Today was the first time I’ve made jelly in the Exile’s New Kitchen. Mayhaw Jelly: such a sweet, rosey red. I taste tested with a wheat cracker. Yum!
I’ve got a thing for canning jars. I didn’t need any new jelly jars, but I saw these small, squatty, wide mouth made by Kerr and thought, ‘Oh, why not?’ Plus, a straight-sided, wide mouth jar will make it easier to scrape out every bit of Mayhaw jelly.
Mayhaw Jelly, April 2018, from the Jam Pot at Flowers Proper.
In the 1960’s, my mother and her sisters were on a mission. The ESSO gasstations in Baton Rouge were giving away a punch cup with a fill up. After 24 full tanks of gas, the punch bowl and stand were free. Working together, Mama and my aunts pooled their punch cups and boom! The family now had a community punch bowl, which has been used for countless wedding and baby showers.
I said back in December, when I unpacked my cookie jar collection, that I would do a cookie of the month. Well, here goes the first recipe four months late:
Cake Mix Cookies
1 yellow cake mix ($1 aisle
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (all I had on hand was flavored)
1/4 cup corn oil
8 Hershey’s Miniatures broken up into small pieces
What to do:
Preheat your oven to 350°. Spray muffin top pans with vegetable spray and set aside.
In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients. Form dough into balls (about 1 inch or so) and place one in each muffin space.
Place in your preheated oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Cool cookies in the pan for a couple of minutes, so they set up. These cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Cool completely on wire wracks and then place in your favorite cookie jar. This recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen.
Parker is having a baby sister in June. I have been sewing every spare minute I can scrape together. Wednesday evening my 32 year old Dial and Sew sewing machine bit the dust. A trip to the store with the W on it, netted me a new Singer. Wow! is all I can say. Such a difference. I love the new machine and won’t miss the old one.
The see through bobbin cover is great; no more sewing nothing, when you’ve run out of bobbin thread, but didn’t know it. It also has many decorative and monograming stitches to play with. The price was around $200. I am very pleased with it.
On Good Friday, my mother and I drove to Baton Rouge to continue a tradition begun decades ago. Backseat loaded with Easter lilies, we visited family grave sites in three different cemeteries.
First, my father’s grave in Resthaven.
George L. Ellison was the last of the good guys. Period.
Roselawn is a very old cemetery near downtown Baton Rouge. The church bells in the neighborhood chimed on the hour and then rang out hymns, while we worked our way through the different plots. The baby’s grave first. Great Aunts and Uncles. Great Grandmother. Cousins. Finally my Grandmother’s.
How I loved her! Such a strong lady.
We meandered our way back to Mississippi, but first went to Ponchatoula for fresh Louisiana strawberries. Yum!
I deposited Mama at her house, picked up Marigold and headed to the country. The shelves are finally finished in the media room/ parlor, so I dug out my library. It warmed up the space. The front facing books are by my favorite illustrator (award winning, btw). He happens to be my brother Chris Ellison. King of the Stable by Melody Carlson features my middle son at age 6 years old. In M is for Mom by Mary Ann McCabe Riehle there is a painting of my mother and nephew picking flowers in her Magnolia, MS garden. This book would be a great gift for Mother’s Day. You can find all of the books illustrated by Chris Ellison on Amazon.
Holy Saturday brought lots of sunshine and my middle son. All of those seeds I’ve been wanting to plant were, finally.
Twenty-one rows, 125 feet long. Makes me chuckle. Now. In June I might not be smiling. Yeah, I will. I have longed to play in the dirt and grow my own food. Someone said that at the end of the day you should smell like sunshine and dirt. It was wonderful.
This year this Exile will be cooking home grown goodness.