Leave a Comment  
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