It’s already Thursday and I am despondent. You see, I’m just now hearing about Pie Week. Pie-Week. Let that sink in. Oh, the recipes that go swimming through my head. Sweet and savory. Lemon Meringue, Sweet Potato, Pecan (peh-cahn), Chicken Pie (not chicken and dumplings, but a rich meaty pie).
Pie, Pie, Pie, PIE!
Hand pies too.
There’s a store bought pecan pie in the frig, right now. But I had oral surgery yesterday and am on a soft foods only diet for the next few days. Sigh. Lip poked out.
Here’s a round-up of past recipes for some of my favorite pies:
It’s my birthday today so, I declared it a holiday and took the day off from work. Marigold was happy; she got an extra day in the country.
Walking around my property, netted a huge mixed bouquet of blooms. To the left of my farmhouse there are four rows of a camellia specimen garden. No two are exactly alike. I do not know their names and wish someone who could identify them would come and do so. The solid, medium-sized white ones are my favorite.
The bulbs that we’re planted last October are all up and blooming. I was surprised to see that, down by the lower, ground-sweeping limbs, the Pride of Mobile azaleas are beginning to bud and bloom.
All the blooms were brought into the kitchen, trimmed and placed in an antique pedestal bowl.
In the remains of the old orchard, one of the Mayhaw trees was abuzz with honey bees. Come one jelly making season.
I’m an easy person to please. My nephew asked me, “You’re not doing anything for your birthday?”
My answer: “Oh, yeah, baby. I’m enjoying the solitude.”
Just give me a sweet breeze through the trees, lots of flowers to gather, the songs of birds and the sunshine. That’s all the birthday present I need.
Have you heard that song called Love On The Weekends? At least, that’s what I think it’s called. I don’t know who sings it. And I’ll be up front with y’all, not a fan.
Anyway, while getting my breakfast ready this morning, that horrible tune popped into my head. Instead of “love”, I inserted the words Bacon on the weekends. Bacon on the weekends. My thyroid is screwed up again and I’ve been reading up on thyroid nutrition. Limit processed meats, sigh, including bacon. So, like the lovers in the song, I have to wait to the weekend for my BACON! I’m right there with you Jim Gaffigan.
In the picture you will see marshmallows in my Pecan Praline Community Coffee. Yes, yes….. Don’t judge me. Try it, Mikey. You just might like it.
Also in the pic is a square of banana, chocolate chip breakfast cake. Sweetened with honey, lower in refined sugar, but still tasty.
Chocolate Chip Banana Cake:
Line an 8×8 pan with parchment and spritz with vegetable spray. Preheat oven to 350°.
In a large bowl, mash up a very ripe banana. Add a 1/4 cup of honey, an egg and a big generous dash of cinnamon. Stir together. Then add 1 1/2 cups of biscuit mix. Before you stir it in, pour in a half cup of Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips. Stir till combined. Lastly add 1/2 cup of milk and a 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean; about 22 minutes. Cool slightly in pan then turn out onto a plate and cut into 16 squares.
Also in the the picture of my breakfast, is my coffee cup. My nephew sent it to me at Christmas and it has the names of my grandkids on it: Parker, Brentlee, Levi and Hazel Ray. They are so much fun and precious to me. Which brings me to my next bit of randomness.
New York State and the Commonwealth of Virginia have legalized infanticide. God forgive us. We have become such a selfish and wicked nation. Again Crises Pregnancy Centers are located all over this country. Our local center is located at 406 Delaware Ave, McComb, MS 39648 601-684-3987.
So, what to do with that week between Christmas and New Year’s? Well, at Flowers Proper, the Christmas trees came down and the floor was swept clean of tinsel.
A walk around the gardens and a quick check on the bulbs planted in October netted a promise of Spring. The green tips are emerging from the dormant ground.
In the kitchen, fresh bread came out of the oven. Small round cake pans substituted for bread pans. Pretty, artisan round loaves, smeared with butter and mayhaw jelly. Yum! And We’re almost out of mayhaw jelly. Sigh.
Since I don’t return to work till next week, no wake up alarms are wonderfully absent.
Should New Year’s resolutions be made? Why not rename them as goals? Dropping the holiday pounds, writing another chapter or two or ten, finishing that project started months ago. Making plans for a potager and greenhouse. Do remember: slow progress is still progress. Look back and reflect, but keep moving forward.
After a month of no Planned Parenthood (P.P.) adds on my blog site, once Judge Kavanaugh was confirmed, I thought the ads would not show up anymore. Oh me! They’re Baaack, just like bad horror flicks every October.
Now it’s the week of Thanksgiving and they’ve started showing up n theexileskitchen.com. Why, I wonder? Maybe the midterm runoff elections, where contested seats and governorships are up for grabs. And that’s just what P.P. does. They grab at women’s emotions, during their most vulnerable life decision and convinces them that what is inside of them doesn’t matter, it’s just a lump of tissue.
There is a disgusting ad for P.P. running around social media right now with a beautiful baby girl, looking adoringly into the camera. It says, “She deserves to be loved. She deserves to wanted. She deserves to be a choice.”
In essence, they are saying that she deserves to die. An innocent child, a helpless child. How sick is this ad?! What about the baby girl’s choices? What heartless human being (I use that term begrudgingly) would allow her precious baby girl to appear in an ad like that? They are sick. They are selfish. They are denented.
I Hate that organization!
Again, if you are in need of help due to an unplanned pregnancy, go to a faith based Crises Pregnancy Center. In McComb, MS it is located at 406 Delaware Ave. Their number is 601-684-3987.
I think I am having a midlife crises. I have done something that I never thought I’d do. And I’m having a hard time feeling any remorse.
What have you done? you may be asking. Well, there are two Christmas trees already up in my farmhouse. Not yet decorated, but positioned and ready for ornaments.
In my past, never would anything remotely Christmas have gone up before Thanksgiving. I thought people who started decorating for Christmas as soon as their Halloween decor was jerked down were, well, just that: Jerks! I would look down my nose at them and shake my head.
Last year I was not in the mood for Christmas; not the commercial side of it. This year- half my shopping is finished, I’ve made the first batch of pralines, and Gesu Bambino just came out of my alto mouth, while I was unloading the dishwasher.
And now these Christmas trees -tinsel no less- one new, one vintage-have shown up in my farmhouse. I’ve heard of people going through a mid-life crises who will purchase out of character things: bass boat, motorcycle, sports car…new spouse, ahem!
For many years, only a real tree bought at a local tree farm adorned the little living room in another lifetime. That’s all there was room for; one tree. In my farmhouse, with nice big rooms, multiple trees can have a spot.
My youngest saw the trees today.
“Oh, brother!” he exclaimed. “You’ve become one of those people who rush Christmas.”
“No, they won’t be decorated till after Thanksgiving,” I defended my purchases and myself.
Okay, so I did put a few bubble lights on the Shiny Brite tinsel tree from the mid-century. Please don’t judge. I’m having a Christmas mid-life crises.
October’s cookie of the month took a fantastic turn towards teaching, encouragement and fun. A group of young ladies and their children assembled in the Exile’s Kitchen for Cookie Dough 101. The premise for the get together was to fill the freezer of each family represented with rolls of cookie dough, so Holiday preparations would be easier. To make things light and fun (as if these ladies and girls needed help doing so) we all wore froofroo aprons, with a prize of bakeware for the most June Cleaver-like apron.
The little girls and boy held in there for the first batch of cookie dough making (August Cookie of the Month: Cranberry Pecan Shortbread), but then the front porch and sunshine and woods called them outside, so the mamas finished the other two recipes. The little girls didn’t want cranberries and pecans in their shortbread and opted for sprinkles. They named their creation: Funfetti Shortbread.
The second cookie dough was a Brown Sugar Cookie, which is good base for any add-in you may want. The lone teenager of the class added Heath candy pieces and milk chocolate chips to her bowl, calling her mix up Heath Chocolate Bar Cookies.
The third cookie dough was a basic sugar cookie, rolled up in parchment paper and ready for slicing and baking later in the Holiday season.
Some of the comments today:
“I never think to put on an apron, but I’m digging this.”
“Aprons are handy. They keep your outfit clean and you can dry dishes with it.”
“Is that just a ruffle on yours or pockets too?”
“Yes, pockets. For a recipe card or gathering eggs or holding my loaded pistol..!” Just kidding.
Plans have been made for more gathering in the Exile’s Kitchen for simple beginner classes.
Here’s the Brown Sugar Cookie recipe: cream together 1 cup softened butter and 1 1/2 cups of firmly packed brown sugar. Add 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk, and 1 tablespoon vanilla to butter and sugar. In another bowl, combine 3 cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Then slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Then fold in your favorite add-in- chocolate chips, toffee pieces, nuts, whatever, it’s your cookie dough. Bob Ross would agree with me. It Started With A Happy Little Cloud
With a cookie scoop, drop onto parchment lined cookie sheet, two inches apart and bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly on cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Cookie and Froofroo Apron Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.