Saturday, November 11, 2017

Toasted Almonds

 Recipe for Toasted Candied Almonds



     In ​​the​​ Central​​ Valley​​ of​​ California during​​ the​​ early ​​fall, you ​​can ​​drive ​​down ​​a​​ country​​ road ​​or highway ​​and ​​see ​​the​​ trees​​ full​​ of​​ nuts; ​​almonds ​​and​​ walnuts​​ are​​ the​​ two​​ most​​ common​​ nuts found ​​in​​ the ​​Central​​ Valley. At ​​this ​​time ​​the​​ harvesters​​ are ​​busy ​​shaking ​​the ​​trees ​​and ​​sweeping​​ up ​​the ​​nuts ​​for ​​harvest. It is ​​the​​ time ​​when ​​all ​​the ​​season’s ​​harvests ​​come ​​together ​​to create​​ some great​​ seasonal baking ​​and​​ goody ​​making.
     My ​​favorite nut ​​for ​​baking​​ is ​​​​walnuts. ​​I ​​love ​​the ​​Black ​​walnuts​​ in ​​cookies, ​​cinnamon​​ rolls, ​​and cakes. ​​The Black walnuts ​​have ​​so ​​much ​​more ​​of ​​a​​ rich ​​flavor ​​than ​​the​​ traditional​​ English ​​walnuts. ​​The English walnuts are the ones that ​​are ​​most ​​available ​​in ​​stores.
     For ​​snacking ​​I ​​prefer ​​Almonds. ​​Pronounced ​​​​Al​​-mond ​​in​​ most all​​ parts ​​of ​​the ​​country​​ except​​ where they ​​are grown. ​​Here ​​in​​ Central ​​California almost ​​all ​​growers ​​here ​​call ​​them​​​​ A-monds, pronouncing​​ the ​​"​​A" as​​ a​​ short​​ vowel​​ sound.​​ They​​ do ​​not ​​pronounce​​ the "​​L​​"in ​​the ​​name. ​​This pronunciation  ​​goes way back ​​to​​ the​​ old-timers ​​who ​​use ​​to​​ say​​ that​​ “​​One ​​has​​ to ​​knock​​ the​​ "L"​​out ​​of​​ them ​​to ​​get​​ them ​​off the ​​tree." ​​​​This​​ funny ​​phrase ​​and​​ pronunciation ​​has ​​lasted​​ throughout ​​the​​ years​​ here​​ in ​​the Central​​ Valley.​​​​ The ​​term​​ comes​​ from ​​in​​ the ​​early ​​days,​when ​​the ​​farmers​​ would​​ have ​​to ​​actually place ​​large ​​canvas ​​cloth​​ around ​​the​​ tree ​​bases ​​and ​​use​​ a​​ large ​​stick​​ that ​​was​​ wrapped ​​with ​​a soft​​ cloth ​​to ​​knock​​ the​​ branches​​ and​​ make ​​the ​​nuts​​ fall​​ to​​ the​​ ground.​​ The​​ farmers would​​ gather ​​the canvases​​ into ​​bundles​​ and ​​carry​​ the​​ nuts ​​to ​​a​​ roller ​​machine ​​that ​​would​​ help ​​shake ​​the ​​outer ​​husk from​​ the​​ nuts, leaving the hard shell and meat inside.
     Now,​​ the ​​new ​​method ​​is ​​a ​​machine ​​called a "Shaker" that ​​is ​​driven​​ into ​​the​​ orchard ​​with ​​an​​ arm ​​that​​ clasps​​ the truck ​​and ​​shakes ​​the​​ tree, ​​allowing ​​the ​​nuts​​ to ​​fall ​​onto ​​the​​ ground. ​​After ​​all​​ the ​​nuts​​ are​​ shaken to ​​the​​ ground, ​​they ​​are ​​then ​​swept ​​up​​ by​​ a ​​"Sweeper".​​ It ​​looks ​​similar ​​to ​​a​​ large ​​lawn ​​mower ​​with a ​​circular ​​brush ​​that​​ sweeps ​​the ​​ground ​​and ​​vacuums​​ up ​​the ​​nuts.​​​​ .
    Now​​ that ​​I​​ have ​​given ​​you​​ a ​​little​​ bit​​ of ​​the ​​fall​​ season ​​in ​​the​​ valley​​ of ​​walnut​​ and ​​almond growers, ​​I​​ will ​​share ​​with​​ you ​​a​​ few ​​old ​​​​recipes ​​that​​ have​​ been ​​shared​​ through ​​the​​ generations of ​​nut​​ growers.
One ​​of​​ the​​ favorite​​ all ​​time ​​recipes ​​in ​​this ​​area​​ is ​​the​​ Candied​​ nut​​-​​you ​​can ​​use ​​this ​​on​​ both​​ the Walnut​​ and​​ Almonds.


    Toasted Cinnamon Almonds

1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups of raw almonds
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees
In a large bowl, whisk egg white and vanilla until fluffy. (appox. 2 min)
Stir in nuts
Mix remaining ingredients and add to the nuts - stir.

Place parchment paper onto a jelly roll pan or other low side pan, spread the nut mixture into the parchment paper the pan.

Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes ( stir part way through the cooking time)
  1st 1/2 hour and again 1/2 hour later -
Cool in pan - when dry, place into jars -


   Sweet Smoked Paprika Almonds   (uses the same directions but seasoning is changed)


1 egg white
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 cups of raw almonds
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 tsp smoked Paprika

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees
In a large bowl, whisk egg white and vanilla until fluffy. (appox. 2 min)
Stir in nuts
Mix remaining ingredients and add to the nuts - stir.

Place parchment paper onto a jelly roll pan or other low side pan, spread the nut mixture into the parchment paper the pan.

Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes ( stir part way through the cooking time)
  1st 1/2 hour and again 1/2 hour later -
Cool in pan - when dry, place into jars -



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bead Hoarders Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal!!!

Bead Hoarders Bead Soup 

Blog Party Reveal!!!

    I am excited to say it is that time where all the collaborators are sharing their creations from their Bead Hoarder, Beadsoup Party partners!!  I want to thank Lori Anderson for hosting this event - 
    This has been a fun event. You can follow the fun on  Pinterest or on the creator's page for the Bead Party Blog.

   Here is the completed  necklace and earring set that I made from the spring color vintage crystal beads that Lori Schneider / Beadaddicted sent me.   I added a gold tone chain, wire wrapped links, and gold tone earring hooks. The picture does not fully show how beautiful these beads sparkle.  The focal point was made by Marla's Mud.


    Among the other items that Lori sent, was these very detailed poly-clay book beads that she made. After some thought, I decided to make chain link long necklaces with tassels. I used antiqued copper chains and rings. Then added some of my own beads; genuine jade, faux pearls, and a crystal cut iridescent accent bead on the one. 




 Last, but not the least, Lori sent me this beautiful piece of etched copper that she created.  I knew right away what I was going to do with this piece. I love working with metals and leather. So, I created this hair barrette. I cut and stained the leather, punched the appropriate size holes and riveted the barrette bracket, leather and the etched piece together. I feel that the color hues in the metal are accented perfectly with the stain I chose. 



    Lori is the host of the Beadaddicted blog. She is a veteran Beader and has participated in previous Bead Parties.   Here she shares here creations, thoughts, and inspirations. You can find here the beautiful items that she made from the Mother of Pearl shell I sent her and the copper pieces I made.  The Mother of Pearl necklace she made is just outrageous!   A must to see!!  I must say that she has been through a lot this past few months and needs all the prayers she can get. Through all she is going through, she still managed to pull of these fabulous creations!

Thank you Lori!!! 


Don't forget to hop 'till you drop. Check out Beadaddicted blog for all the participates links  

Lori Anderson :: Hostess




Also you can follow me on Pinterest or on Facebook. I will be posting there too!


Thanks for stopping by - see you next time from the top of he hill!






Saturday, March 18, 2017

Bead Hoarders Bead Soup Blog Party



Bead Hoarders Bead Soup Blog Party Update: 




   In my earlier post about the Bead Soup Bead Hoarder Party-
             https://www.pinterest.com/limamike/bead-soup-blog-party-bead- hoarders-edition/ 

   I had talked about how the bead hoarders party worked and how I was waiting to receive my beads from my partner, Lori in Massachusetts. At that I time I could not reveal what I sent her. We had to wait until each received our beads. I am excited that now I can show you what I have received from her and post a picture of the items that I received back. 

   I must say that this has been a very fun event. I waited in anticipation for the shipment of my beads. Upon arrival I received a nice letter that stated the type of beads that were included and the reason for her sending them.  Several of the beads and focal points she made, some she had been hoarding for a while.

   Of the beads that she sent me, some were vintage crystal beads in beautiful spring colors, wonderful focal point made from porcelain, created by Marla's Mud., and a etched copper piece.

What Lori Sent 
   Two very interesting beads were made by my partner.  They were made from poly clay. The books were very detailed on their cover and had a hole off centered a bit to give the bead a tapered look when it is stung on a chain. Very unique and they made up an interesting piece.

   The last in the set that she sent me was a copper etched plate she created. A very wonderful piece. I love the copper and metal is one of my two choices of mediums that I like to work with. I knew right away what I was going to create with this piece.

Etched Copper Piece By Lori

Poly Clay Book By Lori

   Of the things I sent, I chose to make her some copper pieces and jump rings. Near me is an old Copper Mine in the town of Copperopolis CA. http://www.calaverashistory.org/  Copperopolis  was one of the largest copper mines in the US.  It produced most of all the copper ammunition that was used during the Civil War. The mine remained in operation off and on until the mid 1930's.
   The other items I sent, was a shell focal point and some natural agate beads, a few genuine turquoise beads that I felt also represented the western feel of our area and copper accent beads.



The Copper Links and Focal Point I made





The Shell Focal  and the Shell beads I hoarded for several years.
I also sent her several turquoise beads and coordinated accents beads.

   On March 25th all the participates will be posting there creations on the bead hoarders blog!  And I will be posting to my blog, as well as to TreeseesHilltopHaven Facebook page -


So, Please Don't Forget To Check back on the reveal date!! March 25th 2107!!!