Coffee House Day

            The weather has turned cold, grey and very “Novemberish” around here; which is not really surprising when one looks at the calendar!
          The tail-end of Hurricane Sandy whipped most of the leaves off the trees in our neighbourhood, although, maddeningly, they still cling limply to one of my trees which means I continue to rake despite the extreme damp and cold!!
           I truly hope the last of them will fall this coming week so that I can clean off the flower beds and spread my compost.  It is essential that I empty the composter down to the bottom because it fills and freezes over the winter, without breaking down, and I have nowhere to put the overflow if I do not make it through until the spring thaw.
       The past three days have been spent in intensive Coffeehouse Preparations. On Wednesday I baked Almond Anise biscotti (recipe below) and yesterday coated the bottom of each one with bittersweet chocolate.
         Thursday Jill brought over an armload of her gorgeous quilts which we will be spreading on the floor for sitting upon tonight, and yesterday afternoon Alexander and I hauled around the furniture in Lennox Hall to begin the set up for this evening.
        Unfortunately Douglas had also come to wash the floor so we could not spread the quilts and ,even more unfortunately it transpired that the little white sparkly lights belonging to Senior Youth Camp are not in the Supply Room so Alexander could not string them up.
      AJ is going to bring them tonight, when he comes with the sound equipment but I do not know if there will be time (or man power) to string them before our patrons arrive, so we may end up sans Sparkly Lights for the event!   
But I think I’m ready now! My pack-basket is filled withcollection of strange objects including several knobby branches which Jill suggested might prove a good base on which to display my button–cuff Bracelets which are also in the basket, all finished and ready to sell!
        There is  a large tin of biscotti, the coffee for the moccachinos ( I had to bring the beans home and grind them) and some of my own chai teabags as the COOP was out of them when I shopped yesterday.
Of course I’m also taking my knitting so I havepretty full basket waiting to go. I’m going to eat early and head over for 6pm as a few others are coming then so, hopefully, we can complete the set up before the doors open at 7pm.
Jillian has agreed to take photos, which you should be seeing here and which will later be turned into a new slide show (watch for this as part of the Blog’s “new look”!!)
So here is the biscotti recipe, Tomorrow I’ll add the photos and a bit of a Sunday coda ……..

Almond Anise Biscotti

  • 2 ¾  cups unbleached flour
  • 1 ½  tsps baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp Anise
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup melted butter or margarine
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp butter or margarine
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and melted butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour, baking powder and anise and add to the bowl. Mix well. Stir in the almonds. Place the bowl in the freezer for 30mins. to firm the dough. Preheat oven to 375F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. When the dough is firm, divide it into 3 equal pieces and form 3 logs, 2 in. wide and approx. 1in. deep,spaced apart on the baking sheet.
 Bake for 20mins. Remove from the oven and cool briefly. Slice each loaf into 1/2inch thick diagonal slices. Stand the slices back on the baking sheet and return it to the oven. Toast the biscotti for approx. 20mins. until dry and crisp. Cool completely on a rack. Meanwhile melt the chocolate with 1Tbsp butter either in a microwave (shudder!) or in a double-boiler.
When the biscotti are cool, spread a thick layer of melted chocolate on the bottom of each slice, using a wide spatula. Set to dry on parchment paper.
Store in a tin or jar. Keeps up to 2 weeks, or also freezes well. These make great Christmas gifts!




Sunday Coda…   The Coffeehouse went off way better than my most optimistic of expectations!!! We had a great turnout of over 40 people, right from Baby Owen (5 months) to a few seniors (ages unspecified!) Those bringing baking outdid themselves in generosity, we DID manage to string up the sparkly lights and the entertainment was outstanding!!!  Best of all, everyone really pitched in afterwards to help with clean up and I was able to be home and in bed by a reasonable hour! Jillian is supposed to email a few photos later this evening, so I’m going to wait and you will actually be able to read this post as of tomorrow morning.  Watch for the new slideshow which should also appear in the next couple of days. 

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