Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chocolate Math

My sister-in-law sent this the other day and I thought, oh another of these silly tests! But "Mr. Obsessive Compulsive" made me take the test, he speaks to me often. Don't tell me your age. You probably would tell a lie anyway -but the Hershey Man will know!

This is pretty neat…
It takes less than a minute.
Work this out as you read.
Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!
This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)
2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)
3. Add 5
4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator.
5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1759. If you haven't, add 1758.
6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.
You should have a three digit number.

The first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)


Monday, May 18, 2009


When I was a little girl in the 1950’s we would make the trip to the small community of Peel, Arkansas on Memorial Day weekend to attend church service, decorate the graves and partake in the noon meal my parents referred to as “Dinner on the Ground.“ There would be service in the old Peel church, no air conditioning and HARD benches. The sermon was long, but finally and at long last the preacher closed his Bible and the benediction was said.

Many church ladies specialized in a dish. Dinner on the ground wasn't complete without Aunt Joy’s chocolate pie or her chicken and dumplings. Grandma always took an assortment of pies, including my favorite Rhubarb and Gooseberry. Food was placed on long tables covered with a kaleidoscope of tablecloths. Fried chicken, spaghetti, chicken and dressing, casseroles, stews, baked hams and roasts, vegetable casseroles, corn pudding, purple-hull or crowder peas, sliced tomatoes, green onions fresh out of the garden, sweet, dill and beet pickles, chow-chow, jello salads, macaroni and cheese and deviled eggs, corn bread and homemade rolls, banana pudding, lemon meringue pies, apple cakes, and peach cobblers, and lots of iced tea. With their plates groaning under the weight of the food, people found a spot in the shade and "dug in!" Sometimes families brought old quilts or blankets to sit on.

Tradition said everybody must eat until they are absolutely stuffed. A lot of teasing went on, such as "Are you coming back for seconds already?" and "Gluttony is a sin, brother, so I'll save you from sin by eating that last piece of pie for you." The song leader would accuse the preacher of breaking in line to get more food. "Now what kind of way is that for a preacher to act?" The preacher would reply, "Well, the Bible says 'Man shall not live by bread alone,' and so I aim to get me some of Sister Mamie’s chicken and dumplings." It did people a lot of good to be able to laugh, to open up.

The day was filled with visiting and reminiscing for the adults and the kids would run amuck playing tag and getting in trouble for being too rambunctious!

Rhubarb pie is my favorite pie on Earth. It’s that intense tartness balanced with just enough sweetness and a flaky crust that I adore. I love the beautiful ruby red vegetable and it’s one of the things I associate with Springtime!

Grandma Keeling's Rhubarb Pie
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
4 tablespoons ice cold water
1 ¼ cup Crisco shortening
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg
Cut shortening into flour, add salt. Beat egg, vinegar and water. Add to flour mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup cornstarch
1½ pounds rhubarb, small diced (about five cups)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Roll out your dough into a large rectangle about 3/16th of an inch thick. Invert your pie plate on the dough and use the rest for strips.
Lay the the dough into the pie plate leaving about an inch of dough overhanging the edge. Then use a pastry wheel or knife to cut nine ¾-inch strips the length of the pie plate. When your dough is ready, combine the sugar, spices and cornstarch and stir to distribute the spices and cornstarch. In a large bowl, toss the sugar mixture with the rhubarb until it’s evenly coated. Pour the rhubarb mixture into the pie plate. Place five strips of dough horizontally at even intervals across the pie. Fold the first, third and fifth strips back to the edge and lay one strip of dough vertically across the horizontal strips. Fold the first, third and fifth horizontal strips back then fold the second and fourth strips back to the first vertical strip. Lay a second vertical strip an equal distance from the first one. Fold the second and fourth strips back. Repeat the process with the final lattice strips.
Place pie on a baking sheet and bake for 1 to 1 ¼ hour or until the fruit is bubbling and hot and the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
Print Recipe

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Look on the Bright Side!

Mom has always looked on the bright side. She never allowed herself the luxury of feeling sorry for herself, and there were times when she would have had every right to do that. Being an only child she was doted on, even during depression years. Her Mom and Dad were always there for her and they were extremely close. After she married, she and Dad moved to California and I can imagine just how hard that was for her, being so far from her parents who were the rock of her life. Marriage is an amazing relationship, someone you aren’t related to and often haven’t known that long…yet the bond is immense. She talks about those years a lot. Her memory now is in the early years, her dementia has robbed her of middle and present years.

This picture was taken by her Granddaughter Stephanie when she was visiting a couple of summers ago. When Stephanie was a baby Mom took care of her while I worked. She basked in the joy of “Motherhood” once again and loved having charge of a little one. They played on the floor, read books and took walks. All of the things that Grandparents are supposed to do to forge those close relationships. I never worried about her care or if her needs were being met, Mom was there to step in.

Mom now lives in a nursing facility that specializes in Dementia Care. It's set up like a home with living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms and a nice outdoor area with a courtyard that they can come and go freely in warm weather. My Mother's move from her farm could have been traumatic, but she feels like this is home and is very secure and happy again. That means the world to me. When she reached the point that she could no longer live alone, Windcrest provided her the safe home she needed. It's a close-knit little group of 16 ladies who share their lives daily and have become family. Even now, Mom keeps that smile on her face and looks on the bright side. Surely we can learn a lesson from her to make the best of every day that the Lord gives us.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Mother's Letter to the World

A Mother's Letter To The World

Dear World:

My son starts school today. It's going to be strange and new to him for a while.And I wish you would sort of treat him gently.You see, up to now, he's been king of the roost.He's been boss of the backyard.I have always been around to repair his wounds, and to soothe his feelings.But now-things are going to be different.

This morning, he's going to walk down the front steps,wave his hand and start on his great adventure that will probably include wars and tragedy and sorrow.To live his life in the world he has to live in will require faith and love and courage. So, World, I wish you would sort of take him by his young hand and teach him the things he will have to know. Teach him-but gently, if you can.

Teach him that for every scoundrel there is a hero;that for every crooked politician there is a dedicated leader;that for every enemy there is a friend.
Teach him the wonders of books.Give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on the green hill.
Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas,even if everyone else tells him they are wrong.
Teach him to sell his brawn and brains to the highest bidder,but never to put a price on his heart and soul.
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob...and to stand and fight if he thinks he's right.
Teach him gently, World, but don't coddle him,because only the test of fire makes fine steel. This is a big order, World, but see what you can do. He's such a nice little fellow.
Author Unknown

Friday, May 1, 2009

Put It On My Bill

Every summer I would spend time with my Grandparents at Lead Hill, savoring the sweet freedom from the rules of my parents and basking in Grandma’s love! Their little rock house smelled of fresh baked pie, cooled in the summer by their black Emerson fan that set on the kitchen table. Grandma’s kitchen had a white enamel table where she and Grandpa would have breakfast. She spoiled anyone who came into that house with meals fit for a King. Hot bread for every meal, big fluffy “cat-head” biscuits or golden cornbread baked in an old cast iron skillet that she had used since they married in 1921. Grandpa had a sweet tooth so jams, honey and sorghum set in the middle of the table on a lazysusan.

My Grandpa couldn’t slip out of the house without me wanting to tag along! He would check on the cows then on up to town. Pruitt’s was just a small country store in the 1950’s. I loved to go in that store with Grandpa, even as a child I realized the respect he had of his friends and neighbors. A closeness that is hard to find these days, they would smoke and whittle laughing and joking with each other. Politics and farm prices were discussed freely and opinions were welcome. Mamie Pruitt was always behind the big glass candy case where a penny would buy you a "poke" of sweets. She would ring up the groceries on that ornate cash register and place them in brown paper sacks for customers to carry home. Pruitt’s Store also had a meat counter with bologna and Longhorn cheese or long strings of hot dogs, customers would say, "Put it on my bill!"

To me it seemed like everyone in town knew my Grandpa and he loved visiting with his friends and neighbors. In small towns across America that feeling of trust and long-lived friendships still thrives. We need each other now more than ever, to confide in and encourage in these hard economic times.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...