Sewing On This Sad Sunday Evening

I’ve been at my sewing machine this Sunday evening. An inexpensive set of plain white sheets needed a little dressing up. A couple of $3.00 spools of thread did the trick.

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I learned to sew in jr. high and still enjoy it. Sewing is therapy and I end up with something pretty or useful. With the sheet set, I had first thought I would add a span of lace, but I couldn’t find any in my price range that was pretty enough. So, I decided to buy a couple spools of light blue thread and sew a decorative trim on the pillow cases and flat sheet. A couple of hours later, because of a contrary bobbin case, and I had homemade designer sheets.

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It’s been a sad Sunday evening. At lunch I learned that one of my cousins had passed away from cancer. Sweet memories, fun recollections filled my mind as I worked at my sewing machine.

Homer Cooper was a big man, but gentle and loving. Funny, smart. There’s a picture around here somewhere of me up high on his shoulders. I was no more than 3 and he a young teenager. My family had been visiting my Dad’s family in Shreveport and it was time to say good-bye. A camera was brought out to snap a few family photos. Homer scooped me up for a picture. He’s smiling in the photo, I look a little scared. I thought he was surely a giant!

That is only one memory. So many more.

I send prayers and love to those Homer leaves behind. We grieve. But I am certain, that given the choice between being in Heaven or being back on this fallen earth, Homer would choose Heaven.

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I Don’t Know Their Names

The countryside  of my future home is filled with gentle hills. Winter has stripped the hardwoods of their leaves and swathed grey brown is juxtaposed against tall, green, plantation pine. The horizon seems stacked on top of each other, as if waiting for something to arrive or simply resting.

At my house yesterday I had planned on painting the back porch, but the storms earlier in the week had knocked out the power. Not knowing when it would be restored, I opted to do what I love more than anything: planting flowers. As soon as Christmas is over I start dreaming of warm, sunny days and bouquets of flowers.

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This arrived in my p.o. box last week. Johnny’s Selected Seeds is my favorite catalog for flower seeds. I have bought from this company for years and have always been very pleased with the results. I’ve started planning the cutting garden and promise to share pictures later in the year.

Earlier in the month, online,  I found American Meadows and ordered daffodils and day lilies. The day lilies will come later. The daffodils shipped a few weeks ago. The rain we had last week made the ground perfect for planting bulbs. And I was tickled to see that the dirt under the trees was the color of devils food cake. Traditional yellow, but also some with white petals and pink faces, I naturalized the daffodils in a patch of ground between a double trunked magnolia down nearly  to the base of a huge water oak. Deer don’t like daffodils, so I’m confident the trumpet like flowers will grow and multiply.

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50 all yellow and 25 pink faced daffodils were planted near the road

Before I left for the day, I walked through the jungle of camellias. The bees took advantage of the mild temps yesterday and were having a garden party in the rain soaked flowers.

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I do not know the names of the different camellias, but that does not take away from my enjoying them.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Mixing It Up

I have a confession to make: I am a freak for mixing bowls. To say I have a collection is an understatement. The pic below is not all the bowls that I own. Many are still in storage. And even though I knew that I have many more bowls in storage, I came home with two more for mixing and the little set of custard cups last Tuesday.20170115_112953

I already had the large, white, swirl Fire King bowl. So, when I saw the little one I snatched it up. These are pretty enough to serve in, as well as mix up something delicious. The other white bowl has a snowflake garland around the top, made by Pyrex. Can’t you just see some red Jello salad in it, all giggly and happy?

The two sets of classic, graduated Pyrex bowls were kitchen staples in homes in my mother’s generation and her’s before her. The set on the right, I pieced together on many junking trips. The set on the right- three were my Aunt Lina’s and the pink was my Grandmother’s. I really just use the set that I put together and keep the others safe on a self.

Whenever I see old custard cups I buy them. Multipurpose, they are great for a quick half cup measure, to serve pudding or ice cream or bake custard in- duh!

Today I mixed up some old fashioned gingerbread, in my big go-to bowl: the big tan, red striped, stoneware bowl. A Christmas gift form my mother bought at William Sonoma, there use to 3 of them,  but the smallest got broken. (Sad face.)

Here is the recipe for Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup white sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 cup melted butter

1 cup molasses

1 egg

1/2 butter milk

1/4 cup boiling water

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350° and spray an 8″ by 8″ pan with vegetable spray.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.

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Stir in melted butter, molasses, egg and butter milk. Then beat in the boiling water. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

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While it’s baking, in a small bowl mix 1 cup confectioners sugar, 2 teaspoons yellow mustard, a splash of milk and a sprinkling of ground ginger. Why a mustard glaze, you are probably asking. My father loved gingerbread and would smear yellow mustard on  his square of spiced goodness. Don’t turn up your nose. Try it. Let me know what you think.

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Last step: let it cool and then spread on the glaze. Cut like a snack cake and enjoy.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.