Holiday Decorations at the Winery

Our first winter at the Winery started off with decorating for the holidays in mid November.  We used a lot of greenery outside, including swags along our fence posts and a garland around the entrance way.  Left over pine branches were arranged in various containers,  ranging from flower pots to milk crates.  New light stands were wrapped around the grapevine garland along our fence rail so all the lights were brightly shining.

Inside the tasting room we kept decorations simple, since we don’t have very much space.   We hung red Christmas balls on gold ribbons in all our windows, and places battery operated candles (which are covered in actual wax) below.  Some candles were placed in wreaths, others on candleholders or in lanterns.

You may have noticed our arrow above the wine rack, which holds seasonal ornaments.  For the winter we chose a Red Cardinal and we strung a green garland through the top of the wine rack.  The music changed to holiday classics to help spread even more cheer.

Anja made festive bottle ornaments, complete with tags, transforming any of our wines into a perfect holiday gift.

Throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rachel and Samantha were busy organizing various craft and painting activities at the winery.  Some were scheduled classes, others were “drop in” events to make bottle and cork crafts.

                

 

Posted by The Long Shot Farm

Wine Bottle Scarf and Hat

Fall is in the air.  School has started and it is cooler in the mornings. I think someone in our neighborhood is already using their fireplace because I swear I can smell the smokey wood fire on the crisp evening air.  AND The Winery is hosting their first wine and knitting/crochet event.  I did not need any more encouragement to get my knitting needles out!

 

 

With no particular plan in mind, I found some yellow yarn – the color of yellow autumn leaves – and knitted a scarf for one of my wine bottles.  And then I tried to make a slouch hat to match.  The scarf turned out great…just a simple cable.  The hat…well…looks a little odd but it was still fun.

 

Maybe wine bottles just don’t have the right “face” to pull off a slouch hat.  Perhaps the wine bottle opener does?  Hooray for fall!

Chocolate Swiss Roll

So Duff and I have been watching the Great British Bake Off.  For a while now.  I always look forward to the cake episodes though Duff is not impressed.  He would much rather make bread.  Anyway, I enjoy the episodes about the Swiss Rolls and the fancy Christmas Roulades. I decided that it was time to try my hand at them.  The judges are always fussing over the “perfect” swirl and make it seem like this incredibly difficult task.  They also like to stress that the sponge cake is fatless. Well, I prefer a much more forgiving cake with the added moisture from butter and I think the key to a nice swirl is not over baking your cake.

I settled on a chocolate Swiss roll with a whipped cream filling.  I long ago decided that chocolate and sour cream were a match made in heaven so I added a few spoonfuls of sour cream to the filling.  I then topped the roll with a chocolate ganache.  Straight forward and classic for my first attempt.  I gave this recipe below a go and we were all very happy!

Chocolate Sponge

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 C melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Whipped Cream filling

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons sour cream

Ganache Topping

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 12 X 17 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper and butter paper.  I butter the underside too so the paper sticks to the pan.

Beat egg whites and sugar together on high for 2 to 3 minutes until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.  Blend egg yolks, brown sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes or so until pale. Mix in melted butter

Sift dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt) and add to mixture.

Fold in egg whites.  I use a little at first to help get things started and then fold in larger amounts.

Spread batter into the pan in a thin layer.  Bake 10 minutes or so (mine actually took 9).  The top will gently spring back when touched.

When the cake is finished, allow to cool for a few minutes and then invert it onto a clean dish towel.  I used a dishtowel and a piece of parchment paper on top. Roll from the narrow end and allow the cake to completely cool.

Several hours later, make the whipped cream by beating the cream on high for a few minutes with the sugar and vanilla.  Gently fold in sour cream.

Unroll the cake and spread the filling leaving a 1/2 inch edge. Re-roll the cake sans paper towel.

Make the ganache and pour over top! I usually heat up the cream until barely simmering and then pour over the chocolate.  After a minute or so, stir it up until the completely combined.

Refrigerate for 30 min before slicing in.

Trellis Repair

Zach, Lars and Jeff have been working hard today! They are replacing broken wood trellis posts in the concord patch with metal posts.  This is a three man job minimum; someone to drive the tractor, someone to hold the post, and someone to drill the post into the ground.

Jeff expertly drives the tractor down the rows and positions the bucket.  Lars drills the new post next to the failing one.  The neat tool Lars is using is a Skidril. It fits over the top of the post, held by Zach, and is jackhammered into the ground in just a few seconds. It is loud and heavy work. 

Posted by Anja Weyant

Fun in the Pond

Watch out! The kids have squirt guns!

After a hot week picking blueberries and working in the vineyards we are all ready for a cool afternoon in the pond.  Rachel brought over 2 rafts and a handful of squirt guns.  The girls inevitably wind up together in one raft with Lars, Toben and Leif in the other.  Chaos ensues.  Anja documents a safe distance away with Torin.

Toben spends an impressive amount of time swimming next to the raft.  It was a great day to take a break with uncle Lars.

Posted by Anja Weyant