I Know It’s Not Even Thanksgiving Yet….

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I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. And I know I’ve been preaching against rushing the seasons, but I guess I’m going to blame the frigid cold spurt we’ve had this week, for my Christmas ornaments project.

The tinsel tree never made it to the attic last year. It was boxed up, but not squirreled away with the other decorations. I’ll admit I have recently been tempted to set it up, not festoon it with baubles, just put it quietly in the sitting room corner.

Instead of pulling out the tree, I pulled out unused canning lids, pretty Christmas tape, seasonal paper, pompoms, miniatures and old buttons to make vintage looking, pamoramic ornaments.

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Here’s what to do: First trace around a canning ring (like Ball or Kerr) onto a piece of Christmas paper and cut it out with scissors. Using craft glue, pipe a bead along the inside edge of the lid. Place another ring, bottom to bottom, on top. Put these together with pretty Christmas tape. (Hobby Lobby has many options.) With two canning lids secured like this it makes a wide enough inside surface to place the miniatures. I chose tiny Christmas trees and deer and shiny little Merry Christmas signs. Cut up white pompoms look like snow glued at the base. Material scraps and small old buttons came together for a hanger on top.

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Crafty Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen at Flowers Proper.

(And as always, if you enjoy the pictures, glean from the information or become inspired from my ideas, please click on the tiny star and give the post a ‘like’.)
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Yes, I Did

I added pumpkin spice, plus a splash of vanilla, to twist up a simple recipe of marshmallow treats. Pressed into a pie plate and covered in seasonal fall sprinkles. Cut into a wedge, it rested on an ivory Fire King plate. Three marshmallows were saved for my Pecan Praline cup of Community Coffee. Yes, I did. And so should you.

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Pumpkin Spice Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Psalm 16:5-6

“Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”

The Pumpkin Patch at Flowers Proper

 

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Fall Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen at Flowers Proper.

Counting Cookies

I found myself counting, when making cookies this afternoon. Counting when I rolled the shortbread, after dusting them with powdered sugar, and again when room had to be made on the wire rack to cool. Twenty-four all three times. There was some dough saved and rolled into a log, then wrapped in parchment. It went into the freezer for easy cookie baking later in the holiday season.

Fall Shortbread today; modified a recipe I shared last year: August Cookie of the Month: Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Instead of chopped pecans and dried cranberries, I added some sprinkles shaped and colored like Fall Leaves.

I counted twenty-three cookies, when arranged in the vintage Louisa glass serving piece. How’d that happen? Had to taste test, don’tcha know? Powered sugar coated thumbs up! Perfect, if I do say so myself.

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The idea from Pinterest seemed promising, but I’m calling this a fail. Our little pumpkin patch fun takes place tomorrow afternoon. Hoping the activities that are planned will go off better.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

The Dawgs Suck

It’s pumpkin season, as I’m sure you know.  We have a little pumpkin patch of our own this Fall. My grandsons have been keeping a check on them and next weekend we will have a family cookout and raid on the pumpkin patch to carve jackolanterns.

I’ve never made pumpkin soup, heretofore, but as I have these little pumpkins, I thought I’d try it. I washed, seeded, chunked,  and coated 2 pumpkins with olive oil, before roasting in the oven. When tender and cooled, I took a spoon and scraped out the cooked pulp. I had about 3 1/2 cups, which I smoothed out with an immersion blender. In a big pot, with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, I sauteed 1 chopped yellow onion and 4 chopped cloves of garlic. I added the pumpkin pulp into the pot, added spices of salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutneg and pepper to taste. To this , I stirred in 4 cups of chicken stock and let it simmer for around 15 minutes. After it was through cooking, I stirred in a 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Another spin with the immersion blender to ensure it’s creaminess and the soup was ready for my bowl.

Along side my bowl of pumpkin soup, was a plate of mustard decorated corndogs. Why not? I’m a  Louisiana State University fan. Can’t grow up in Baton Rouge and not be. Today we play the Mississippi State University Bulldogs. The Bulldogs call us Tigers corndogs. Yeah, really, why?  Both are agricultural schools. And the trek to MSU is way more rural than it is to LSU. Are the Tigers and their fans uncouth, is that what the Dawgs are trying to say? Oh, well.

My opinion of the Dawgs is rendered in mustard. 20191019_12523720191019_125347

Even the wildflowers gathered on my morning walk are rooting for the Tigers. Purple and gold, baby.

Tiger Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Soup’s On

Soup’s on! Finally.

I dug around in the pantry and freezer for homemade, hearty soup ingredients and dumped them into the Dutch oven for a comforting and nurturing bowl of love. How’s that for a run on sentence? Sausage cut into thin pieces, can of corn drained, a chopped onion, 1/2 cup frozen field peas, some dried red beans, a can of chicken broth, a small can of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup of brown rice, 1 1/2 cups of water and seasoning to taste. Except salt; I’ll add that after the red beans have cooked down. It may not need it. We’ll see.

It is, at last, soup weather here in our part of the world. Yesterday in the muggy 80’s; today overcast 60’s. Looks and feels like October. Not rushing the seasons. Thankful we have them. Perfect weather or the same weather year round would be boring to me. We have mild winters usually, rather wet springs, long, hot summers, and serene autumns. The world is getting sleepy outside, wrapping its self in dying grasses and falling leaves. Pumpkins are ready to pick and the turnips needs to be planted.

Enjoy each grace from each season. And make yourself some soulful soup.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

 

Stop Rushing

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It’s Autumn, supposedly. The thermometer says it’s still August. The local big box stores and ads on social media say it’s Christmas.

We hurry too much. We miss too much. We need to stop rushing around and practice breathing in the simple beauty of the transitioning months. Homegrown flowers, little pumpkin, Mr. Irving’s Sketchbook harken to Autumn, even if the temps do not. Practice the pause.

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Autumn Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

September Saturday

What am I doing? Well, waiting on a guy to get out here to give an estimate for tearing down and hauling off a shed that’s falling in. I’m also waiting on a repair man for the satellite to be fixed. It’s college football season, after all.

And then, I’ve got canvas drop cloths spread out on the floor. Painting? No. Trying to figure out how to sew together a cover for the cars backseat. Marigold’s hair gets everywhere; you wouldn’t think a bloodhound would shed like she does, but oh, my goodness!

First, though, coffee and breakfast.

Traditions fill the counter top and old window sill. LaSolana pottery, Louisa Glass, Fire King pieces remind me of trips to Clinton, Louisisana each spring for a gigantic antiques fair. It was tradition to go that Easter weekend to the Felicianas, where my Grandmother had  roots. The church ladies of that town got together and served sweets, gumbo, and the best chicken salad sandwiches ever! The  LaSolana pottery sugar and creamers were found in the back of a farmhouse kitchen cabinet, when it was being demolished. Perfect for a small arrangement of fresh flowers. The Louisa glass is a compote dish I started collecting way back when ( attached to excursions to Clinton, LA). The Fire King mug is part of a set bought at an auction. And in that mug, another tradition: Community Coffee. Community Coffee is based out of my hometown of Baton Rouge. I didn’t start drinking coffee till a few years back. Making up for it, though.  Coffee Time

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Saturday Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Half-a☆☆Works

Scared of the lawn mower, the praying mantis crawled up my leg. A few stomps and it fell back to the freshly cut grass. I moved a lawn chair and got popped by a wasp. Bugs aside, cutting grass in August is brutal, especially with a mower that has a broken self-propelling thingy. I had one a couple of summers ago that worked beautifully, but a crackhead thought he needed it more than I did. The mower that replaced it has not been worth the money and keeps breaking down and I’m tired of taking it to get fixed, but can’t afford a really nice riding lawn mower, sooooo….. There’s a note written in black Sharpie for anyone coming for a free mower: half-a☆☆ works; not worth stealing. Dear Mr. Drug Head – A Vent To An Idiot

The back garden, near the old orchard is hilly and the wild hogs visit frequently- I fell. Right down on my tail. Sweat dripped into my eyes. A few more turns and I decided to go inside to cool off. And make cookies. Of course. Why not?

Sweep of the Kitchen Cookies

Ingredients:

That mushy banana that’s been on the kitchen counter all week

The last 2 tablespoons of Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter

1 egg

1/2 cup brown sugar

A healthy generous squirt of local honey

A splash of vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

A couple of dashes of cinnamon

1/2 cup chocolate chips

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a mixing bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the next 4 ingredients. Dump into the banana and peanut butter mixture and stir till combine, but don’t overbeat. Stir in chocolate chips.

On insulated, parchment lined cookie sheets, drop three inches apart scoops of the cookie dough. I did 6 cookies per 2 cookie sheets; these cookies spread a little and I wanted them to have some room to bake up pretty. Bake for about 12 minutes, till the edges brown and the tops are golden. Makes about 18 nice, flavorful cakey cookies.

After cookie making and a light lunch, the garden hat and sunglasses were adorned again. I like cutting grass. It’s satisfying, seeing it all mown. Marigold likes to roll around in freshly cut grass. Maybe with this dog days of summer heat, the grass will slow down in growing and won’t need to be cut again for a while. My hand hurts from the wasp sting. Oh, well. A cookie and a Mayhaw Soda will make it feel better. Note To Self

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Summertime Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Somehow Carrots Were Put In My Refrigerator

The house was filled with company the week of July 4th. Different ones made multiple trips to the grocery store and somehow carrots were put in my refrigerator and then left. What to do with them? Too hot for a stew. Or a souffle’.

It is also pear season. One of my daughters-in-laws gifted me with fresh pears. For about a week, I canned pear preserves and pear butter.

In a simple muffin batter, the carrots and pears made a nice flavor combination.

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped pear preserves

2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole milk

An additional 1/2 cup white surgar with a generous dash of both cinnamon and nutmeg mixed in

1/4 stick of melted butter

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large mixing bowl, combine first six ingredients. In another mixing bowl sift together the next seven ingredients. Alternating between the flour mixture and milk, add to the carrot and pear base.

Prepare muffin cups, big or small with vegetable spray. I used a mini muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes or until tops bounce bake, when tapped and golden in color.20190810_135958

Loosen with a knife, cool slightly.  Dip into the melted butter, then swirl around into the spiced sugar. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.