Sunday, May 15, 2016

For Kaylee

Chase in right.
Chase isn't here yet oops
just about to cross home.
leading off on third.
leading off from third base
chatting with the coach while on third
leading off second?
leading off first
rounding first
heading for first
heading for first
Ready to swing
heading for his first town team at bat
Kaylee is my niece.  Her brother Chase is graduating this year and their party is this weekend.  Kaylee is off at college and she is doing the pictures for their grad party.  I had taken these pictures of his first game with the town team on my phone this week and she needed the pictures.  For some reason I am having trouble syncing my phone to Google + my usual retrieval method and the only way to get the photos off the phone is to upload them on the blog and then Kaylee can get them from there.  Not really hobby farm related but still fun.  

This game was kind of confusing as both teams were wearing white with black sleeves.  The team with the long sleeves and the black numbers is our team and the team with short sleeves and red numbers is the opponent.  My nephew is number 11.  This was the first game of the town team season and Chase's first at bat playing with the grown-ups instead of his high school teammates. He was put in as a courtesy runner a couple of times and had a nice hit for his only at bat.  They won 8-0.  

I am busy making paper goodies to scatter on the table, wrap his cupcakes and decorate his bars.  His mom has a fun theme chosen.  Chase is a hunter and fisherman in addition to his sports so the theme is camo and blaze orange with galvanized metal.  It should be fun and I will try to post some pictures next week.   

Saturday, May 14, 2016

an evergreen syrup cocktail

My youngest daughter was at the farm today and before she left we had a cocktail.  I have been waiting to have this cocktail since the middle of the winter when I first saw a recipe that called for syrup made from evergreen tips.  I don't recall what the recipe was originally that called for it but I am sure that it is on my pinterest pages somewhere.  I do remember searching for the syrup and finding that it was pretty expensive and probably not something that could be sourced locally.  Interested, I continued to search and I found a website with a recipe for making your own syrup.  The kicker was that the evergreen tips required were only available in the spring.  The farm has quite a few different evergreen trees and I have been watching them for when the trees show the lighter green new growth and yesterday the first of our trees were ready for a little careful harvesting of some of the tips.  Our tips were of two kinds, a looser tip... 

and a tighter tip. 
I am not sure if the trees just developed at a different rate or if they are two different varieties of short needled tree but I collected some of each.  I made separate batches in case one had a better flavor so that I could replicate it later.   Other of our trees are just starting to get new growth so I will try them as well.  The syrup will keep for four months in the refrigerator but I am probably going to try canning it in small jars so that it can easily be shared with family members.  

The new growth is harvested.  Although our trees are established--probably at least 30 years old--I spread out where I was taking the tips from, selecting a few from each branch that I could reach.  After rinsing the tips in water and chopping them slightly they were added to boiling simple syrup which is equal parts water and sugar.  Once the evergreen is added the heat is turned off and the cover placed on the pot and allowed to steep overnight. 

The next morning I strained the syrup and the resulting syrup is clear with a very mild flavor.  In the original recipe it mentioned that the favor intensifies the longer the evergreen steeps so I am considering steeping the next batch a bit longer.  

For our cocktail we placed in a shaker ice and two tablespoons of the syrup with two shots of gin.  We split the cocktail between two Vintage Wexford pressed glass goblets and added a wedge of Meyer lemon and a tiny sprig of evergreen needles for garnish.  It was tasty.  We did discuss that it would also be good with a bit of tonic or other mixer.    

Sharing with BNOTP here.