A few family recipes

November 27th, 2008

This will probably be our last week in Tennessee before we head out for warmer climes sometime next week. Jenn’s aunt and uncle have invited us to Thanksgiving dinner, and there’s no way we can refuse, considering the spread they put out. In the spirit of traditional Thanksgivings, we figured we’d share a few more homemade recipes: my grandmother’s chocolate pie recipe and Jenn’s uncle’s recipe for limoncello.

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 6 teaspoons of cocoa
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 stick of butter (or margarine if you insist)
  • dash of salt
  • 1 8 ounce container of Cool Whip (thawed)
  • 2 baked pie crusts
  • Grab a medium sized pot and toss in everything but the pie crusts (duh!), Cool Whip and butter. Set your stove to medium or medium high heat and begin mixing it together. Once the mixture seems to be warming up a bit, toss the stick of butter in and keep stirring. You’re going to do a lot of stirring. Basically, you want to keep stirring until it achieves the consistency of a thick pudding. I recommend a whisk for this… or even a small hand mixer if you can keep it from splashing all over.

    Once the mixture thickens up, remove it from heat and pour into a couple of pie shells. Personally, I like Oreo or graham cracker pie crusts, but it’s pretty hard to ruin this pie by picking the wrong crust. Next, I like to leave the pies sitting out under a paper towel so that the steam doesn’t form condensation and make the crust soggy. About an hour should do it. Once they’ve cooled a bit, toss them in the fridge or freezer to cool further. Before serving, cover them with Cool Whip and grab your own fork and plate so as to be sure of getting a slice.

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    Home Improvement

    October 1st, 2008

    I posted back in April about our table upgrade that has saved my sanity, but I figure it’s time to cover a few more minor modifications that have improved our enjoyment of the camper. Also, we’re about to be engaged slinging fried chicken for a couple of weeks and we’ll probably be rather quiet in the blogosphere.

    I’ve really got to say I’m still very happy with our choice of camper and options. We’ve looked at quite a few both before and after we made a decision and I still haven’t seen one (yeah, I know Paul will tell me to look at his Snowriver) that I would be happier with for fulltiming.

    Added shelving to main closet

    We had a couple of things customized on the camper that have made life a lot easier. One was getting a wet bath instead of a dry bath. For starters, it’s very easy to clean a wet bath. The only thing you really sacrifice is having a dry place to store towels and toilet paper. It’s also a good idea to buy a squeegie to swamp out the bathroom after your shower. But what we got in return for a dry bath is a wardrobe that’s two and a half feet deep, three full length drawers and a shoe cabinet.

    After we quit work, I found I didn’t need hanging clothes anymore and built a cubbyhole system inside the wardrobe. Now, I have four shelves for clothes, a liquor cabinet and a handy place to store our bows which we previously had to squeeze behind the backseat of the truck. Rene has been asking me, for months now, where we hide the booze and I finally have a good answer. With some wiggling, I can get roughly eighteen liters of booze in the liquor cabinet. Just right for a couple of unemployed, homeless folks, right?
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    Homeless Whiskey

    July 29th, 2008

    During Karst-O-Rama, I finally uncorked a bottle of homemade whiskey that I was happy about. In fact, it turned out better than I’d hoped and had a very nice scotch flavor rather than bourbon. During blind taste testing, one person asked if it was Dewars and another asked if it was Glenmorangie. Considering it had been aging about four weeks and cost about eight dollars to make, I took both guesses as high praise on my bathtub booze.

    Without further buildup, here’s the recipe. In a one liter bottle, add:

    (using 190 proof grain alcohol)

    • 1.75 cups of grain alcohol
    • 2.25 cups of filtered/distilled water

    (using 151 proof grain alcohol)

    • 2.1 cups of grain alcohol
    • 1.9 cups of water
    • Roughly 20 grams of Jack Daniels wood chips. (I found these in the home & garden section of Wal Mart near the charcoal)
    • 2 pepper corns

    Allow to age for at least four weeks in a cool, dark place. Agitate every day or two for twenty to thirty seconds. Filter through a paper towel or coffee filter.

    Add ice and enjoy! You’ve just made the world’s cheapest scotch.

    Virtual GPS?

    April 26th, 2008

    Ok, so it’s fun to make your own booze and all, but Jenn’s parents are reading, so let’s change the subject for a day or two.

    Today, in the midst of working on a half dozen things and finishing none of them, I managed to temporarily frag our Cradlepoint (the EVDO/wifi access point). Now, there was nothing wrong with the device that clearing my browser cache wouldn’t fix, but it took a call to tech support to have the obvious pointed out to me. Cradlepoint has an excellent support team by the way.

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    Homeless Distillery

    April 23rd, 2008

    Well,I guess it’s time for a toxicology report. Jenn’s banana liqueur turned out excellent. It was a very sweet liqueur, just right for mixing with juices. While we were waiting on the banana liqueur to ripen, we made a batch of kahlua, excuse me, coffee liqueur. The recipe was fairly simple, and considerably faster than the banana liqueur.

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