Like many of you, I've been rushing around trying to prepare for the holidays. Things have been so hectic, I completely forgot to mark the anniversary of my blog. Would you believe I've been posting to this site for three years? Honestly, where does the time go?
Of course, it's only appropriate that this Thanksgiving I take a moment to thank you for stopping by regularly, for sharing your thoughts and comments and for giving me the motivation to keep this blog up and running. I'm thankful for your friendship.
This seems like a perfect time to post the photos that I took during my last visit to the Coggeshall Farm Museum. If you haven't yet visited, Coggeshall Farm is a beautiful 48- acre property in Bristol, Rhode Island. It's a living history museum that allows you to see what life was like on a New England farm back in 1799.
The people who run the farm make it incredibly inviting. You can explore the grounds at your leisure and observe events and ask questions as you go along. I realize that this may sound odd but they have the "nicest" farm animals I've ever met. They're incredibly calm and gentle. Seriously, how many turkeys allow you get this up-close and personal?
I also completely fell in love with the farm house. There's something about the patina of old paint and a room full of antiques that feels warm and inviting. I can only imagine how cold it was during the winter of 1799, but the house is definitely charming and romantic today.
Needless to say, it's the perfect place to snack on the Cranberry-Apple Pecan Bars I made this week. Not only is this dessert perfect for Thanksgiving, it's one of those desserts that tastes incredible right out of the oven. They taste like heaven, really.
I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual … Oh, how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.
- Henry David Thoreau
I recently took a ride down to A.D. MakePeace in Wareham, MA to stock up on local cranberries for the winter. You may not be aware of this, but cranberries grow on little shrubs in sandy soil. From September through November, the beds (or bogs, as they're called) are flooded with water. Like magic, the cranberries rise to the top and then a harvester scoops them up for delivery to your store.
Did you know you can tell if a cranberry is fresh by bouncing it on your countertop? Fresh cranberries bounce.
In honor of this holiday season, the anniversary of this blog and you, I'm giving away some wonderful New England cranberry treats. If you want to know what truly fresh cranberry snacks taste like, you'll love this giveaway.
Specifically, I'm giving away a bag of the best, local sweetened, dried cranberries I've ever tasted, plus a bag of chocolate covered cranberries, plus a delicious jar of cranberry vanilla jam. Everything is from locally made. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Here's how you can enter to win:
- Leave a comment on this post before midnight on Friday December 7, 2012
- Make sure your comment links directly to a site where you can be contacted. Otherwise include a Twitter or email address in your comment. Only comments that include this information are eligible to win.
- One entry per person.
- The winner will be selected at random and contacted on Saturday December 8, 2012 before noon (EST).
- Be sure to check your inbox and messages. If no response is received by Monday December 10, 2012 at noon (EST), another winner will be selected.
- This giveaway will ship anywhere in the world.
Don't forget to Tweet about @freshnewengland too! Every tweet about this post is an additional chance to win.
Cranberry-Apple Pecan Bars
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)
16 tbs (125 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c (100 g) sugar
1 tsp (3 g) vanilla extract
2 c (265 g) all-purpose flour
In a bowl of a stand mixture fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Mix in the flour until just blended. using your hands, press the dough into the base and 3/4 of the way up the sides of a 6X6” square pan. Chill for 20 minutes.
3/4 c (125 g) fresh cranberries
1/2 c (80 g) sugar
1/8 c water
In a small saucepan, bring ingredients to boil then simmer until cranberries pop and mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
5 medium apples, peeled and sliced
6 tbs (95 g) butter, diced
1/2 c (80 g) dark brown sugar
1/4 c (30 g) powdered sugar
Toss ingredients together. Set aside.
1 c (100 g) pecans, lightly toasted
2/3 c (90 g) all-purpose flour
2/3 c (65 g) oatmeal flakes
9 tbs. (100 g) unsalted butter
2 tsp (6 g) cinnamon
2 tbs. (20 g) brown sugar
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.
To make the bars
Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Using an offset spatula, spread the cranberry filling over the base of the crust.
Layer the apples over the cranberry mixture so they overlap. Make sure the apples rest on top of the cranberry mixture.
Sprinkle the topping over the apples until the entire square is covered in crumble.
Using the base of a wooden spoon, push the sides of the crust down to meet the top of the crumble. The crust and the crumble should be even.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending upon your oven. You’ll know it’s done, when the top gets brown and bubbly.