November 18, 2010

And For All You Potter Fans…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 8:00 am by treacleandinketsy

As we were sitting in our car outside of Pizza Hut/Taco Bell last night, waiting for them to cook Adam’s pizza, I checked my phone and saw that I had a convo.  It seems a pair of my fingerless mittens have been featured in a Gryffindor themed treasury!  I didn’t realize it before, but those mittens do come close to the Gryffindor house colors.

Click to check out the treasury!

Any of you out there looking forward to the new HP movie??

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November 16, 2010

My Education In Treacle

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:42 pm by treacleandinketsy

I had someone ask me last week where I got the name “Treacle and Ink”.  If you haven’t been reading this blog from the very beginning, you may have missed this post where I answered that very question.  Since I’ve already addressed the question, I won’t dive into the answer in today’s post (check out “Treacle = Molasses” for more info), but instead, I would like to take this treacle education a little further.

According to Dictionary.com, treacle is defined as:

“a.  molasses, esp. that which is drained from the vats used in sugar refining.
b.  also called golden syrup. a mild mixture of molasses, corn syrup, etc., used in cooking or as a table syrup.”
Now, I have known that since I was young, and therefore been able to ask the occasional “What is treacle?” inquiry.  But, up until a few weeks ago, I had never actually messed with the stuff.  In fact, my first treacle taste was as a part of that treacle fudge I sampled over this past year’s summer vacation.  So, after I posted my Last Minute Halloween Party Round-Up, I did just what I said I would, and set out to make some Treacle Tarts.

British Emporium in Grapevine, TX (photo courtesy of british-emporium.com)

This experiment began with a trip to British Emporium.  Fortunately, I live in an area in which you can find specialty stores for countries all over the world.  Not only did they have a stack of lovely cans of Lyle’s Black Treacle, but they also had a stash of Kinder Bueno bars, which I love. Now, if you don’t have a British specialty store in your area, you might just be able to find some treacle in your local grocery store.  I’ve seen some in a few on the international foods aisle.
I trucked my treacle home and popped off the lid.  What was inside was about the consistency of tar, very thick and very sticky blackness.  It was so thick that it was difficult to spoon through and even more difficult to get into the pan without leaving sticky trails across the counter.  The recipe called for heating the treacle, which worked like magic on causing it to thin out and become more manageable.

Treacle Tarts

Once I got the tarts mixed and baked, it was time for the taste test.  They were very sweet, and quite bitter at the same time.  The tart had about the same consistency as a brownie right out of the oven, but as they cooled they began to get more and more dense.  I liked the flavor, but they were almost too bitter for me.
Bottom line:  I liked the flavor, but I think if I make them again, I’ll use Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead.

November 14, 2010

Sunday Scripture Snippet – Light Bright

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 10:57 am by treacleandinketsy

 

Hand Lettered Bible Verse Illustrated Sign- -Psalm 119-30 by mulberrylanefolkart

Matthew 5:14-16

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

When I was little, my parents would close the door to our room after putting us to bed.  The room would get so dark, especially in the winter time.  But, while my sister and I were in our beds trying to go to sleep for the night, my parents were still up and moving around the house.  The lights would still be on in the kitchen and in the hall, and some of that light would creep in under the crack at the bottom of our bedroom door.

Now, if I had gotten up and turned on our bedroom lights, I would not have noticed that little bit of light peeking in under the door.  But, since it was the only light shining in a completely darkened room, it seemed so bright that it always drew my attention as I was trying to fall asleep.

I have heard people say things like, “I just don’t think I’m ready to go on a mission trip,” or “I’m not as strong in my walk as so-and-so, so I don’t think I’d do a good job at that.”  I feel like my “light” is brighter at some times and dims a little at other times.  But, no matter how strong of a glow that light casts, in darkness it is very noticeable.

November 10, 2010

A New Job, A New Reason To Make Stuff

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 6:05 pm by treacleandinketsy

I know I’ve been absent this past week, but it’s with good reason.  I received a phone call last week about a possible job opportunity, and after calls, emails, interviews, and paperwork… I have a new job!  This will be a regular 40-hour work week job with all the regular holidays and a fair paycheck.  But the best part is, I’ll be working in the same building as my hubby, so we’ll get to carpool and do lunch!

Soooo…. my schedule will do a pretty dramatic change-up in two weeks.  No more days off mid-week.  No more half day work days when I can get my grocery shopping and errands done in the morning.  I’m really not sure of the entire impact this will have on my schedule, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see when it happens.

No worries about craft time, however.  As it happens, I ran across this podcast from Sister Dianne over at CraftyPod last week.  I have been listening my way back through the CraftyPod archives, and this little beauty from 2006 was exactly what I needed to reassure me that the crafting will continue!

photo courtesy of CraftyPod.com

CraftyPod #27: Craft Up Your Cubicle: Projects for your Workspace.

I already had it in the back of my mind that I was going to make one of those pen flower arrangements, and this just gave me tons more ideas.  Give it a listen and go make something!

November 1, 2010

How To – A Gingerbread Church (or House!)

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:12 pm by treacleandinketsy

Two years ago, my hubby and I hosted the first Thanksgiving in our home.  We had some family members over, and I decided that I wanted to make a gingerbread centerpiece.  I usually don’t see any gingerbread houses until people start getting ready for Christmas, but I thought the golden brown color of the gingerbread really lent itself to the Thanksgiving color scheme.  Up until that time, I had only pieced together those gingerbread house kits that you can pick up from various grocery and craft stores, but that year, I decided to start from scratch.  And, instead of a house, I went with a gingerbread church.  It was Thanksgiving after all!

Step 1

To begin with, choose a sturdy piece of cardboard on which to build your structure.  Cover it with aluminum foil.

**Optional: If you intend to illuminate your structure, cut out a hole in the base through which to insert a tea light.

 

Step 2

Come up with a design for your church.  If you don’t want to get that creative, do a little googling.  There are tons of gingerbread house designs out there.

Step 3

Gingerbread Church Pieces and Templates

Create and print templates for all of the pieces required to build your structure.  Once you have them printed, cut them out.

Step 4

Make up a batch of gingerbread cookie dough.  Roll out the dough onto parchment paper, and lay your template pieces on top.  Using a butter knife, cut out all of the pieces you will need to construct your structure.  Leave the pieces where they are on the parchment and remove the excess.   Transfer the parchment to a baking sheet, and bake your pieces.  Depending on the size of your structure, you will probably have to bake in batches.

If you don’t have a gingerbread recipe already, there are plenty of them online.  I found one that was intended specifically for gingerbread construction (not edible).  It was very sturdy, and had a nice color.

Stained Glass Windows

**Optional:  Since this church was a centerpiece, I wanted to give it “stained glass windows” that could be illuminated from the inside with a tea light.  These were made by crushing butterscotch and cinnamon candies and sprinkling them into the window cut-outs before baking.

Step 5

Once all of your pieces have cooled completely, assemble your structure using liberal amounts of royal icing.  (Just like with the gingerbread, I found a non edible icing recipe online that is specifically for gluing together gingerbread houses.)  Begin with the walls, and once they have set, move to the roof.  Apply the icing to the inside and outside of your joints.  You may need to brace your walls while you are waiting for the icing to harden.

Step 6

Decorate!

For this particular project, I went with pretzels, Reese’s Pieces, candy corn, cinnamon and butterscotch hard candies, red gumdrops, and those white crunchy peanut butter bar candies.  I stacked toasted coconut covered jumbo marshmallows in the front yard as haystacks, and used cinnamon toast crunch squares as shingles.  The fence was constructed with pretzel sticks.  As a last minute thought, I assembled a little Thanksgiving turkey with a red gumdrop body and candy corn feathers that were stabilized with a twisty pretzel.  All in all, I think it came out great!

 

I hope that gives you a jumping-off point to get started on your gingerbread house this year!

Just as a side note, while this gingerbread church did manage to survive until Thanksgiving, it didn’t last much longer after that.  A rodent of some sort discovered it shortly after, and we awoke in the morning to find one of the back corners of the roof nibbled completely off!  I had thought of possibly spraying a few coats of clear acrylic over it to seal everything really well so that I could use it for years to come.  When I make another one, I will most definitely do that.

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