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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

To Enjoy






"...be not 
highminded, 
nor trust in 
uncertain 
riches, 
but in the 
living God, 
who giveth us 
richly 
all things 
to enjoy;

I Timothy 6:17

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Oh My! Coconut Pie!


And this is how I make it...from start to scrumptious finish!


Pie Crust 
(This makes 2 deep-dish crusts)
 

2  2/3 c. all-purpose flour, 
1 teaspoon salt,
1 c. Crisco shortening,
6 - 10 Tbs. ice water

 


In food processor, add flour, salt, and Crisco (preferably Butter flavor). Blend till in uniform crumbles. Add water a bit at a time, pulsing, adding water, pulsing, etc. till it begins 
to form one big lump of dough. Put dough in plastic bag, and chill for at least 2 hrs.
Roll out dough on floured counter-top, till larger than pie plate. 

Fold in fourths, and transfer to plate.
Unfold and ease to fit, pressing all around 
to situate it just right. 
Prick w/ fork several times in bottom and around sides. Shape edges as desired. 

Click here to learn how to crimp pie crusts on
YouTube.




Fill crust w/ large dried beans 
to weight it, then bake 
for approximately 10 minutes.   
Remove from oven, 
pour beans out of pie shell, 
and let cool. 

Freeze shell or make pie 
at this point.




Coconut Pie Filling

2 c. sugar + a slightly heaped 1/3 c. flour
4 c. milk,  6 egg yolks,  2 tsp. vanilla,  2 Tbs. butter
2 c. shredded coconut

Whisk sugar & flour till combined. Add 1 c. of the milk and mix so there will be no lumps. Separate yolks from whites of eggs, saving whites in a very clean glass or metal bowl. 
Mix egg yolks into pie filling mixture, then add remaining 3 c. of milk, vanilla, & butter. 
Put on low heat and cook till thickened. You will need to stir occasionally so it doesn't stick.
When it boils and thickens, remove from heat and stir in coconut. Divide into the 2 pie shells.
Bake @ 350 till it bubbles. Take from oven and top w/ meringue and coconut.


 Meringue 
6 egg whites at 
room temperature 
3/4 c. sugar, 
1/4 tsp. salt,  
scant 1/2 tsp. 
cream of tartar 





Beat egg whites till it holds a form, then add sugar and other ingredients gradually. 
Beat again till stiff peaks form, and divide onto the 2 pies. 
Sprinkle coconut (appx. 3/4 c. over each pie) on meringue, and bake till golden. 



Update: My husband and I both decided chilled Coconut Pie is totally wonderful on a hot day :-)

Monday, July 29, 2013

God Wants To Hear You Sing


Their chains were fastened tight down at the jail that night
Still Paul and Silas would not be dismayed
They said, “It’s time to lift our voice, sing praises to the Lord
Let’s prove that we will trust Him come what may”

God wants to hear you sing
When the waves are crashing ’round you
When the fiery darts surround you
When despair is all you see
God wants to hear your voice
When the wisest man has spoken
And says, “Your circumstance is as hopeless as can be”
That’s when God wants to hear you sing

He loves to hear our praise on our cheerful days
When the pleasant times outweigh the bad, by far
But when suffering comes along and we still sing Him songs
That is when we bless the Father’s heart.


Milk and Wine Crinum Lillies




When I see 
these flowers 
blooming quietly
in the darkness...

I am reminded 
of the caged bird 
that sings.

I am reminded
of the person
who does right
even when there's none to notice.

I am reminded 
of the one 
who smiles
when their world
is falling apart.





Sunday, July 28, 2013

New and Old


New rompers for fun and play 
Old buttons from "back in the day" !

Available now in my Etsy shop :-)


Friday, July 26, 2013

Scooby-Doo


Finished these little size 3 rompers just last night. 
They are for sale in my Etsy shop

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Our Backyard Garden



Welcome to our little spot of country in town! 


It's a work in progress...always changing.


It requires never-ending trimming and weeding!


But it's a place to relax from daily frustrations.


It attracts a variety of birds and butterflies.


The daily benefits makes it all so worthwhile.





Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Virtual Garden Tour...Tomorrow


 From childhood, I was fascinated by growing things. 
When we moved to this house, I was most excited by the large, bright kitchen looking out 
on the variety of plants...from groundcovers and flowers to shrubs and towering pecan trees. 

The older lady who'd loved this place before us had a "green thumb".
She'd invested in the yard for several years, and things had multiplied profusely. 

There was such an abundance that I placed an ad in the local classifieds to trade plants!
This way I didn't throw good plants out, and I gathered a variety of things I didn't already have. 

I've rarely bought plants that weren't clearanced, and have continued to trade occasionally. 
It has been fun and challenging to be thrifty, and we really like to walk around the yard
and find something we forgot we had, or see something blooming unexpectedly.

My husband and I dream of things we'd like to change or add when we have time.
I enjoy digging in the dirt, experimenting with transplanting, and propogating.
And truthfully, it's a very interesting hobby that we enjoy together.

Tomorrow I will give you a virtual tour of our backyard!



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Angel Crisp Cookies


  
measuring. mixing. rolling. dipping. baking. eating. sharing.


Angel Crisp Cookies

1/2 c. granulated sugar,  1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter,  1/2 c. butter flavor Crisco
1 egg,  1 tsp. vanilla,  1/2 tsp. salt,  1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar,  2 c. all purpose flour

Cream sugars and shortenings together till smooth. Add egg and vanilla and mix again. 
Finally add all the dry ingredients and mix well.  Preheat oven to 400. Put 1 c. water 
into a bowl and 1/2 c. sugar into another bowl. Shape cookies into walnut-size balls; 
dip top half of cookies into water, then into sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, 
with sugar side up, and indent center of each cookie lightly with your finger. 
Bake till golden brown and remove to cooling racks. 

My aunt used to make these cookies all the time. 
They are so deliciously light and crispy.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cars and Rompers



Wasn't sure which size
the grandbaby 
(almost two) 
is wearing now...
so made both sizes
2 and 3.

He's looking so big
in the pictures
and we haven't
seen him in 
a couple months.

Mailed them to "Mommy" 
for her to let me know 
which works best.

Already had the 
fabrics and buttons 
in my sewing stash
so these just cost me
the time and effort.

Getting back in the 
groove / comfort zone
of sewing garments
and so excited!!!





Update:  Size 2 fits :-)



Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Squash



Summer Squash, Bell Pepper, Onion

....sauteed in butter in non-stick skillet, covered w/ lid and cooked till tender. 

Oh Yes!  Oh Yeah!  Oh Yum!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blue Jay


 As my son was leaving 
for work one morning, 
he opened the back door 
and shouted for me 
to come quick. 

I didn't know 
what was wrong...

But no catastrophe.
Just this little Blue Jay
calmly sitting there. 



After finally hopping
to the compost pile, 
he insistently called to 
the faithful parents
who kept quite busy 
taking turns at 
feeding him 
and making sure 
he was safe. 



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Not Just Any Tuna Casserole


This Tuna Casserole is especially creamy and cheesy and yummy
I love it freshly baked with green peas or carrots...or both. 
I love it just as well the next day...left-over and cold. Like a tuna salad, kind of. 
It's one of my favorite comfort foods. And here is how I make it: 

2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni 
2 cans tuna (in vegetable oil)
 26 oz. Cream of Mushroom soup
1 lb. boxed cheese, cubed (Velveeta or substitute)
2 c. milk, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion
Optional -pimento, bell pepper, and / or celery

Boil macaroni according to package directions; drain. 
In large casserole dish or lasagna pan, spread tuna & oil. 
Then add macaroni and gently fold to coat w/ the tuna & oil. 

In a large pan, combine mushroom soup, milk, cheese, and remaining ingredients. 
Cook over low heat till cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. 
Pour the sauce into dish, combining with macaroni & tuna.  
Bake at 350 till it bubbles in the center. 


The French Bread has Zesty Italian Dressing on it and was warmed in the oven. 
It's easy, and compliments this meal really well.
 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pat-Patter

 Pat-pat come the raindrops, Pat-pat on the pane 
Then faster and faster 
down rushes the rain. 
The earth plants are thirsty 
and parched with the sun
A drink from the clouds 
will refresh every one.
Deep, deep in the ground
 from the skies far above
Sinks the warm friendly shower  all growing things love.
The flowers lift their heads
while the grass and the grain
Spring higher and higher 
at call of the rain.
In soft nests are hiding, 
with head under wing
The birds, that in sunlight 
so cheerily sing. 
The trees wave their branches
and drink with the rest
The leaves keep the rain 
from each tiny bird's nest. 
Now, widening streams 
as they haste on their way
Now dancing on roof-trees 
like fairies at play. 
Now laying the dust 
in both country and town
Pat-patter, pat-patter, 
the raindrops come down. 


But lo! overhead clouds are rolling away. The sun through the rain sending out a bright ray
That falls on the lingering shower's last tears. In seven-fold beauty, a rainbow appears! 
Shine forth, pretty rainbow, thy lesson is kind; Tho dark be the clouds, there is sunlight behind. 
With glad hearts look up to our Father above Who gave, in the rainbow, a pledge of His love.

~ I found this poem penciled on a brittle, yellowed paper.  Author unknown. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fig-Berry Jam


We have a little fig tree, planted last year, and not bearing yet.
Some sweet friends let me pick from their tree;
I'll give them some Fig-Berry Jam!


This was my first time to work with figs, but hopefully not my last.


  Fig-Berry Jam

   6 c. mashed figs
   4 c. sugar
   1/3 c. lemon juice
   1 c. water
   2 (3 oz.) boxes strawberry or raspberry jello
   2 (1.75 oz.) pkg. pectin (or 10.5 Tbs. fruit pectin from Nuts.com)

Wash & crush figs. Add lemon juice, water, & pectin. Put on heat and bring to a boil. Cook to soften figs.  Add sugar and jello; return to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Seal into jars. Makes 10 cups.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Queen Anne's Lace























In these Queen Anne's Lace
(which most people consider an invasive, undesirable weed)
God placed a solitary red flower in the center! 



It stirs my curiosity and causes me to marvel even more
at the beautiful, intricate design, and eternal plan of the Creator. 


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Muscadine Jelly


 Some friends offered muscadines
so we picked enough
to make three batches 
of beautiful jelly! 


















It's just a bit tart, 
which balances out the sweet. Just right. 

I figure all this jelly cost us less than $6 plus our time. 
Already had the jars, Jel-Ease, and donated fruit,
so only needed to buy sugar and a few lids. 


Life Is Like...


"Our life is like a land journey, 
too even and easy and dull 
over long distances across the plains, 
too hard and painful up the steep grades; 

But on the summits of the mountain, 
you have a magnificent view, and feel exalted, 
and your eyes are full of happy tears, 
and you want to sing, and wish you had wings! 

And then you can't stay there, 
but must continue your journey. 
You begin climbing down the other side, 
so busy with your footholds 
that your summit experience is forgotten."
 
— Lloyd C. Douglas
The Robe 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Homemade Ice Cream

 My husband says 
this is better than store-bought chocolate ice cream ...and I agree :-)  
It has such rich flavor, 
but it's not so sweet, 
and it is REALLY good!!!

I copied the idea from one of 
my all-time favorite blogs, 
and after experimenting with a couple batches, I've revised the recipe to suit my taste.



MEXICAN FUDGE ICE CREAM 

1 c. brown sugar,  1/3 c. dark cocoa,  1 Tbs. instant coffee
1 tsp. vanilla,  1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. milk (may substitute evaporated, almond, soy, etc.)
2 c. heavy whipping cream

Whisk first 5 ingredients with 1/2 c. milk till smooth. 
Then add remaining milk and cream, mixing well. 
 Pour into 1.5 quart ice cream freezer.

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Strawberry-Lemonade-Banana Ice Cream

1 packet Strawberry-Lemonade Kool-aid  
1 ripe banana, mashed well or pureed
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups whole milk


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nesting


While a pair of Mockingbirds built a nest in the Blue Spruce...


...these baby Cardinals peacefully slept in a nearby Rhododendron,
 oblivious of the camera's presence. 

From our window, we could see the female Cardinal 
protectively covering them in the nest each morning.


And this, I suppose, is a hummingbird's nest...in a rose bush.
 Compare the size to the quarter in the center...so intricately built! 

UPDATE: In further study, I think it may be an Indigo Bunting nest. 
 



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

On Netflix























We watched these on Netflix and I recommend them! 
 
So rare to find a wholesome movie that we haven't already seen. 
Even the older movies disappoint me most of the time. 
But I had not seen Call Northside 777, and it was great! 

We also enjoyed the Little Men series, based on the Louisa May Alcott book. 
There are two seasons available, and I so wish there were more. 
I love to imagine what it was like to live in these simpler, maybe sweeter times. 
No, I didn't say "easier"...and I would miss air conditioning, for sure :-) 


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ten Little Fireflies


Only caught three the first night, then let them go. 
Caught seven the next night...and let them go again. 

There weren't as many lightening bugs as I remember from my childhood...
And it wasn't as easy to capture them....for so many reasons! 

But my husband and I enjoyed the adventure together.