Growing garlic is easy peasy!

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Organic Cristo Garlic (2013)

Organic Cristo Garlic (2013)

If you know me, you’ll know that I try to provide healthy food for my family.  While it was available to us, we were a part of an Organic Food Co-op during our years of living in Central New York. It was wonderful to get fresh, local, organic produce!  I do try to buy organic when possible (and not outrageously expensive).  My garden is one way I can provide fresh, healthy food for us.  I have to admit that I also try to encourage those around me to make healthy choices and choose organic when possible!  Along those lines, one item that I would encourage you to grow is garlic.  Do you know where your garlic comes from???  All I am going to say is that the healthiest garlic is sourced locally, and organically.  The best part is that garlic is very, very easy to grow!

Garlic in February

Garlic in February in very stony soil

Like my stony soil? There is a never ending supply of tiny stones in our soil!  Doesn’t seem to bother the vegetables, thankfully. … Back to the topic of Garlic! This year I planted my garlic in November. I first posted about it here: http://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/fall-plantings-of-green-manure-its-just-rye-organic-vallelado-garlic/   The variety I received from a very helpful organic center called Fruit Hill Farm in Cork http://www.fruithillfarm.com/  was Vallelado, which is good for our Irish weather.

Organic Vallelado Garlic in February 2014

Organic Vallelado Garlic in February 2014

It was almost daily that I’d wander into the garden to see if the garlic was growing.  I wasn’t quite convinced it would grow in such cold weather! But grow it did.  Actually, I learned that garlic needs 6 weeks of cold weather (below 10 degrees Celsius or 50 degrees Fahrenheit) for the bulb to split into individual cloves.  Cold is good!  And some of you might be laughing and thinking “that isn’t cold”!

Garlic in March

Garlic in March

Here is the lowdown on growing garlic:

  • Source your garlic from an organic center near you.  They should have varieties suited to your climate.
  • Garlic needs full sun and well drained soil. It does best with soil that has compost worked in.
  • Space the cloves at least six inches apart. Place the cloves in the soil 3-4 cm (1 & 1/2  inches) below the surface with the pointy end facing up.
  • Keep the garlic moist until about a month before harvesting.
  • Weed regularly. Garlic like mulch.  Mulch will keep the weeds down and is especially helpful in colder climates.
  • Harvest when the stems go yellow.   Waiting for the stems to fall is too late!  It’s better to have dry bulbs at that stage, hence the stepping back from watering those last few weeks.  Dig gently around the bulb, shaking off any excess soil.
  • Keep the stems on to help keep the garlic fresh.  These can be braided, too, to hang the garlic in an open airy place. Dry outdoors if the weather is good, or inside if weather is wet.

According to Anne Gibson http://themicrogardener.com/5-step-guide-to-growing-gorgeous-garlic/ garlic shouldn’t be grown near peas or beans.  Do any of you have experience with that???  On the flip side (companion planting), as they are part of the Allium family they do well with raspberries, beetroot, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, & roses.

Garlic in March

Garlic in March

Organic Vallelado Garlic in April

Organic Vallelado Garlic in April

The garlic has given some life to the garden over the winter, which is so nice to see.  I know I haven’t harvested yet, but based on everything so far I would definitely plant in November again and keep it as my winter crop.

Organic Vallelado Garlic in April

Organic Vallelado Garlic in April

Easy, right?  If you don’t grow it already, I do hope you’ll give it a try!  Or the next best thing would be to buy from your local organic farmer :-)

Here’s to living a healthy lifestyle!
Dana

Easter Blessings! and perfect weather for tulips.

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Ballerina Tulips

Ballerina Tulips

“Happy Easter!”  says she who is going to pop back into blog land with no fan-fare or hoopla, but a simple blog post filled with pictures of my tulips. :-)  I’ve missed posting,  and visiting blogs and all that goes on in the virtual world.  I had a wee break, but I’m back now. I have so much to show you from my garden and travels!

Ballerina Tulips

Ballerina Tulips

I’ve gone a little crazy with pictures of my tulips this year.  We live in an exposed area that is surrounded by fields on three sides. There is always wind, even on a calm day!  So normally my tulips, actually all of my flowers, get quite a beating.  It is rather unusual to see all of my tulips standing and their blooms intact!

Ballerina Tulips

Ballerina Tulips

We were in London this past week for the Irish Dancing World Championships (yay for my kids’ teams placing first and third!!!). Ahem, trying to stay focused here after a very fun filled Irish dancing week…  During our time away, the tulips not only came up but filled out perfectly.  The weather here must have been as nice as it was in London!

Ballerina Tulips & (rather dry) fields

Ballerina Tulips & (rather dry) fields

I love tulips. :-)  O.K., I love all flowers.

Innuendo Tulips

Innuendo Tulips

These Innuendo tulips are supposed to be a more solid pink color on the inside, and white on the outside.  I only know what they are because I marked it in my book, because they sure don’t look like the picture on the bulb bag!    I think they are lovely all the same.

Innuendo Tulips

Innuendo Tulips

Group shots of all of the tulips are harder to get just right. I prefer the individual close-ups.  But because all of them were still standing and looking so darn good I had to capture them all!

Innuendo Tulips

Innuendo Tulips

Blueberry Ripple Tulips

Blueberry Ripple Tulips

Blueberry Ripple Tulips – isn’t that the best name?  Again with these tulips the color is not a match for the lovely picture on the bulb bag – mine are more burgundy-ish instead of true purple.  I’m O.K. with that.

Tulips group photo (in the rose garden)

Tulips group photo (in the rose garden)

If I were to be critical of this garden, I would have to say that color cohesion is lacking.  My problem is that I love all o the different colors and styles of tulips!  I would like to try and bring in a deep pink color throughout this garden instead of in a group.  I’ll be thinking about that until the fall!

Deep pink tulips

Deep pink tulips

Deep pink/purple like these tulips!  That would also tie the two gardens together.  Oh the possibilities…

Deep pink tulips with Mr. Fokker Anemone

Deep pink tulips with Mr. Fokker Anemone

We moved into our house four years ago.  My husband bought these tulips for me on a trip to Holland shortly after we moved in.  They were one of the  first bulbs we planted.  I love little thoughtful things like that.  He even picked pink for me!    The Erysimum bowles’s mauve in the back on the right goes really well with them too, don’t you think?  Mr. Fokker Anemone are probably going to be the one plant throughout my entire yard because it is just so easy and pretty!

Two front gardens

Two front gardens

Here’s a look at the two front gardens with all of the tulips.  I still can’t believe how well all of the tulips have done this season!

mystery tulip

mystery tulip

This last tulip is blooming where I planted Double Late Mount Tacoma tulips, but it certainly doesn’t look like that variety.  I’ll have to see as it comes into full bloom.

Dorothy Clive Gardens, England

Dorothy Clive Gardens, England

This last picture is from a garden we visited while en-route to London last week.  The Dorothy Clive Gardens were simply lovely, and well worth a visit.  I will definitely share the tons of pictures I took there in another post!

Happy Easter to my friends and family and fellow bloggers!  Here is to new beginnings!
Dana

 

Playful Roadside Artwork inspired by Patrick Kavanagh

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Playful Artwork at the Carrickmacross Bypass on the N2

Playful Artwork at the Carrickmacross Bypass on the N2

Ireland has quite a few roadside sculptures throughout the country.  I love seeing them and how they relate to the locality.  I pass this very fun sculpture about eight times a week. It is along the N2 Dublin to Derry road, at the Carrickmacross bypass.  It is easy to see, especially since the people are on stilts!

Carrickmacross N2 artwork5The work was commissioned by the Monaghan County Council. This location is very near Inniskeen which is the homeplace of the famous and well respected poet Patrick Kavanagh (1904-1967).  The inspiration for the sculpture comes from a line in one of his poems “Come Dance with Kitty Stobling” which reads: Cavorting on mile-high stilts”.   There is a wonderful website about the life and works of Patrick Kavanagh. I’d recommend a visit! https://www.tcd.ie/English/patrickkavanagh/comedancewithkittystobling.html

Inspired by Patrick Kavanagh's poem Come Dance with Kitty Stobling

Inspired by Patrick Kavanagh’s poem Come Dance with Kitty Stobling

The artist is David Annand (http://www.davidannand.com/).  His work is throughout Ireland and the U.K. and is simply amazing.  There were engineers involved with this project too, so they must get a mention as well: CS Pringle.  It is initially through their website that I was able to find information about what the sculpture meant.  Sure, here’s one more link!  http://www.cspringle.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89&Itemid=78

David Annand sculpture from Patrick Kavanagh's poem Come Dance with Kitty Stobling

David Annand sculpture from Patrick Kavanagh’s poem Come Dance with Kitty Stobling

An official marker.

An official marker.

It is wonderful how the works of a local poet can be remembered and thought upon through such a fun piece of (roadside) art.

Enjoy the art in your life :-)
Dana

A grand arrangement with eucalyptus, hydrangea & artichokes

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Kitty playing with eucalyptus leaves and hydrangea leaves

Kitty playing with eucalyptus leaves and hydrangea leaves

I have had four great big branches of eucalyptus hanging in my utility room (laundry room/bathroom/cat room/where coats, boots, shoes live room) for the past month.  I know, that is really shameful.  Truthfully, there wasn’t even enough room for it there.  My husband is quite the patient man when it comes to some of my projects!  I think the kids were starting to get annoyed with the branches and having to maneuver around them.  Kitty, on the other hand, rather enjoyed them.  It was great fun to jump on them and see how many leaves could fall to the floor during the night!  I knew that I wanted to use those lovely smelling leaves, I just wasn’t sure exactly what to do with them.

Finally, inspiration struck.  I stepped away from my inclination to make a wreath, and I went for using quite a large vase to create an arrangement.

Starting out

Starting out

Hmm, I wonder if I should comment on the state of my kitchen? :-)   Nah.  It was a busy day…  I started out with red tissue paper because Valentine’s Day is coming up.  My friend Louise mentioned that it was also a good color to help celebrate Chinese New Year!  Perfect timing!  After filling the bottom with the tissue paper, I then cut the branches to fit the vase and fill it out. It should be noted that I’m one to save just about everything. So I still had some dried Annabelle hydrangea, and three dried artichoke plants left from this past summer, as well as two branches of contorted hazel.  I was going to find a way to put it all in!

Close up of artichoke plant inside the vase

Close up of artichoke plant inside the vase

close up of two artichokes with their purple color

close up of artichoke

close up of two artichokes with their purple color

close up of two artichokes with their purple color

I didn’t want just eucalyptus. I wanted another element to the arrangement, that is why I put the flowers down inside the vase.  The poor Annabelles didn’t fare well while being squished and squashed into the vase… after the eucalyptus was in of course!  But I think it wasn’t too detrimental to their beauty.

Kitty. Posing.

Kitty. Posing.

You would seriously think my cat loves the camera.  He doesn’t. He just really wanted to play with all of the “stuff” I was working with!  He is a lovely cat, though.

A lovely blueish color!

A lovely blue-ish color!

I tried the vase in a couple of different places.  My hallways are bright and airy and I just wanted to fill that space.

Kitty not leaving the arrangement alone...

Kitty not leaving the arrangement alone…

I’ve finally decided on where to leave it, and the hallway really does smell lovely now.

I think I just might work best under pressure:  I made this in 20 minutes.  Because that is how much time I had before I had to go and collect my daughter from school.  Done. Finished. Everything cleaned up and put away.

Boy is there a lot of extra room in our utility room now!  Time to set up my seeds :-)

This arrangement was brought to you by the generosity of my neighbors Margaret & James who gave me all of the lovely eucalyptus and contorted hazel, and by my friend Susan who’s  hydrangea gave the finishing touches.  Thank you my friends!

Happy Chinese New Year!
Dana

Character in the garden with Leycesteria formosa (Himalayan Honeysuckle)

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Leycesteria formosa

Leycesteria formosa

Having something interesting to look at in the garden during the winter is something that most gardeners set out to achieve.  One plant that gives character to a garden throughout the summer and winter is the Leycesteria formosa, also known as Himalayan Honeysuckle or pheasant berry.  I hadn’t heard of, or taken notice of this lovely plant before seeing it in my friend Susan’s garden.  It’s funny what happens sometimes when you compliment someone’s garden … they just might share some of it with you!

A young Leycestria formosa plant

A young Leycestria formosa plant

When I first planted the Leycestria formosa, it appeared to be just a stem with some roots.  I was not sure how it was going to survive. Not only did it grow, but it has done well in my very windy garden.

Leycesteria formosa supported

Leycesteria formosa supported

The flowers are pretty, and hang down in clusters.

a cluster of drooping flowers

a cluster of drooping flowers

Still young Leycesteria formosa

Still young Leycesteria formosa

After the flowers are finished, the plant is adorned with lovely berries.

Berries late in season of Leycesteria formosa

Berries of Leycesteria formosa late in the season

While walking through a park in Dublin this past July, I noticed some mature Leycesteria formosa plants. They were beautiful and nearly as tall as me!

Mature plants in the park

Mature plants in the park

Close up in the park

Close up in the park

At the time, I was still unsure of the name so I appreciated the tag. For this post I’ve typed the name what feels like a hundred times so hopefully now I will remember it! :-)

ID tag

ID tag

The plant still has character in the winter.  Look at these stems:

Close up of the stems

Close up of the stems

Winter garden

Winter garden

They remind me of bamboo.  The stems are hollow and can grow as tall as 6 feet (1.8 meter) in one season.  The plant grows in moist, fertile soil.  As for maintenance, it should be cut back to the ground in the spring.

Late summer garden

Late summer garden

The Leycesteria formosa is on the left in the full garden photo above.  I’m really happy with it and how it changes throughout the seasons.

Are there any plants that you like to share?  I was able to share some of my strawberry plants recently.  What a great feeling, especially knowing that they are appreciated. A special thank you goes to Susan who has shared so much of her garden with me!

I hope your garden has lots of winter character.
Dana

Winter Blooms in my Irish Garden (An anemone steals the show!)

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Mr. Fokker Anemone

Mr. Fokker Anemone

When I think of winter certain things come to mind:  snow, cold temperatures, skiing, sledding, ice skating, hot chocolate!  Living in Ireland has changed that idea a bit for me. Our winters are usually fairly mild, with only a quick cold snap.  Snow is unusual. Cold is cold, but not like what I’d be used to while living in Central New York. And the winter is short. Really short if I look back to my days of having snow around until March!  I do miss the snowy side of winter.  But the tradeoff is having flowers in my garden even in January.

A frozen anemone

A frozen anemone

We had a deep freeze the other day: -5 degrees Celsius. I took some pictures in the morning, and by the afternoon the rain had come and everything thawed out!

First morning light over the frosty field

First morning light over the frosty field

This close-up of the crystals is my favorite

This close-up of the crystals is my favorite

Frosty evergreenToday was yet another mild day, 8 degrees Celsius, and sunny.  I am not complaining, I just hope it has been cold enough to keep the slugs at bay!  My garden has a few flowers which are blooming. The anemone have multiplied over the past few years. They don’t seem to mind that it is January.  Also giving some color in the garden are a few daisies and a black-eyed Susan plant!  I think they are simply confused. The primrose are a lovely bright color. There is also a lot of green in my ditch wall garden from poppies. Lots and lots of poppies!

The day after the frost

The day after the frost

This is flowering in January.

This is flowering in January.

A sunny winter day

A sunny winter day

January in the garden

January in the garden

Dogwood plant

Dogwood plant  has lovely red branches

Our area has really been very fortunate with the weather.  Even just seeing the sun for a bit of the day is refreshing to the soul.

Evening view from the front yard

Evening view from the front yard

The very last rose.

The very last rose.

Do you have any flowers growing in your winter garden?
Happy winter!
Dana

Sharing some of the bounty … and a pumpkin bread recipe

Pumpkin bread

Pumpkin bread

Every year there is a different fruit or vegetable that just outshines all of the rest. One year it was pickling cukes while another year it was potatoes. This year the hands-down winner has to be our pumpkins.  The growing conditions this summer were quite good for all of the garden, but the pumpkins seemed to like the warmth the best!  You can see some of my pumpkin pictures from earlier in the summer here: http://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/the-vegetable-gardens-summertime-review/ We had a bumper crop of high quality organic baking pumpkins.  I am now down to my last two.

The large pumpkin  in front was used for this post.  And then there were two...

The large pumpkin in front in the top left picture was used for this post.  I have saved the seeds from quite a few of the pumpkins, so these are going in the compost.  And then there were two…

I made soup a few times, but the rest of the pumpkins were used to make pumpkin bread.  A batch makes two loaves. This is perfect as it means one to keep and one to give away.  There is always someone to say “thank you” to, or “thinking of you”, or “I really thought you’d enjoy this”!  I love sharing food, and I love connecting with people.

Pumpkin bread and a cup of tea

Pumpkin bread and a cup of tea

Having a bumper crop of pumpkins suits me perfectly! The bread has been really well received.  I think it helps that pumpkin bread (which really and truthfully should be called cake) is American and a new and unusual taste to the Irish.  My family love it. :-)

The recipe itself comes to me from a very dear friend. She also shares a love of gardening and cooking and has turned that love into a business: Curly Locks Gourmet Food.  She started with pepper jelly with peppers from her garden. The business has grown to include a complete line of jellies and sauces.  Even their jars are pretty! You can check them out here:  http://curlylocksjelly.com/index.html 

Curly Locks Pepper Jelly

Curly Locks Pepper Jelly

Now back to the pumpkin bread recipe. I’ve adjusted the recipe for using fresh pumpkin.

Baking pumpkin bread on a sunny day

Baking pumpkin bread on a sunny day

Kathleen Komar’s Pumpkin Bread recipe

4 eggs
1 cup oil or apple sauce
3 cups sugar (I use Demerara)
2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin
½ cup nutmeats
3 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp each: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon
½ tsp ground clove
¾ tsp salt

Combine eggs, oil and sugar. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients. Grease and flour 2 bread tins (9 x 5 inch). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 176 degrees C.  Place pans in oven (to keep heat circulating, avoid placing side by side and above each other). Bake for 60 minutes, turning pans around half way through.  Bread is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Per Kathleen’s recipe, if using canned pumpkin, you will have to add 2 to 3 cups water and bake for nearly another hour.

Finished baked pumpkin bread

Finished baking

Is there someone special in your life that would enjoy something baked by you?  It is a great excuse to visit someone you haven’t seen in a while.  You will be glad you did, and so will they!

Happy baking and sharing in 2014!
Dana

Pruning Roses in my new Bradley’s Gloves

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Summertime blooms

Summertime blooms

My roses had a spectacular year in 2013.  They had beautiful blooms all throughout the summer and into the fall.  I confess that I didn’t prune them last year. While I’m confessing, I’d might as well add that I had no idea how to prune them.  So this year I decided to figure it out.  Really, Google makes learning new things so much easier.

Roses throughout the summer

Roses throughout the summer

A garden full of roses

A garden full of roses

It is funny how some things just fall into place. I was at a craft fair in December where I picked up a fabulous pair of pruning gloves, at an even more fabulous price.  I love a bargain!  That was the final push to prune the roses.

Leather Bradley pruning gloves

Leather Bradley’s pruning gloves

The leather for the hands is so soft. I love them! You can buy a pair here: http://www.bradleysthetannery.co.uk/gardening/gloves/leather-pruning-gloves

Bradley pruning gloves

Bradley’s pruning gloves

Here’s a look at the roses before I started:

Rose bush before pruning

Rose bush before pruning

They looked really bad.  They should be pruned every year, during their dormant time; late fall through February for me.  Here’s the hard part, I had to cut… a lot.  I found it quite daunting!  From what I learned on-line (via Steve McShane’s Nursery), I first cut-off any dead branches.  Then I cut the branches at a 45 degree angle about 6 to 8 inches from the base of the plant.  There should only be between 3 and 5 canes when finished pruning (that is the hard part!).

Rose plants before being pruned

Rose plants before being pruned

There was a great deal of cutting to do!  I just had to think positive that it is good for the plants. :-)  What a difference in how they looked after I had finished.

Three pruned rose plants

Three pruned rose plants

Pruned to 6-8 inches above the base

Pruned to 6-8 inches above the base

After pruning them, I finished clearing away all of the leaf litter.  The plants had black spot this year, so it is really important that I clear everything away.  I still need to add an organic fertilizer to finish this up.  But for now, I’m happy with how the plants look.

Pruned rose plants

Pruned rose plants

Pruned rose garden

Pruned rose garden

There will be another post on organically treating of rose plants in early spring, before any signs of black spot appear. This will be a new adventure for me, which I am looking forward to since I really don’t like the use of harmful chemicals! But that is another blog post…

I hope you enjoyed seeing my roses again.  Going through all of my photos from summer just reminds me of how quickly the seasons change. Before we know it, it will be spring again!

Happy New Year!
Dana

Roses to look forward to...

Roses to look forward to…

Organic Rubine Red Brussels Sprouts

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Sprouts (and turnip) picked in the Sun and a look at the plant on a frosty morning

Sprouts (and turnip) picked in the Sun and a look at the plant on a frosty morning

We have patiently waited for our Brussels Sprouts (Organic Rubine Red) to be ready to harvest.  Just in time to fulfill the Irish tradition of serving sprouts for Christmas, our Rubine Red sprouts were ready to be picked this week! I was thankful that my husband had gone out into the garden while it was still sunny.  We had our first hard frost this week, which gives everything a lovely crystal look, but is cold to be harvesting vegetables!

Preparing our purple sprouts

Preparing our purple sprouts

My husband enjoys cooking, even more so when he doesn’t use a recipe.  So I can tell you that they tasted delicious, but I can’t give you an exact recipe!  He boiled them for a few minutes with some rashers (similar to Canadian bacon), and then baked them in the oven while the turkey was cooking.  They looked pretty too, being rather purple in color.  I know that earlier in the season I had mentioned that I really didn’t want to plant them again due to the issue we had with caterpillars. But given how good they tasted, I think we will try growing them again. This time we will cover the young plants with fleece to prevent the moths from laying their eggs. Hopefully that will keep the caterpillar population down!

A touch of frost on the Rubine Red Organic Brussels Sprouts plant

A touch of frost on the Rubine Red Organic Brussels Sprouts plant

The day was just so peaceful and frosty and sunny!

A look at the frozen garden

A look at the frozen garden

A freezing day on the 25th of December 2013

A freezing day on the 25th of December 2013

I took some pictures at the beginning of December that I must share with you in my next post.  I had daisies blooming!  I might make that a “wordless” post this week.

The view from our front yard

The view from our front yard

I really like the views of fields around our house; add a little sunlight and my camera and I are happy!

We really did have a lovely, peaceful Christmas.  I hope yours was lovely, too.
Merry Christmas!

Dana

Later on that same frosty day...

Later on that same frosty day…  Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Making a snowman cake topper on Christmas eve

Nativity in the snow

Nativity in the snow

It is Christmas eve and there is an excitement in the air!  Our kids were especially delighted that it actually snowed today, a rather uncommon occurrence where we live in Ireland.  It was so pretty to see.

A church in Corduff, Carrickmacross being dusted with snow

A church in Corduff, Carrickmacross being dusted with snow

My three kids and I were out and about in the snow

My three kids and I were out and about in the snow

They were completely giddy today!  There was such a relaxed feeling among them which was so nice to see.  We just had a few things to get done, and then my husband and I could join them in their giddiness! First on the list was icing my Christmas cake.

Marzipan covered fruit cake

Marzipan covered fruit cake

My daughter and husband made the marzipan icing and covered the fruit cake with it the other day.  Now all that was left was the white icing.  Last year I used a smooth fondant style. But this year I felt like making (an easier) snow icing.  It is made of egg whites, icing sugar, and glycerine.  Mix it all up, and throw it on the cake!

Snow icing covered fruit cake

Snow icing covered fruit cake

That is so much more my personality than a neat smooth fondant icing!  I really like the look.  I made a snowman to go on top of the cake, except my snowman is too big to fit in the cake container, and to be honest he is probably a bit big for the cake too!

Snowman cake topper

Snowman cake topper and a wee Christmas tree

I absolutely do not have the patience to make perfect little cute faces with icing. So when I finished this snowman I let out a whoop of relief! (can I say that?)  I was very happy with his face, while completely annoyed with the candycane. But enough was enough, and I surrendered to a less than perfect candycane in order to keep my sanity, and make room in the kitchen for my husband to cook us dinner.

Snowman (unfinished)

Snowman (unfinished)

Snowman with some cookies

Snowman with some cookies

My daughter made some cookies today, too. She set up one of the trees with Mr. Snowman. :-)

A bit of visiting, a bit of baking, a bit of shopping, all done in preparation for tomorrow!  It can be so easy for us to forget the meaning behind Christmas.  Hopefully, though, the kids will know in their hearts what Christmas is really all about.

Nativity ornament

The reason for the season.

Merry Christmas to all of my family and friends, including (and especially!) my blogging friends and followers!

In peace,
Dana

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