by: Annette M. Hall
Fall is in the air — if you had any doubt, a quick look out the window will confirm your suspicions. Most women seem to know this instinctively, as we begin airing out the house, spending more time in the kitchen, and making preparations for winter to set in. It's as natural as breathing for many homemakers.
The need to bake must be in the air, one close friend was busy today making pumpkin cookies. My own dear hubbie even rolled up his sleeves and got into the act. He made the most incredible home baked pretzels this evening that recent memory serves, with dough fresh from the bread maker. My contribution was home baked pizza topped with fresh chopped mushrooms, black olives, and a generous portion of sliced pepperoni, atop a creamy ranch sauce. Of course I wasn't as industrious as Shawn, I cheated and used frozen bread dough for my crust.
This list is just the basics - your personal list may contain more items or fewer items depending on personal taste, dietary needed and any allergies you may have.
As we begin this nesting process, this is a good time to take stock of our kitchen cupboards; replenishing the flour supply, sugar, salt, baking soda and let's not forget to pick up a couple extra cans of evaporated milk for those luscious pumpkin pies. Baking condiments will be going on sale and having these baking staples on hand will save frustration when the fire is blazing in the fireplace, the family is gathered watching the latest new flick and a warm plate of cookies and fresh raw milk is just the ticket for a cozy night at home.
Planning ahead will allow you to save both time and money. There is nothing worse than having to make a special trip to the store for those last minute purchases, which means in all likelihood you'll end up paying more than you should, not to mention making an unscheduled trip to the grocery store. With the cost of gasoline these days, it really pays to plan ahead.
When that urge to bake becomes overwhelming, you'll be prepared with a well-supplied kitchen. Most baked goods freeze well, so if your freezer allows, when you bake a batch of cookies, instead of simply making one batch, try making two — put half in a zip lock freezer bag in the freezer. When unexpected guests arrive, simply pull them out of the freezer; you might even want to warm the cookies slightly in the microwave or oven for that fresh from the oven baked aroma.
One trick of being a successful homemaker is being able to keep your cool under pressure. The holiday season can be a stressful time for many people, so remember to plan ahead whenever you can, this will help make your life less stressfull and allow you to enjoy the holidays more fully with your family.
If you really want to impress your family and friends, this recipe makes the very best Peanut Butter Fudge on the planet and it's so easy to make, even a beginner won't be able to mess it up. The kids will love to help with this one.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes resting time.
This fudge wrapped in colorful plastic wrap, dressed up with ribbons, makes a delightful gift for those occasions that crop up from time to time and a special gift is needed at the last minute. For a nice touch add a piece of colorful wrapping paper under the plastic wrap. Your gift will look as elegant as it tastes.
I hope you will take the time to enjoy the fall weather. I'd love to feature your favorite fall recipes. Send your personal favorite to Annette.
Updated: October 27, 2011