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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Moments

Fruits each in its season, are the cheapest, most elegant and wholesome dessert you can offer your family or friends, at luncheon or tea. Pastry and plum-pudding should be prohibited by law, from the beginning of June until the end of September.”‘Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea’Marion Harland [Mary Virginia Terhune] (1875)
In our family, my Grandmother Lillian, always made the plum puddings and it is still considered bad luck to cut into one before Christmas. She passed the torch to me years ago. Instead of steaming the puddings in bowls with waxed paper and foil on top, tied with string, I purchased molds...at Williams Sonoma and garage sales. You can't get the molds from them anymore, that I know of, but they sell the puddings. I still pick up the molds, even though I have more than I will ever need. In the course of a traumatic divorce after almost 30 years of marriage, I had no clue where the recipe was in storage. I found the molds this year and have yet to find the recipe.
I remembered most of it and found a similar recipe on the Internet. These are loaded with raisins, sultanas (golden raisins), currants, spices, and lots of beef suet. No bread crumbs here. Each pudding comes with a silver dime buried somewhere in it's depths. The lucky recipient of the dime is supposed to have good luck for the next year.

These little beauties steam for 9 hours, so this is an all day event. They have been on since very early this morning and will need to cool once they are done so I can get them wrapped in wax paper and then in foil to get them ready to be mailed all around the US, including Hawaii.

This post is filled with memories of a woman I loved dearly and still do. The wool penny ornaments for our tree are made with large buttons my family saved for me from her stash. I think about her every time I hang them on the tree. Today, my house smells like hers did. I love you, Grandma.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Binding Bag

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Can you believe I found this little handmade bag (that I am just sure was made by loving hands for someone special) at the local thrift place for less than $2? Completely my gain! I thought it might be ideal for use as a binding bag, to hold a small felted needle book, binding clips, a little pair of scissors and my thread. I am open to other suggestions.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Ignored

"Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find."
~Quoted in Time

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zNwWrtVoCI&feature=related

This year I have taken the handmade pledge. I know I will not be 100% successful, but I am striving for 80% with improvement next year and more every year after that. I want my Grandchildren to see the things I have in my lifetime. How sad if they take all the trees and put them in a tree museum. I found it! I found it! It took going through several...okay....many journals. I got to see my children at a younger time. I got to read the obits clipped from newspapers of the people that I have loved who passed on. There are recipes I had forgotten about and pictures clipped from magazines that I wanted to try in my house or yard. There were literally armloads of quotes like the one you see at the top of the post. My sister shared this recipe with me quite a long time ago. It really is a great recipe. I figured if I posted it here, it would be around a while and easily accessible. Give it a try, it really is very good.

On a bright note, my port and stitches came out today and I learned I truly am a big girl....it didn't even hurt. I do have the most awesome Dr. in the world. I should have asked for a sticker! As I told my Dad, Lord knows I don't need a sucker.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

"We can always find something to be thankful for, no matter what may be the burden of our wants, or the special subject of our petitions."
Albert Barnes

My daughter has chosen, through her workplace, to help a familyof six with Christmas. All the needs have been met, but she wanted to do a little extra. Today, she and I tied a fleece blanket for the two year old in the family. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of her.

FIVE THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR:

1. The love and health of my family and friends, most especially that both of my parents are still with us after the events of the last month.

2. That I am truly blessed to have such a good man in my life.

3. That the people I love all have a job and a roof over their heads and food on their table. There may not always be excess, but thank God there is always enough.

4. That my son is not in the desert right now and is able to spend the holidays this year with his wonderful wife and beautiful kids. That is not always the case.

5. That I have an abundance of great quality time with my daughter and granddaughter.

Okay.....an unofficial number 6....The Eagles played an awesome game! During the game I said if they didn't keep playing the way they did tonight, the only way they would be going to the Superbowl would be as........before I could say as a wild card, my daughter said as spectators.....:(

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love, happiness, and peace. May God bless our troops, each and every one of them a hero, who cannot be home with their loved ones.

It is a tradition in our familyto go around the table so each person can tell the things they are greatful for. It was my four year old granddaughter's turn. She said she was greatful for her duckie (he is no longer yellow and has one eye a little mealted from the dryer). She was greatful for her kitties and her grandma ( I just beamed!). She was greatful for her toy and grass and helmets. She said "GO EAGLES!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Moments From Home

Believe one who has proved it. Believe an expert.
— Virgil
Dad has been home from the hospital for about a week now. He drove for the first time today and he is getting back to his old self. I didn't think Mom and I would have time for any of this. I originally had leave planned to come out and make fruitcakes. We did it last year and I thought I had fun. This year was even better. Mom thought we should go into business.

Is this not the coolest pan you have seen in a while? It belongs to my Mother and you can bet I will be looking for one like it at the thrift stores and garage sales. It was perfect for mixing large batches of fruitcakes.

We chopped cherries and dates and mixed dried fruits, mixed them with walnuts and soaked the whole darn thing overnight in the very best Brandy from my Father's closet. Yes, he was aware we did it and we bought him a replacement bottle. I can tell you VSOP is much less expensive in Washington State than it is in South Dakota!

We made 21 fruitcakes. Yes, I meant to type 21. Mom has a home for each one. She does this every year. I can tell you I had the best time doing this with her. We talked and laughed until our stomaches hurt.
My Mom had a lot of good tips to pass along, so I will share them with you, too. Bay leaves in your flour canister will keep bugs at bay (no pun intended) without imparting flavor. Always line your pans with foil for these little cakes, since they are hard to remove without it.

She wanted me to take a picture of the mess we were creating. I preferred to think of it as a production line. I believe so far we have cookie dough made for at least 52 dozen cookies.

The house has that incredible smell of baking...spices, fruit, brandy. I am sorry the rest of my sisters weren't here for this! They don't have a clue what they were missing. Maybe next year.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I am on a little trek home to Washington. Dad has been ill and was in the hospital for what seemed like forever. I was lucky enough to see my brother and youngest sister when I first got here and then they had to go home. I stayed to bring him home and be here for Mom & Dad for a few days.

I am not going to be able to post pictures of what I am working on right now, Christmas and all that..... When I get home, I will post things that I have made in the past.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

4 November, 2008

VOTE!
It's your right. It's your duty as an American.

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Christmas Ornaments

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt



My daughter was kind enough to pull out some of the ornaments I made for her tree so that I might share them with you. These are special because the buttons came to me from my Grandmother's stash after she passed away. They are also cat friendly. She has a new kitten who can't break these....although I am betting he could chew holes in them. Monster.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Moments

Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Meet Bruce, the man in my life. We had a wonderful trip to the Badlands as you can see over his shoulder. He is very special, even tempered and we see eye to eye on most things, including politics.

It has been a quiet weekend after a hectic week. The last week of the month is always busy for me. My Father ended up on the hospital in emergency surgery on Thursday night. He is chugging on through. The path report is due Monday. This little quilt is hand pieced, hand appliqued and hand quilted. I finished it a while ago, but was going through my little stash of table toppers, thinking it was time to change out the little quilt on the table, just for a fresh look. Since most of you have not been in my home, these will be new to you.

I was able to get to one of my favorite thrift shops after work on Friday and found a few treasures. The hot chocolate pot is from the Bon Jour collection at Williams-Sonoma. Very cute and a steal for what I paid for it. Someone named Molly made the pottery bowl and platter, I was lucky enough to walk away with seven of her pieces. They will be treasures here in this house.

Have a blessed week and get out and be patriotic. Vote!