Home Cured Salmon, Gravlax-
When I first heard about Scandinavian home-cured salmon (or Gravlax) a few years ago, I thought it would be too complicated. It's not! It's so easy, and delicious, you have to try it. Since I love smoked salmon, I thought this might be worth the try. I've posted the recipe, along with a wonderful mustard sauce to go with it (optional) here-
Recipe for gravlax-
1 lb. salmon (I buy wild caught frozen, pretty cheap), 4 TBL. sea salt (or kosher), 6 TBL. sugar (can use brown), 1 bunch fresh dill. Mix dry ingredients, pack onto both sides of the salmon (skin can be left on), sprinkle 1/2 the chopped dill on both sides, wrap tightly and put in baking dish. Drain the dish as needed for 3 days, turning daily. Unwrap, rinse, pat dry, slice thin, and enjoy! I serve with rye bread or crackers, lemon slices and mustard sauce.
Recipe for Mustard Sauce- 3 TBL. of the following- light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, 1TBL. vegetable oil, 1 TBL. sour cream, 1-2 TBL fresh chopped dill. Whisk, and enjoy!
Here's how it goes-
Dredged, covered with chopped, fresh dill and ready to wrap
Wrapped for the fridge, sat and drained for 3 days, then rinse well
Recovered Chicken Chairs-
This week I recovered 2 free chairs Dave brought home from work, that were headed for the dumpster. I bought fabric that has chickens! I thought about burlap, but since they're for the dining/living room I wanted a tighter weave. I was planning on painting the wood cream color, then distressing them. Sadly the planned paint job in the mild fall weather was cancelled, due to drastic temp changes. It was winter suddenly. I knew we'd need extra seating for the holidays, so I wiped them down, took off the brown vinyl cushions, and recovered them. I just used a staple gun, kept it taut, and away I went! Trimmed off the excess, flipped them back and Dave put the screws back in. Now that I have the time, we'll tighten up the chairs, with some wood glue and screws. I think I may leave the chair color alone. I did pre-plan: I bought twice the needed fabric in case of spills! I will treat the wood, and Dave is going to tighten up one leg. We were short on time. No paint for now. I kind of like the brown! What do you think: Cream and distressed or brown? I still have the paint!
Old ugly fake leather seats
Seat unscrewed and removed, thanks Dave!
Fabric stapled on, and screwed back on!
Kerosene Heaters on A Budget-
Several people have posted on their blogs the need for some emergency heat. One often overlooked source is kerosene heaters. Kerosene can be bought in small 1 gallon tins, and store much more safely than gasoline, and propane. I have bought several over the years, and here's a great resource if you're interested-
Milesstair.com and here- Mini Kerosene Heaters for info about how to buy, and retrofit smaller heaters. I bought several kero "brooder heaters" on eBay cheap, bought new wicks and they work! I did some retrofitting like Miles, and turned one into a small pot heater, similar to his-
I also bought a Perfection room heater from a thrift store, like new- $20.00 Pretty close to the one above. I keep several gallons of kero in the garage, away from heat. We haven't needed them, but it's good to have them on hand, just in case. eBay also sells lots of kero camping stoves. All of these are relatively odor free, and much safer than propane indoors. Do your own research on the safety of using these in your own application. Safety first. Kerosene Heater Safety Kero prices may vary depending on where you live.
Anya, post kids
We had our 3 girls, new son in law (love him!), and fiance over for our traditional breakfast, then opened presents. Hung out chatted. Our one daughter, on her own, stayed the day. We watched White Christmas on DVD (before my time, still love it!), she loved it! I roasted a duck with lingonberry sauce for dinner. Yukon gold mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach and chocolate tart for dessert. Ah the joys of a good meal at the end of the day!
Our new downsized tree after gifts, fits much better in the room than the old one
Anya peeking out
Some fun goodies
Santa on skates
Michelle's grade school project reindeer she made, and those furry paws?
Michelle and Anya chilling, cropped to protect her privacy :)
She's reading Tami's wedding photo book we got as a gift
My funny gift-
Dave put together an Anya ornament!!!
My fun, little USB powered color changing snowman. I put him on the kitchen window and used an extra cell phone charger (with USB adapter unplugged) to plug into the normal power. Works great!
Some of our cards displayed